A man who illegally climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and refused to come down for more than five hours has been hospitalised.
Peak-hour traffic was thrown into chaos as police negotiated with the man in his 40s, who was coaxed down from the bridge shortly after 9.30am on Wednesday.
Detective Inspector John Maricic said the man, who is known to police, is undergoing a medical assessment at St Vincent’s Hospital.
The man has ‘significant mental health issues’ and said he was motivated by a ‘family issue’.
A man who illegally climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and refused to come down for more than five hours plunged the city into peak-hour chaos
The man was seen sitting inside a metal infrastructure, rolling a cigarette while seemingly listening to music
The man, aged in his 40s, who was wearing a tracksuit, a cap and fingerless gloves, scaled the bridge about 4.30am on Wednesday.
Police Rescue crews and negotiators negotiated with the man as he sat on the iconic structure, which he began scaling at around 4.30am on Wednesday.
The man – wearing a tracksuit, a cap, fingerless gloves and headphones – was seen sitting inside a metal infrastructure and rolling a cigarette at around 7am.
Footage showed police negotiators attempting to get close to him, before he quickly climbed the bridge truss and scampered away.
Just after 9.30am, he climbed toward Police Rescue officers who handcuffed him and brought him down.
Moments earlier, the man yelled towards police below ‘Get out of the f***ing car!’ – The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Still wearing a pair of headphones, he was restrained as he was transported to hospital for treatment.
‘We can confirm the man is in police custody and is safe,’ NSW Police tweeted.
NSW Ambulance said in a statement: ‘The man is in a stable condition and will be taken by road to St Vincent’s Hospital for further assessment.’
The man was wearing a tracksuit, a cap, fingerless gloves and headphones as he scaled the bridge
The man is scene climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Wednesday morning’s incident
Footage showed police negotiators attempting to get close to the man, who quickly climbed the bridge truss and scampered away
Earlier, Police Rescue officers followed him along the structure, but it was proving difficult to reach him because he kept moving, a police spokeswoman said.
The man was also seen making hand gestures at police, appearing to ask them to call his mobile phone.
He is believed to have left a bicycle in the middle of the road before making the climb.
Negotiations began at around 6am, as a 30km traffic jam swelled on the southbound approach to the bridge.
The man (second left) is escorted by police after being coerced off the bridge
Negotiations began at around 6am, as a 30km traffic jam swelled on the southbound approach to the bridge
Still wearing headphones, the man is seen on a stretcher after being coerced off the bridge
The man made hand gestures at police, appearing to ask them to call his mobile phone
Furious commuters took to social media to vent their frustrations at the delays, which are expected to continue for at least two hours.
‘Traffic chaos because some fool who decides to climb Harbour bridge. Late for work again,’ one wrote on Twitter.
‘Aren’t there security guards on the Harbour Bridge 24/7 these days? What was doing this morning?’ another questioned.
‘NOT HAPPY with the Harbour Bridge situation this morning. Unbelievable how one person’s actions can ruin 100,000s of people’s day,’ yet another noted.
A police negotiator is seen during the dramatic police operation on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
‘Traffic chaos because some fool who decides to climb Harbour bridge. Late for work again,’ one angry commuter wrote on Twitter
‘NOT HAPPY with the Harbour Bridge situation this morning. Unbelievable how one person’s actions can ruin 100,000s of people’s day,’ another noted
Furious commuters took to social media to vent their frustrations at the delays
‘One man on one bridge and the whole city is in chaos,’ another wrote.
All four northbound lanes had been closed just before 7am, but two reopened around an hour later.
Authorities earlier warned commuters the bridge could fully shut down if the situation escalated.
All lanes across the bridge have now been reopened and traffic is returning to normal.
The man is known to police, according to Road Minister Melinda Pavey. She said it was near impossible to stop people illegally climbing the bridge.
‘Unless you are prepared to wrap the whole bridge in barbed wire, then there is a chance that something like this might happen,’ Ms Pavey told the ABC.
The unauthorised man who climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge brought early morning traffic to a standstill
Just after 9.30am, the man climbed toward Police Rescue officers who handcuffed him and brought him down
There were hundreds of online comments from commuters stuck in the long delays
Some questioned the how the man was not stopped from climbing the bridge on Wednesday
This social media user said they were scheduled to make a rare punctual arrival to work
Traffic Management Centre’s David Wright said the chaos is likely to go on for hours.
‘The information that we’re getting, it’s basically going to throw peak into chaos for anyone coming into the Sydney CBD,’ he told the broadcaster.
‘If you are travelling into the CBD whether it’s from the upper north shore, the lower north shore, the northern beaches, the inner west – you will be delayed significantly due to this major problem on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.’
A large police presence as well as rescue squads and emergency services remain gathered at the scene.
Police negotiators remained on the road trying to talk down the man, who climbed the bridge just after 4.30am
By 8am, northbound traffic (pictured) was queued nearly 20km to Victoria Road in Huntley’s Point
Southbound traffic (pictured just before 8am) heading towards the city was at a standstill
It was proving difficult reach the man because he keeps moving, a NSW Police spokeswoman said
A large police presence as well as rescue squads and emergency services gathered at the scene
Police rescue crews tried for hours to coax the man down after he scaled the iconic structure at around 4.30am on Wednesday
All northbound lanes were closed to traffic, with the traffic backed up for more than 5km just before 7am
The view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge looking towards the city as all four northbound lanes were closed
PEAK-HOUR NIGHTMARES ON THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE
By Emily Pidgeon for Daily Mail Australia
What a load of mess! Chaos caused by a dumping of dirt
Major traffic delays were seen in 2016 when a truck dumped 20 tonnes of dirt on the bridge
Huge traffic delays were seen in January 2016 when a truck dumped 20 tonnes of dirt on the bridge.
A mix of rocks and soil was dumped in a busy lane, causing a huge inconvenience to traffic.
The oblivious 61-year-old driver was pulled over by police shortly after crossing the bridge, but by then the damage was done and an entire lane had been contaminated with debris.
That’s Australia for you! 5am commuters spot a wallaby hopping own the road
A wallaby was spotted hopping along the bridge earlier this year causing huge traffic delays
In one of the most Australian sites spotted on the national icon, a wallaby was spotted hopping along the bridge earlier this year.
The marsupial stunned motorists in January during their morning commute.
Motorists found it jumping across the busy lanes, causing traffic to slow down before police were able to capture the adventurous animal.
The distressed male wallaby was taken to Toronga Wildlife Hospital before it was later released into the bush.
One way to fix a tummy ache! Man climbed the bridge after getting out of taxi because he was ‘unwell’
The man caused huge traffic delays in June 2016 when he sat on the northern side of the bridge with sunglasses on
A man climbed up one of the bridge’s arches after reportedly telling a taxi driver to pull over because he was feeling unwell.
The man caused huge traffic delays in June 2016 when he sat on the northern side of the bridge with sunglasses on.
A number of lanes were closed before police were able to negotiate with the man to coax him down later that morning.
Bus bursts into flames and sends thick, black smoke into the sky
An electrical fault on a bus was the reason thousands of afternoon commuters experienced lengthy delays
A bus caught fire during peak-hour chaos on the bridge in September 2016.
An electrical fault was the reason thousands of afternoon commuters experienced lengthy delays after the engine of the bus burst into flames.
Huge billows of thick black smoke poured over the bridge while the flames burnt the 20-year-old State Transit bus, with 22 passengers quickly evacuated.
The driver and two passengers were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.
Protester abseils off the top of the bridge to send a message with a view
A adventurous man got a different look of the picturesque harbour when he abseiled off the top of the bridge
A adventurous man got a different look of the picturesque harbour when he abseiled off the top of the bridge.
Lengthy delays were in place on May 13, 2011, when Michael Fox climbed the bridge before releasing banners in protest of the Australia Family Court system.
The man then abseiled down the bridge during the morning commute.
The abseiler was later fined $3700.
Horsing around! Cattle former takes protest across the bridge
A horse was ridden across the bridge by a beef farmer in protest about protecting the land
A horse was ridden across the bridge by a beef farmer in protest about protecting the land.
Donning an Akubra hat, the farmer rode his horse across the bridge, slowing down traffic during the afternoon stunt in June 2016.
Wanting to raise awareness of land clearing legislation, Glenn Morris was met by police at the end of the ride.