Sydney Harbour Bridge climber brought down

A MAN is now in police custody after illegally climbing the Harbour Bridge this morning.

The 44-year-old man plunged the city into a standstill after he scaled the structure just before 4.30am this morning.

Police finally arrested the man just after 9.30am, following hours of negotiations.

But traffic across the city remains chaotic, with motorists warned to expect delays for at least another hour.

The unauthorised climber had perched himself on the infrastructure in the middle of the bridge, with earlier reports he was shouting at police and refusing to come down.

The man could be seen on the footage wearing headphones and rolling a cigarette from within the enclosure.

The headphones were still in his ears when he was brought down by police.

The man was wearing a cap, a tracksuit top and fingerless gloves.

The footage showed the man scampering further up the bridge as police got close to him.

At one point, he made a hand gesture to police that appears to suggest they call his mobile phone.

NSW Police have not confirmed whether or not he is known to them, and his motives remain unknown.

According to Sunrise, the 44-year-old was demanding to speak with senior government officials.

It's believed he left a bicycle in the middle of the road before making the climb.

SYDNEY TRAFFIC THROWN INTO CHAOS

The operation has thrown peak-hour morning traffic into chaos across the city this morning, with south-bound traffic delays stretching 20 kilometres at one point.

All lanes have now been reopened on the Harbour Bridge, but there are still significant delays.

A Transport Management Centre spokeswoman told news.com.au the congestion is beginning to ease following the man's arrest.

"Now that peak hour is over, hopefully the delays won't last much longer," she said. "We're still telling people to stay aware and factor in extra time."

She said the southbound side is now backing up to Artarmon, nine kilomentres from Sydney's CBD.

The northbound side is now stretching back to Huntley's Point.

She estimated the delays would continue until around 10.30am.

North Shore Line, Northern Line and Western Line trains remain unaffected, but buses across the bridge faced earlier delays of up to 70 minutes.

Angry commuters have been venting their frustration all morning over the delays.

In 2011, Sydney father Michael "Mick" Fox sparked a similar standstill when he climbed the Harbour Bridge as an act of protest.

The former elite soldier used a ladder and ropes to scale the structure because he wanted to gain access to his children.

Climbing the Harbour Bridge is illegal unless authorised.



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