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Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco


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History of the Golden Gate Bridge
golden gate bridge from crissy field

Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field

Photo © Ingrid Taylar

Completing the Golden Gate Bridge - 1937

Upon the bridge's completion in 1937, Joseph B Strauss penned a poem that's archived at the Golden Gate Bridge website. The first verse says:

At last the mighty task is done
Resplendent in the western sun
The Bridge looms mountain high
Its titan piers grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms link shore with shore,
Its towers pierce the sky.

It was a structural victory born of massive human effort and grand design. A suspension bridge of this length (1.7 miles) had not been tackled previously.

There is no accurate number of how many people actually worked on the bridge, although we know that eleven died . . . fewer than expected, considering the hazards of the job.

A few construction and design statistics:

  • May 28, 1937: Bridge opens to traffic
  • Pedestrian day was May 27, 1937 when 200,000 people crossed the bridge on foot or skates.
  • Total length of bridge: 1.7 miles (2732 meters)
  • Width of bridge: 90 feet (27 meters)
  • Width of sidewalk: 10 feet (3 meters)
  • Clearance above mean high water: 220 feet (67 meters)
  • Height of tower above water: 746 feet (227 meters)
  • Total length of wire used in main cables: 80,000 miles (129,000 km)

Source: Golden Gate Bridge

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