Nestled on a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, this commercial and cultural center in the northern region of the U.S. is famed for its Golden Gate Bridge. It is a suspension bridge stretching across the Golden Gate. A visit to San Francisco is incomplete without walking across San Francisco and California's internationally recognized artificial structure. Built in 1917 by engineer Joseph Strauss, the Golden Gate Bridge has marketed itself as one of the Wonders of the contemporary World. Here are facts about the bridge that most people are not aware of.
10 The Construction Of The Bridge Was First Proposed In 1872
The Golden Gate Bridge was designed in 1917. However, this was not the first time the idea of building it was proposed. Its construction idea was conceived in 1872 by Charles Crocker, three years after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was intended to link the existing eastern U.S. rail network to the coast. Charles’ idea was to design a bridge that would stretch the Golden Gate Strait at San Francisco Bay's entrance. Unfortunately, most people ignored his idea, and it was not until 1919 that most people started considering his vision.
9 The Bridge Replaced A Ferry Service
Prior to the construction of this outstanding bridge, the only way people would connect between San Francisco and Marin County was via boat or ferry. The ferry service began in the early 1820s, where it ferried passengers, cars, and more for over ten decades until the Golden Bridge was constructed.
8 It Is A Suspension Bridge
The 1.7-mile-long Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that links San Francisco to Marin County, California. Engineer Strauss, the pioneer of this majestic bridge, had minimal knowledge of cable-suspension bridges. Therefore, he left the responsibility to professional architects. The exceptional work known today is the work of Leon Moussaieff, who is also famed for designing the Manhattan bridge in New York.
7 The First Design Of The Bridge Was Different
The current design of this majestic bridge is not the original design. This is due to the rejection of the initial design that chief engineer Joseph Strauss had submitted in 1921. The design was labeled as “an upside-down rat trap” by some of those who rejected it. Although they termed it as functional, it didn’t exhibit any elegance. Finally, Strauss worked with other engineers on the project who designed the final design.
6 The Golden Gate Bridge Broke Records
Golden Gate Bridge was famed as the longest-ever constructed bridge. The 4,200 feet bridge maintained this record for more than 25 years. However, the record was broken by the Verrazzano Bridge in New York City. Today, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge holds the title as it is 3,911 meters (12,831 feet) long.
5 A Safety Net Installed Below The Bridge Helped Save The Lives Of Workers During Its Construction
In 1935, a big earthquake caused a disastrous impact atop the unfinished south tower of the bridge. The tower moved 16 feet each way. There were workers onsite who had no means of accessing the downside. Fortunately, the safety net suspended below the flow of the bridge saved the lives of these workers. However, despite such safety measures, eleven more workers perished as a result of this tragedy.
4 The Orange Color Was Initially A Primer
Orange was not the intended color of this magnificent bridge. The initial color proposal by the U.S Navy was black and Yellow strips to increase the visibility of approaching ships. However, the steel that got in San Francisco was painted in a burnt red hue as a primer, and the responsible architect concluded that the color complemented the bridge’s natural surroundings. The color also warranted visibility and is referred to today as international orange.
3 The Bridge Has Been Closed Three Times
The Golden Gate Bridge has not been operating consistently since its opening in 1937. There are three times that the bridge was not functioning. One of the primary reasons for its closure is bad weather. The other time was an ongoing construction. The bridge was also closed during its 50th anniversary. In 1983, 75mph winds blew across the wind, causing the bridge to be closed for three hours and 27 minutes. Also, renowned personalities have contributed to the closure of the bridge. One was president Franklin D. Roosevelt.
2 The 50th Anniversary Of The Bridge Was Disastrous
The Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sunday, May 1987. On this particular day, the officials had anticipated hosting approximately 50,000 people. Shockingly, about 800,000 turned up at the bridge. The weight of those people overwhelmed the bridge causing the arch to flatten out. Fortunately, the bridge was built to move 15 feet vertically and sway 27 feet sideways.
1 Over One Billion People Have Used The Golden Gate Bridge
This beautiful bridge is actively used. And it’s not surprising that more than one billion people have used the bridge. In fact, the billionth user used it in February 1985. The user was recorded and even awarded a hard hat and an entire case of champagne to commemorate the occasion. Today, more than 112,000 vehicles use the bridge every day.