San Diego, CA
Golden Gate Bridge - Nothing Equals Its Majesty
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© Christine Till
The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937. The color of the bridge is International Orange, and was chosen in part because of its visibility in the fog.
Made in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania and shipped through the Panama Canal, 83,000 tons (75,293,000 kg) of steel were used to build the bridge. The two main cables passing over the tops of the two main towers are secured in concrete anchorages at each end. Each cable weighs 11,000 tons and is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the two main cables, and it took over six months to spin them. The amount of concrete used on the bridge would be sufficient to build two 10-foot-wide sidewalks from Chicago to Omaha.
The list of superlatives goes on and on.
One of the most interesting Golden Gate Bridge facts is that only eleven workers died during construction, a new safety record for the time. In the 1930s, bridge builders expected 1 fatality per $1 million in construction costs, and builders expected 35 people to die while building the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the bridge's safety innovations was a net suspended under the floor. This net saved the lives of 19 men during construction, and they are often called the members of the "Half Way to Hell Club."
On opening day in 1937 the San Francisco Chronicle refered to the Golden Gate Bridge as "A thirty-five million dollar steel harp!" The cost to construct a new Golden Gate Bridge would be approximately $1.2 billion in 2003 dollars.
September 2nd, 2012
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