The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects two famous cities San Francisco and Marin County in California. This is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco, California which length is about 2.7 km.
It was firstly proposed by engineer Joseph Strauss in 1917, starts in 1933 and opened to the public in 1937. As per the American society, it is one of the wonders of Civil Engineering.
So let’s find out more information about this amazing structure in this blog.
In this blog, You will find out –
- General introduction of Golden Gate Bridge
- The basic concept of this bridge
- Structural specification
- Materialistic specification
- Services of Golden Gate Bridge
- Issues facing while construction
- Awards & Records
- Visiting Golden Gate Bridge
General Introduction of Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is mostly known as the “most beautiful and most photographed, bridge in the world”. With the span of 1280 m it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its opening in 1937 and the total height of the bridge is 230 m. After the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City it has now the second-longest main span bridge in the U.S.
Golden Gate is a famous strait on the west coast of North America that connects San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. With the width of 90 m and six lanes this bridge crosses Golden Gate and connecting San Francisco and Marin County in California, U.S.
This Bridge is completely made with the steel by the designer Joseph Strauss, Charles Ellis, Leon Solomon Moisseiff and Irving Morrow. Its construction started on January 5, 1933 and completed on May 28, 1937.
Basic Concept of this Bridge
Before the bridge was built, the main transportation between San Francisco and Marin County is done by Ferry service from 1820. The Golden Gate Ferry company becomes the largest ferry operational in 1920. Although, San Francisco was the largest American city but due to the lack of a permanent link with communities around the bay its growth rate was still below the national average.
Many people wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco with Marin County for easy transportation but many experts said that wind and fogs would prevent the construction & operation.
The first proposal of designing a bridge was made in 1916 by former engineering student James Wilkins but due to the financial issue that was put on hold at that time.
After facing so many different opinions about bridges by other bodies, In 1928 California Legislature officially incorporate The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway district to design, construct and finance the Golden Gate Bridge.
The construction of the bridge begins on January 5, 1933 which was carried by the Mc Clintic-Marshall construction corporation.
The designer Joseph Strauss, who designed 89 KM long railroad bridges across the Bering Strait respond to San Francisco’s city engineer to build the bridge for $17 million.
Strauss’s initial drawings about the bridge are to a massive cantilever on each side of the strait, connected by a central suspension segment which was unacceptable from a visual standpoint. So, the final suspension design conceived by Leon Moisseiff, the engineer of Manhattan Bridge in New York City.
Irving Morrow designed the overall shape of the bridge tower, the lighting scheme, art-deco elements such as tower decorations, street lights railings, walkways etc. The famous “International Orange Colour“ of the bridge also selected by Morrow.
Principal engineer of project Charles Alton Ellis with the collaboration of Leon Solomon Moisseiff design the basic structural design. Moisseiff “deflection theory” helped to design a thin, flexible roadway flex in the wind that greatly reducing stress by transmitting forces via suspension cable to bridge tower.
In 1953 and 1954, Engineers try to give more strength to bridge with lateral and diagonal bracing that connected the lower chord of two sides trusses. The bracing help to stiffened the bridge deck in torsion so that it would better resist the type of twisting.
- The suspended bridge has two central pillars that supported the whole structure.
- Height of the tower above water is 227 m and above the road is 152 m.
- Water depth below the tower is 34 m.
- The tower base dimension is 10 x 16 m which is fixed in concrete.
- It has six lanes roadway for vehicle traffic with the total width of 27.4 m.
- The weight of roadways is hung from 250 pairs of vertically suspended ropes which are attached to two main cables.
- Each cable made of 27,572 strands of wire.
- Total length of galvanized steel wire, used to fabricate both main cables, is estimated to be 1,30,000 KM.
- Diameter of cable including outer carton is 0.92 m.
- Length of the main cable is about 2332 m.
- Weight of the main cable, suspension cable, and accessories is 22,200 tones.
Structural Steel Quantities
The total steel used for the Main tower is 40,280 tones, for suspension structure is 27,772 tones, for anchorages is 3,991 tones and for approaches is 9,250 tones. Total of 75,293 tons of steel used in this structure.
- 29,7475 cubic meter of concrete used while the construction of this structure.
- Each bridge’s two towers have approximately 6,00,000 rivets.
- When the bridge is opened in 1937, the weight of the bridge is approx. 8,94,500 tones.
Services of Golden Gate Bridge
- The Golden Gate Bridge serves as the main transportation link between San Francisco and Marin County.
- It have six-lane roadways that carry about 1,12,000 vehicles per day.
- Bridge is also popular for pedestrians and bicyclists, for that walkways were built on both sides of six vehicle traffic lanes.
- More than 10 million people visit the Golden Great Bridge every year that means more than 27,000 visitors per day.
- There are a lot of people walking, riding, and photographing on this bridge.
- A visitor center and gift shop are located on the San Francisco side of the bridge. That was opened in 2012, at the time of the 75th anniversary celebration of this bridge.
- As a prominent American landmark the Golden Gate Bridge has been used in a variety of media.
- It has featured in many movies, documentaries, video games, and many more.
Issues Facing while Construction
Many were Opposed to its Construction
As per the transit expert, Rod Diridon told to NBC Bay Area that the Golden Gate Bridge in 1930 had 2300 lawsuits against it. One of those lawsuits was from the Southern Pacific Railroad, which owned 51 percent of the ferry company.
Ansel Adams and the Sierra Club were also opposed to the bridge because they felt that bridge will decrease the beauty of strait.
The first proposal for the bridge took place in 1916 which cost $100 million that is impractical for that time. Then Strauss presents the initial drawing of the bridge and promised that it could build in $17 million.
In 1928 California Legislature officially incorporate The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway district to design, construct and finance the Golden Gate Bridge. However due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 the district was unable to raise funds for this bridge.
An Earthquake before the Bridge was Finished
As per the Albert Frenchy Gales, a construction worker, “In June 1935 the earthquake hit and there were 12 or 13 guys on the top with no ways to go down. The whole structure sway towards the ocean then it sways back toward the bay.”
- The Golden Gate Bridge is the second most suicide site in the world after the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.
- After the compilation the bridge was closed three times (December 23, 1951; December 23, 1982; December 3, 1983) because of wind gusts of more than 69 mph.
Awards and Records
The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. But at now Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge which has a span of 6500 feet is the longest suspension bridge in the world. But still, it is the “most beautiful and most photographed, bridge in the world” on the planet.
Visiting Golden Gate Bridge
After getting so much information about this amazing structure everyone wants to get a tour of this. So, if you plan a trip to Nevada your trip is not completed without visiting this bridge.
Way to reach Golden Gate Bridge
You can reach the bridge by personal vehicle through U.S. highway 101 and by bus provided by public transport. If you are traveling through public transport San Francisco MUNI bus or city tour buses will drop you to the bridge from anywhere in the city. For a comfortable tour you can use San Francisco limousine.
View Point at the Bridge
Hyde street pier –It is nearby the Ghirardelli Square located at the Northern end of Hyde Street.
Marin Headlands –It is a very popular hiking area to reach there moves across the bridge and turn left into Marin Headlands. Here, you can see a different view of the bridge.
Ferry –Another way of viewing the bridge is ferry services. You can use a ferry or group boat.
Coit Tower and Pier 39 –From these both points you can only see the bridge in a clear atmosphere.
In conclusion, We can say that The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most marvels project in the history of civil engineering. It is not only famous for the connection of two famous cities but also for the its own international orange color and photography symbol.
It connects two famous cities San Francisco and Marin County in California.
It having the length of 2.7 kilo-meter.
Total 75293 tone of steel used in this bridge.
Principle engineer of this bridge is Charles Alton Ellis.
The bridge has six-lane roadways that carries about 1,12,000 vehicles per day.
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