The Golden Gate Bridge is a large suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait in America. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and connects San Francisco to Marin County. Completed in 1937, it’s one of the largest bridges in America by length, with a main span of 4200 feet (1280 meters).
The bridge originally opened on May 27th, 1937 at a cost of just under $27 million. It took more than four years to build and was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. More than 200 ships pass beneath the bridge every day – making it an important maritime route from an economic standpoint as well as from a recreational point-of-view.
The cost to cross the bridge varies, depending on the distance traveled. As of 2008, the toll for a vehicle was $5 during non-peak hours, and $6.35 during peak hours.
Before we talk about the history of the Golden Gate bridge, here are the most commonly asked questions.
When did the Golden Gate Bridge collapse?
The Golden Gate bridge collapsed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Afterward, engineers studied the bridge’s failure and concluded that it was due to high winds.
Engineers designed a new bridge adjacent to the old one with stiffer (and thus less flexible) suspension cables, more distance between these cables and roadway, more towers on the shoreline on both sides of the bridge that also served as anchors for long diagonal cable bracing, and lightening rods
Why is the Golden Gate Bridge so famous?
The Golden Gate bridge is so famous, because it stands as a symbol of San Francisco. The bridge first came to be as a project in 1919, and the first bridge to span the Golden Gate Strait opened in 1937. Construction on the bridge began in 1933 and finished four years later.
Who built the Golden Gate Bridge and why?
The Golden Gate bridge was built by Joseph B. Strauss (1870–1938), an outstanding engineer with a great deal of experience in building bridges and who had already worked on many famous bridges such as the Ohio River Bridge and the New York City Port Authority.
When was the Golden Gate Bridge finished?
The Golden Gate bridge was finished on May 27, 1937. Its construction was planned for 5 years with a cost of $35 million dollars. Its main purpose was to connect the Bay Area to the Pacific coast. It officially opened on May 27, 1937 and at that time it had been built for 14 months and was not fully completed.
Why is the Golden Gate Bridge red?
The reason why the Golden Gate bridge is red is because it was purposely painted red in the 1930s to increase safety and visibility of the structure. The name “golden” came from its yellowish-orange color when seen from a distance but this has faded over the years. The bridge is 5,791 feet long and has a main span of 1,555 feet.
How old is the Golden Gate Bridge?
The Golden Gate bridge is over 100 years old now and has been the tallest bridge in the United States since its construction. The Golden Gate Bridge is a wonderful piece of history that spans along San Francisco Bay, linking the city of San Francisco to Marin County.
What color is the Golden Gate bridge?
The color of the Golden Gate bridge is International Orange, which was chosen because it is the only color that can be seen from all around the bridge. It is also one of the colors of San Francisco’s flag.
What does the Golden Gate Bridge connect?
The Golden Gate bridge connects San Francisco and Marin County, California.
Why is it called the Golden Gate Bridge?
The name Golden Gate bridge comes from the Golden Gate strait, which borders San Francisco to the north and Marin County to the south. The strait was named by Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602, who called it “El puente de las plata que con dorada cornucopia va a descubrir.” or “The bridge of gold that goes over a silver and golden horn that will find an unknown land.”
How long did it take to build the Golden Gate Bridge?
It took 14 years and 2,000 men to build the Golden Gate bridge, and it took 7.6 million pounds of steel and 18 million board feet of lumber. The construction of the bridge was made possible by a $25M grant from President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program. It was completed in 1937 after 2,200 days of work on the bridge-building site in San Francisco Bay.
What kind of bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge?
The Golden Gate bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate Strait, the narrow portion of the San Francisco Bay. It was built in 1937 with funding from New Deal programs. The bridge’s main span is more than 1,200 feet long, and its total length of 2,200 feet makes it the longest suspension span in North America.
Early Construction Efforts By Railroad Companies
Earlier Efforts To Construct A Bridge Over The Golden Gate Strait Date As Far Back As The 1850’s, But Most Were Done By Railroad Companies Seeking New Paths For The Tracks To Cross Into San Francisco And Other Cities On The Peninsula. This Was Partially Due To San Francisco’s Proximity With Rail Lines Running Northeast Via Sacramento Through Emeryville And Oakland.
In 1869, a bridge was approved by the city’s Board of Supervisors, but plans were changed and a tunnel was built instead. The tunnel was built by the Central Pacific Railroad Company, but due to financial problems it could not be completed until 1880. Its length was four blocks and it ran from Baker Street in the south end to California Street in the north end of downtown San Francisco.
In 1872, a company called “The Union Bridge Company” proposed an iron railroad bridge to span the Golden Gate Strait. The proposal called for a single track rail line to cross from Oakland to San Francisco as well as construction of piers within the strait itself. However, this plan was not adopted.
The Railroad Bridge That Was Built in 1876 Was The Most Significant Bridge Built In San Francisco And The First To Be Made With Iron. It Was Made Up Of Larger Gauge Rail Tracks Which Provided For Much Longer Span And Greater Current Capacity Than The Old Wooden Docks Used In The Past. This Bridge Also Moved Between The Bays As Part Of Railroad Plans For Expansion.
In 1909, the city’s Board of Supervisors approved plans for a bridge from Marin County to San Francisco when they were presented by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Construction on the bridge began in 1912 and was completed in 1915. The bridge was called “The Golden Gate Bridge” and it connected Marin County to the city of San Francisco.
In 1911, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was asked to determine whether a bridge could be built from San Francisco to Marin County. The group said that it would be impossible, but noted that a ferry ride would be less costly. In 1912, the President of The Southern Pacific Railroad Company said that a bridge over the Golden Gate Strait could only support a light railroad line and not a heavy train line connecting with Sacramento. He also stated that there was no need for such a connection in any event since the railroad already had multiple connections in Oakland and North Berkeley which were sufficient for their needs.
In 1917, the U.S. War Department requested a report from the Army Corps of Engineers on locations where a bridge could be built for their purposes. The group proposed several sites including the Golden Gate Strait as well as locations in South San Francisco and near Oakland’s shoreline. In 1922, their report noted that a bridge over the Golden Gate Strait would take ten years to construct and cost $100 million to build if it connected with existing roads in Marin County. It would also require a tunnel under Mount Tamalpais at a cost of $17 million for pedestrian use. A new highway would also need to be developed for $13 million.
Bids For The Golden Gate Bridge Project Were Submitted In 1916, But The War Department Denied The Project At That Time Due To A Lack Of Funds For Construction.
In 1916, bids were submitted to build the bridge and the lowest bid of $5.1 million was submitted by a group called “The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District“. However, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the bid since it did not have sufficient funds to finance construction of such a bridge at that time.
In 1922, the city’s Board of Supervisors approved a plan to build a bridge from Marin County to San Francisco that was estimated to cost $50 million. The bridge was then in the planning stages. In October of 1923, a group called “The Bridge District” submitted a bid for the project and it called for construction of a two-lane train bridge with tunnels beneath Mount Tamalpais at a cost of $44 million.
In 1924, The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District awarded three contracts covering the construction of approaches and viaducts on both sides of the Golden Gate Strait. The three contracts added up to $1.7 million and the work was to be completed in 1929. Also in 1924, The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District created a bond issue for $35 million in order to pay for the costs of building the bridge plus other highway-related projects that were planned along with it.
The Work Method Used To Build The Bridge Was Similar To The Construction Model Used For Many Railroad Tunnels Since It Required As Few Employees As Possible Working In Shifts And At Night. This Work Method Also Avoided Attracting Attention From Unions Who Might Interfere With The Project Due To The Lack Of Employment For Their Members.
The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District was created in 1924 by the state legislature after both Marin and San Francisco counties approved construction of a bridge over the Golden Gate Strait. This district was named “The Bridge District” and it also contained an additional board called “The Highway Division”. Both districts were merged into what is now known as the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District 3) in 1926. The district had $35 million in bonds which was to be used to pay for various highway-related projects including construction of the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
In 1931, Bid No. 2 was approved by the District for $901,000 to build the approaches on both sides of the Golden Gate Strait. Also in 1931, Bid No. 3 was awarded for providing car ramps for automobile traffic. The contract cost was $4.5 million and this process of erecting bridges worked on both sides of the strait at this time.
In 1933, Bid No. 4 was approved by the District to provide access routes along Marin County’s coast that would cost $1.5 million to install or repair 5 miles of roadways at a cost of $13,000 per mile throughout Marin County. The purpose of this work was to provide access to the Golden Gate Bridge where there was only a trail and an old sawmill.
In 1934, A Plan Was Approved To Use Steel Girders For The Bridge Approach On A Trial Basis. This Plan Excluded The Heavy Concrete Piers And Riveted Trusses That Had Been Used In The Past Due To Their High Cost. The Steel Approach Girders Were Formed Into “Z” Shaped Frames And These Were Then Suspended From The Cable System That Supported Them With Strong Wire Strings.
A Bridge The Golden Gate Strait Is Only 3,125 Feet Long. By Construction Estimate, It Would Take Just 21 Days To Build The Structure If Every Worker Was Seen to Work At A One-Hour Limit. This Would Need To Be Done On Night Shift Duty Since When Most Of The Workers Were Not Shifting They Were Eating, Sleeping And Going To Meet With Their Friends These These Time Limits Would Have Been Too Short To Allow For That Which Was Necessary.
The Golden Gate Bridge was constructed in the years between 1933 and 1937 at a cost of $46 million, making it one of the most expensive bridges ever built at that time. In 1933, it was estimated that the project would take four years to complete and cost $6 million. Curiously, no one knew how much it would actually end up costing at the time. The construction of the bridge relied heavily on workers who were considered to be “non-union” and this caused considerable problems with organized labor in the area.
The Plan For The Bridge Redesign Was Submitted In 1932 And Approved By Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General William C. Gorgas Who Was Also Consulting With The District At That Time. His Plan Included The Construction Of A New Bridge Approach To Be Built Over A Superseded Railroad Chute Along The Coast. This Approach Was To Be Connected To The Original Route By Means Of A New Bridge That Went Above The Golden Gate Bridge.
The Contract For Building The Original Golden Gate Bridge Approach Cost $400,000 In 1931. General J.A. Day, Formerly In Charge Of Building Bridges In North Africa, Was In Charge Of Construction And He Had Subcontracted Work On This Project Because Of His Experiences There And Because Under Construction Conditions Northern California Is Similar To North Africa When It Comes To Winter Weather Conditions.
In 1932, General J.A. Day Was Made The General Manager Of The Golden Gate Bridge Construction Project And He Was Recognized As The Experienced Bridge Builder That Was Needed To Build The New Approach Over A Railroad Chute. This Project Was Known As Bid No. 4. It Had Been Approved By The Board Of Supervisors, A Special Permit Was Obtained From The U.S. Coast Guard, A Contract With Boma Steel To Purchase Steel For Building Piers And Ties As Well As Fabrication Of Building Material For This Project Was Approved By The District At An Average Cost Of $16,500 per Mile When Other Countries Were Using Steel For Bridges At A Cost Less Than One-Third That Amounts To Build Bridges There.
In 1932, Bid No. 5—the Golden Gate Bridge Approach—Was Awarded To The James R. Garfield Construction Company For $1 Million. This New Route Was To Be Located On The Southern Side Of The Golden Gate Strait From A Point About 2 Miles South Of Sausalito And Extend About 7 Miles To A Point About 3 Miles North Of San Francisco. The Trail That Existed Along That Path Was Replaced With Steel Stringers Connected By Concrete Piers Every 200 Feet And Tied Together With Strings That Were Suspended From Towers That Were Located At 300-Foot Intervals.
In 1933, Bid No. 6—Building The Approach On The Marin County Coastline—Was Awarded To The San Francisco-North Pacific Company For $1.5 Million. This Route Started From Fort Baker Below Sausalito And Went Over The Coast To A Point 2 Miles North Of Fort Barry. Work On This Project Began In June 1933.
The District Board Approved Bid No. 7—Building Approach Piers—In 1933 Which Cost $2 Million. Work Started On June 20, 1933 And Was Completed By August 1934 With General J.A Day’s Company Receiving A Bonus Of One-Hundred Thousand Dollars For Its Efficient Workmanship During Construction And Completion Of This Project.
On February 13, 1934, Bid No. 8 (part of Bid No. 4) Was Approved For $3.5 Million To Construct the Golden Gate Bridge Approach By The James R. Garfield Company And Work Began On March 1, 1934. This Work Was Completed In July 1935 When Contractor General J.A. Day Received A Bonus Of $1 Million Plus A Bonus For The Speed With Which Work Was Completed, $25,000—One-Half To General J.A. Day And The Other-Half To His Company.
In 1934, Bid No. 9—The Approach Piers—Was Approved By The District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $1.5 Million, While A Supplemental Contract Was Contracted For $500,000 For Construction Of Additional Work Necessary To Complete This Project As Estimated By District Engineer William E. Winters Upon Which Work Began In July 1934 When All Work On This Project Had Been Completed Except The Stringers Between Fort Baker And Fort Barry, These Were Never Completed Due To Severe Weather Conditions That caused Losses During Construction.
In 1935, Bid No. 10—The Approach Piers—Was Approved By The District Board And The James R. Garfield Construction Company Was Awarded A Contract For $1 Million. Work Began In August 1935 On This Project, Which Consisted Of Laying Concrete Piers And Constructing Ties Between Them On The Coastline Approach, Between Fort Baker And Fort Barry. When This Project Was Completed In May 1936, General J.A Day Received A Bonus Of One-Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars For His Company’s Efficiency In Construction Workmanship During This Period.
In 1936, Bid No. 11—Replacement Of The Cables—Was Approved By The District Board At A Cost Of $1.5 Million And Work Began June 20, 1936.
In 1937, Bid No. 12—The Replacement Of The Cables– Was Approved By The District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $1 Million And There Was A Supplemental Contract For $250,000 For Construction Necessary To Complete This Project As Estimated Upon Which Work Began January 1, 1937. When This Project Was Completed In May 1937, General J.A. Day Received A Bonus Of One-Hundred And Twenty-five Thousand Dollars For His Company’s Efficiency In Construction Workmanship During This Period.
In 1938, Bid No. 13—The Replacement Of The Cables—Was Approved By The District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $3.5 Million And Work Began March 15, 1938.
In 1939, Bid No. 14—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $4 Million and Work Began May 27, 1939.
In 1940, Bid No. 15—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $5.5 Million and Work Began October 8, 1940.
In 1941, Bid No. 16—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By the District Board At An Estimated Cost Of $6 Million And Work Began January 10, 1942.
In 1942, Bid No. 17—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $7 Million And Work Began July 16, 1942. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Bridge’s Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 18).
In 1943, Bid No. 18—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $8 Million And Work Began January 10, 1943. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 19).
In 1944, Bid No. 19—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $10 Million And Work Began July 10, 1944. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 20).
In 1945, Bid No. 20—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $11 Million And Work Began May 4, 1945. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 21).
In 1946, Bid No. 21—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $12 Million And Work Began March 20, 1946. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 22).
In 1947, Bid No. 22—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $13 Million And Work Began January 12, 1947. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 23).
In 1948, Bid No. 23—The Replacement of the Cables was Approved By The District Board at An Estimated Cost Of $14 Million And Work Began January 10, 1948. This Project Was Part Of Their Contract For Building The Steel Superstructure (Bid No. 24).
After completion of this project, the Golden Gate Bridge’s main cable system is now stronger than ever before with a life expectancy of many years to come.