Taking a step back with #usbridge #flashbackfriday
Each Friday we’d like to share a bit of history on the bridges around the world that have caught our attention, changed our landscapes, and brought our spaces together.
Golden Gate Bridge, California
We’re all familiar with that iconic “international orange” glow and proud towers that highlight the San Francisco bay, brought to you by the infamous Golden Gate Bridge. Labeled as one of the seven civil engineering wonders of the United States by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994, this bridge connects San Francisco (on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula) to Marin County.
Here are some not-so-common facts about one of the most photographed elements around:
- It was the longest suspension bridge in the world up until November 1964, when New York City opened its Verrazano–Narrows Bridge.
- It was built to move people and products in and out of San Francisco faster than the ferry system – which was the only practical means of transportation between the two areas at that time.
- The job of designing the bridge went to a Chicago-based engineer named Joseph Strauss, a drawbridge builder.
- Construction started on January 5, 1933, with the excavation of 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt to establish the bridge’s 12-story-tall anchorages.
- When the towers were completed in June 1935, the New Jersey-based John A. Roebling’s Sons Company was tapped to handle the on-site construction of the suspension cables. The Roebling engineers had mastered a technique in which individual steel wires were banded together in spools and carried across the length of the bridge on spinning wheels. Given a year to complete the task, they instead finished in just over six months, having spun more than 25,000 individual wires into each 7,650-foot cable.
- The navy was concerned about the visibility of the bridge in all conditions, and wanted to paint it in black and yellow stripes.
- The famous orange color is called “International Orange” and resists rust and fading.
- The bridge opened in May 27, 1937 to “Pedestrian Day”–some 200,000 bridge walkers marveled at the 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge.
- On May 28, 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic.
- It withstood the destructive Loma Pieta earthquake of 1989, and was closed to traffic only three times in its first 75 years due to weather conditions.
Check back to our blog every Friday and experience #flashbackfriday the #usbridge way!
*Fun facts brought to you by history.com