The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous monuments in the United States and the most photographed suspension bridge in the world. It took four and a half years to build and is a modern engineering marvel. So, whether you are planning a visit or just want to learn more, here are some of the most interesting facts about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
7 Interesting Facts about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
1. It took four and a half years to build
Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge started on 5 January 1933. It lasted four and a half years. The bridge opened to pedestrians on 27 May 1937 and opened to vehicles on 28 May 1937.
2. It was the longest and tallest bridge in the world
When the bridge opened back in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world with a span of 4,200 feet (1,280 metres). It was also the tallest bridge in the world with a height of 746 feet (227 metres). One of the requirements from the navy was that a warship is able to pass under the bridge. So far, not one ship has failed to pass under. The distance from the water to the bridge is 220 feet (67.1 metres) at high tide.
3. The Golden Gate Bridge weighs 887,000 tons
The two main cables that string the bridge from one side to the other are around 3 feet thick. In all, 80,000 miles of wire were used in the Bridge’s two main cables. There are approximately 600,000 rivets in each of the bridge’s towers. The total weight of the bridge is 887,000 tons. Bethlehem Steel on the East Coast fabricated the steel for the Golden Gate Bridge and it was shipped to San Francisco via the Panama Canal.
4. It spans the Golden Gate Strait
The Golden Gate Bridge straddles the Golden Gate Strait. This is a narrow waterway that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. The bridge connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County in Northern California. The bridge is part of both U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 1.
5. The bridge is not golden
The bridge gets its name from the Golden Gate Strait. It is not golden in colour at all. The bridge’s colour is an orange vermilion called international orange. Consulting architect, Irving Morrow choose the red-hued shade as he thought it blended in well with the landscape and natural surroundings and it made the bridge easier to see in the thick fog that rolls into the San Francisco Bay Area.
6. The Golden Gate Bridge is a modern marvel
Even though it is no longer the longest bridge in the world, in 2011, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) included the Golden Gate Bridge in its list of Seven Wonders of the Modern World. This list represents seven modern engineering marvels. It was a remarkable build for its time considering the awful working conditions with the depth of water in the Golden Gate Strait, the strong currents, high winds and dense fog.
7. The Golden Gate Bridge carries over 40 million vehicles a year
The bridge has six lanes that are open to vehicle traffic and walkways on both sides of the bridge. On an average day, 112,000 vehicles cross the bridge. Each year the Golden Gate Bridge attracts more than 10 million visitors.