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Monday, December 25, 2023

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Monday, December 25, 2023


Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information
"Golden gate bridge"

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most amazing engineering structures located in the city of San Francisco, California, USA. This suspension bridge was built over the Golden Gate in 1937 and has since become a symbol of the state of California.

General information about Golden gate bridge:

Name: Golden Gate Bridge

Country: United States

Crosses: Golden Gate

LocationUnited States, San Francisco, California, Marin County

Type/Design/Architectural Style: Suspension bridge, Truss arch bridge, Truss causeways bridge

Designer/Architect: Joseph Strauss, Irving Morrow, and Charles Ellis

Material: Steel

Lenght of the bridge: 2,737.4 metres (8,981 ft ), about 2.7 km (1.7 mi)

Width of the bridge: 27.4 metres (90 ft)

Height: 227.4 metres (746 ft)

Clearnce Vertical: 4.3 metres(14 ft) at toll gates, higher truck loads possible

Span / Longest Span: 1,280.2 metres (4,200 ft)

 Clearnce Bellow: 67.1 metres (220 ft ) at Tide

Construction Begin: January 5, 1933

Construction End: April 19, 1937

Opened: May 27, 1937

Daily Traffic: 110,000

Connects: San Francisco Peninsula with Marin County

Maintained by: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

Toll: Cars (southbound only) $6.00 (Cash), $5.00 (FasTrak), $3.00 (carpools during peak hours, FasTrak only)

Construction and history of the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information


I became interested in the history of the creation of this phenomenon and learned a lot of interesting things. So how was the Golden Gate Bridge built in San Francisco ? The construction took four years, and the process was constantly suspended due to the strongest oceanic winds and dense fogs, which completely absorbed visibility at arm's length. Many people took part in the project, but as a result of many disagreements, the names of only three designers have been immortalized in history, the most famous of whom is Joseph Strauss.

For many years San Francisco and Marin County were connected only by ferry services. Each car crossing took 17-20 minutes and cost $ 1. Over the years, the demand for them increased, and the capacity of the ferry company was not enough. The question of building a road bridge across the bay arose sharply. However, this idea seemed to many just crazy because of the powerful winds and currents in the bay, frequent fogs, active navigation and deep bedding of solid rocks.

Construction history of the Golden gate bridge:

In 1846, Captain John Fremont proclaimed California's independence from Mexico and named the mile-wide entrance to San Francisco Bay Chrysopylae, which means "golden gate" in Greek. After the discovery of gold in Northern California in 1849, the population of San Francisco began to grow rapidly. At the time, the only option to get from neighboring Marin County to San Francisco was a ferry across the bay, which stalled the city's development.

In 1869, the insane son of a London merchant, Joshua Norton, declared himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States, issuing decrees, among which was a call for the construction of bridges across the bay. In 1872, railroad chief and entrepreneur Charles Crocker announced to the Marin County Board of Directors that engineers had prepared plans and cost estimates for a suspension bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

Design engineer and editor of the Call Bulletin, James H. Wilkins, proposed a bridge design in 1916, but his ideas were interrupted by World War I. In late 1918, Richard Welch, a member of the San Francisco Supervisory Board, requested permission to conduct soundings in the bay. The following year, urban engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy began investigating the possibility of building a bridge.

Engineers from different cities argued that construction was either impossible or would require more than $ 100 million. However, in 1921, Chicago specialist Joseph B. Strauss developed a hybrid design with side spans of consoles and a suspension bridge between the ends of the two consoles and presented O'Shaughnessy with sketches and cost estimates for $ 27 million.

In the spring of 1924, San Francisco and Marin counties filed a joint application for a permit to build the bridge with the Federal War Office, the only authority that can authorize construction. For half a year, ministers doubted the rationality of the project. In December, engineers received a temporary permit to build the bridge.

Funding for the project began in December 1928, and the bridge's board of directors was established in January 1929. Despite the Great Depression that began in October, two ceremonies were held in December 1929 to commemorate the commencement of drilling to support the bridge's towers.

In the spring of 1930, engineer Charles Ellis performed dozens of calculations related to the design of the bridge. In the summer of that year, Strauss hired the architect Irving Morrow to design the bridge.

In August 1930, the War Department issued a final permit for the construction of a suspension bridge with a main span of 1280 meters, a vertical clearance of 67 meters in the middle of the span and a clearance of 64 meters on the sides.

In November of that year, voters from the six constituencies that include the Golden Gate Bridge agreed to a $35 million bond issue to support the bridge, using their homes, farms, vineyards and commercial real estate as collateral. These costs were fully paid off in July 1971 with a toll across the bridge. In February 1933, work began and a bridge-laying ceremony took place on the eastern access road through Presidio.

In August, a ship crashed into the flyover, the length of which has already reached 335 meters. By October 1933, five of the 22 wing sections of the San Francisco Tower had been completed, but three of them were destroyed by a Pacific storm. In November, construction began on the tower at the Marina, and work continued throughout the year. By the same time, the construction of the San Francisco Wing Wall was completed.

In June 1935, construction began on the tower in San Francisco, which was completed in six months. In August, the first cable was pulled between the towers to prepare for the construction of footpaths. In June 1936, construction began on the main suspension structure, and in July, the Fort Point Arch and the San Francisco access roads.

On September 11, 1936, the number of people participating in the construction of the bridge reached 1000 - a record since the beginning of construction. In October of the same year, the first person at a construction site died: Kermit Moore was crushed by a fallen tower. In November 1936, the two sections of the main span of the bridge were merged - construction teams from San Francisco and Marina met.

In February 1937, another tragedy occurred on the bridge: when the scaffolding was removed from the lower part of the roadway structure, 10 tons of timber fell onto the protective mesh, where there were 13 people. One managed to jump onto the beam, the rest fell into the water, 10 people died.

In April 1937, the roadbed was completed and the final riveting ceremony was held. On May 27, the bridge was opened for pedestrian traffic. On May 28, 1937, at 12 noon, President Franklin Roosevelt pressed the telegraph button in the White House to announce to the world that the Golden Gate Bridge would be open to traffic.

At the same moment, all the fire sirens sounded, all the church bells rang and all the ships in San Francisco and Marina sounded. Construction was completed on time and on budget.

Finally, after all the difficulties of production work, in 1937, on May 27 at 6 am, the bridge was opened to visitors. The height of the Golden Gate was 227 meters. All day, people could freely move along the roadway as pedestrians, and only the next day it became available for car traffic.

Features of the architecture

Despite the fact that Strauss was in charge of the construction of the Golden Gate, in fact, the main design and mathematical calculations were carried out by Lev Moiseev, an immigrant from Riga, chief engineer of the Manhattan Bridge, and Charles Ellis. Due to a quarrel with Strauss, the names of the specialists are not inscribed on the plaque of the builders of the bridge on the south tower.

In the initial project of Joseph Strauss, the bridge was symmetrical cantilever-suspended and looked rather unsightly. As a result, the project of a simple suspension bridge with elegant lines, which was proposed by Lev Moiseev, was approved. Irving Morrow joined the design revision. Thanks to him, the bridge was built in the Art Deco style.

Once every two years, Golden Gate engineers inspect the entire bridge and decide what needs to be repainted. Then about 40 painters get to work, who first remove the old paint, and then apply a new one in four layers.

Morrow has simplified the railing to modest, uniform posts spaced far enough apart for drivers to enjoy the beauty of their surroundings. The light pillars have taken on a curved shape.

The architect added wide vertical ribbing to the horizontal sections of the towers so that sunlight reflected more brightly from the structure. The rectangular openings in the towers are reduced from bottom to top, further emphasizing the height of the towers. It is this Art Deco form that is admired all over the world.

Initially, the steel for the bridge was coated with a red lead primer. Morrow was inspired by these colors, conducted research and identified a unique color for the bridge - International Orange, which blends perfectly with the neighboring hills, contrasted with the sky and ocean and stood out in the fog.

Why is the bridge red? In fact, it is not formally red, but the color of cinnabar orange, which is called International Orange. One of the architects thought that this way the bridge would be better visible in the fog and generally fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape. Well, you can't argue!

How the Golden Gate Bridge was built:

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridge in the world. Its construction was started by Joseph Strouss in January 1933. The bridge was named after the strait of the same name that separates San Francisco and Marin County. Until 1964, the Golden Gate Bridge was considered the largest suspension bridge in the world. Its length is 2737 meters, the height of the supports is 227 meters, and the height of the roadway above the water is 67 meters.

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

• The construction of the bridge began with the construction of pylons
Bridge pylons

• Then the pillars were erected. The workers faced many difficulties while drilling the piles for the supports. They were greatly disturbed by the waves, because work was carried out from barges.

• Then cables were run between the towers, which would then be tied together. These cables will hold the roadway

• Then they began to attach the cables for the roadway to the main cables. They were connected to the spans of the future road.

• When all the spans were connected together, the only thing left was to apply a road surface, fences. And here are the first cars passing on the new bridge on May 28, 1937.

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

And this is how the bridge looks today

interesting facts about the golden gate bridge:

• The Golden Gate Bridge, with a main span of 1,280 meters, was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening in 1937 until 1964, when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built in New York, connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island.

• The bridge is one of the most popular suicide destinations in the world. Approximately every two weeks someone here says goodbye to life. In 1995, they stopped officially counting the dead, when their number exceeded 1000 people from the moment of construction. According to unofficial data, there are already 1,700 of them. In February 1960, the bridge began to be closed to pedestrians between sunset and sunrise. In 2018, they began to install an anti-suicide net.

• The 25 April Lisbon Bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate because of its color and design. However, the first was built by the American Bridge Company, the company that built another American bridge - the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco and Oakland, which opened six months before the Golden Gate Bridge.

• On foggy days on the bridge, special pipes are manually turned on, which emit a sound of 165 decibels, it can be heard from 10 kilometers. This is a reassurance so that the ships will surely see the bridge.

In February 1976, the bridge appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine against the backdrop of five popular San Francisco rockers at the time.

In September 1984, a British production company was allowed to film the scene for a new James Bond film on one of the main cables of the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most spectacular scenes is the battle between Bond and his enemy on the north tower of the bridge.

• In November 1996, actor Woody Harrelson and eight other protesters were arrested for climbing the main cable and south tower of the bridge to protest the clearing of ancient red forests in Humboldt County.

In September 2014, two black deer fled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to Marin County. Vehicles were stopped in both directions to keep the animals safe.

•  On January 11, 2015, traffic on the bridge was blocked for 45.5 hours to install a mobile median strip in order to reduce the number of accidents. This was the longest closure in the history of the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

How to get there:

The administration of the Golden gate bridge strongly recommended getting to the Attraction by public transport, bicycle or on foot.


It is better to book a car for traveling in the USA at the best price on

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

The Golden gate bridge is located in presidio park and can be easily reached by bus or car. The most convenient way to reach the bridge is either from the Marin side in the east or from Baker beach on the westside of the bridge. Both route's pass through the park, a particularly convenient route along the Eastern route is very popular. Get to the bridge by bus number 28, 29 (boarding at the Golden gate bridge toll plaza).

• There is still an opportunity to pay in cash. Details available here.

Golden Gate Bridge | Construction, history, facts and information

San Francisco, 1405-1487 Golden gate bridge, Mill Valley, CA 94941.

Bus fares:

The bus fare depends on the length of the route and the areas crossed. If you go from San Francisco to the southern end of the bridge - $4.5, to the north - $7. This is when paying in cash to the bus driver. The fare is valid for adults from 19 to 64 years old, children up to four years old travel for free, the rest - for half the cost. Up to 20% discount on adult travel can be claimed with the Clipper Card .

Golden gate bridge parking:

Because there are only 37 places in the main parking lot near the information center, including six for buses and three for disabled people. 15 minutes in this parking lot costs $ 0.25. On weekends and holidays, additional parking is opened, leaving the car on which costs $5 per day.

At the northern end of the bridge, in the Marina, there is free parking with a limit of four hours. But besides her, there are only toilets. In addition to the information center and toilets, the southern one has a souvenir shop, a cafe and the most popular observation decks.

Address and opening hours:

Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California.

Official website:

📞      +1 415-921-5858

Opening hours: round the clock; before visiting, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the schedule of travel / passage on the east and west sides (latest information: in winter, the bridge is inaccessible to pedestrians from 18:30 to 5:00, and in summer - from 21:00 to 5:00); tourist pavilion - from 9:00 to 18:00.

Frequently Asked Questions

1: When was the Golden Gate Bridge built?

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5, 1933, and was completed on May 27, 1937.

2: How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?

The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge is approximately 8,981 feet (2,737 meters).

3: What is the height of the Golden Gate Bridge?

The height of the Golden Gate Bridge's towers is 746 feet (227 meters) above the water.

4: How many vehicles cross the Golden Gate Bridge daily?

On average, around 112,000 vehicles cross the Golden Gate Bridge each day.

5: Can pedestrians walk across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, pedestrians are allowed to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are designated pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge.

6: Is there a toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, there is a toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. However, the toll is only collected for southbound vehicles.

7: Are bicycles allowed on the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, bicycles are allowed on the Golden Gate Bridge. There are dedicated bicycle lanes for cyclists to safely cross the bridge.

8: Can you visit the Golden Gate Bridge at night?

Yes, the Golden Gate Bridge is open 24 hours a day, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty both during the day and at night.

9: Are there any guided tours of the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, there are several guided tours available that provide informative and engaging experiences, offering insights into the history and engineering of the bridge.

10: Are there any restrictions for drone flying near the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, there are strict regulations in place for flying drones near the Golden Gate Bridge. It is advised to check with the relevant authorities for the latest guidelines and restrictions.

11: Can you access the Golden Gate Bridge by public transportation?

Yes, the Golden Gate Bridge can be accessed by public transportation. There are bus services available that connect to the bridge from various parts of San Francisco.

12: Are there any parking facilities near the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, there are parking lots available near the Golden Gate Bridge. However, parking spaces can be limited, especially during peak tourist seasons. It is recommended to arrive early or consider using public transportation.

13: Are there any restrictions on photography at the Golden Gate Bridge?

Generally, photography is allowed at the Golden Gate Bridge for personal use. However, certain commercial photography or filming may require permits. It is best to check with the appropriate authorities for specific guidelines.

14: Can you walk from San Francisco to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, it is possible to walk from San Francisco to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge. The walk offers stunning views of the city and the bay.



The Golden Gate Bridge stands as an enduring symbol of human achievement and serves as a testament to the beauty of both engineering and natural landscapes. It continues to captivate the hearts and minds of people from around the world, drawing them to its magnificent presence in San Francisco.


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