ArchitectureStudent Guide

10 Interesting Facts About The Golden Gate Bridge

We Building Solution Magazine strives to make our website informational for all age group – Today, we are sharing some in-depth yet interesting facts about the golden gate bridge!

What’s Inside The Article?

The Golden Gate Bridge has become an international symbol of not only the city of San Francisco, but of the entire state of California. Each year, millions of visitors come to the bridge just to see the amazing structure. Please stick to the article as you’ll be benefited with the most amazing yet interesting facts about the golden gate bridge.

History & Interesting Facts About The Golden Gate Bridge

The massive suspension bridge stands 220 feet from the water, and is used by more than 40 million drivers and passengers every year. The center span was the longest among suspension bridges until 1964 when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built in New York City.

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The Golden Gate Bridge also had the world’s tallest suspension towers at the time of construction, and kept that record until recently. In 1957, Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge surpassed the Golden Gate Bridge’s length to become the world’s longest two-tower suspension bridge in total length between anchorages.

Since the bridge opened to traffic in 1937, there have been approximately 2.6 billion people to cross over the 1.7 mile long span. The speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge was reduced to 45 mph (72 km/h) from 55 mph (89 km/h) in October of 1983.

What are some interesting facts about the golden gate bridge?

How Long Is the Golden Gate Bridge?

The Golden Gate Bridge is truly a technological and engineering marvel. The massive suspension bridge stands 220 feet from the water, and is used by more than 40 million drivers and passengers every year.

Why Is the Golden Gate Bridge Orange?

The Golden Gate Bridge is, and has always been, painted orange vermilion, or better known as “International Orange.” Consulting Architect Irving Morrow chose the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the areas natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the colors of the land masses, and distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides better visibility for passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the bridge would have been painted in black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.

Why Was The Golden Gate Bridge Built?

Before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, the only practical short route between San Francisco and what is now Marin County was by boat across a section of San Francisco Bay. Ferry service started around 1820, with regularly scheduled service beginning in the 1840s primarily for the reason of transporting water to San Francisco.

Many people wanted to build a bridge that would connect San Francisco to Marin County, because San Francisco was the largest American city still served primarily by ferry boats. Many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft. strait. The water had strong, swirling tides and currents, and frequent strong winds, with the strait being 500 ft. deep at the center of the channe.

When Was Golden Gate Bridge Built?

The dream of building a bridge across the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic. Construction began on January 5, 1933 and the Bridge was open to motor traffic on May 28, 1937 and the pedestrian Day was held the day before, on May 27, 1937.

What Materials Used In Its Construction?

The fabricated steel used in constructing the Golden Gate Bridge was made by Bethlehem Steel in plants in Trenton, New Jersey and Sparrows Point, Maryland and also in plants in three Pennsylvania towns: Bethlehem, Pottstown, and Steelton.

The steel was loaded, in sections, into rail cars, taken to Philadelphia and shipped through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, California. The shipment of the steel was made to be in time with the construction of the bridge.

How many People worked In Its Construction?

The exact number of people who worked on the construction of the bridge is not known, because it was built by 10 different prime contracting companies and their subcontractors. These contractors are no longer in business and employment records were not kept.

Why It Is Called Golden Gate Bridge?

It is generally accepted that the strait over which the Golden Gate Bridge spans, was named “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, and topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846.  It reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn. This is why we get the name “Golden Gate Bridge.”

How Many People Died in Its Construction?

In total, eleven men died during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Until February 17, 1937, there had been only one fatality, setting a new all-time record in a field where one man killed for every million dollars spent had been the norm.

On February 17, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffold carrying twelve men fell through the safety net. Those men who gave their lives were: on October 21, 1936:   Kermit Moore, and on February 17, 1937: O.A. Anderson; Chris Anderson; William Bass; O. Desper; Fred Dümmatzen; Terence Hallinan; Eldridge Hillen; Charles Lindros; Jack Norman; and Louis Russell.

How Many Time The Bridge has Closed?

Till 2010, the Golden Gate Bridge has been closed due to weather conditions only three times in its history: On December 1, 1951, the Bridge was closed for three hours as gusting winds reached 69 miles per hour.  On December 23, 1982, high winds of up to 70 miles per hour closed the Bridge for almost two hours. The Bridge easily withstood the gusts. On December 3, 1983, once again high winds closed the Bridge for the longest period in its history, 3 hours and 27 minutes.  Wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour, but again the Bridge suffered no structural damage.

The bridge was closed very briefly on two separate occasions for visiting dignitaries President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Charles de Gaulle of France. It has also been closed briefly in the middle of the night for construction activities.

Interesting Golden Gate Bridge Facts For Kids

The median markers between the lanes on the bridge are moveable to conform to traffic patterns. On weekday mornings, traffic flows mostly southbound into the city, so four of the six lanes run southbound. Likewise, on weekday afternoons, four lanes run northbound. The eastern walkway is for pedestrians and bicycles during the weekdays and during daylight hours only, and the western walkway is open to bicyclists on weekday afternoons, weekends, and holidays.


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