of the world's most beautiful bridges, the Golden Gate Bridge is
an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco. Over 45 million
vehicles cross the bridge annually! Our Golden Gate webcam captures
this beautiful scene from our offices in Pacific Heights and refreshes
every 3 minutes during the day between 5:30 a.m. and Sunset. This
is not the official Golden Gate Bridge Web Site Please follow this
link for The Official Golden Gate Bridge site official
GOLDEN GATE FACTS
Structure and Construction
The Golden Gate required the tallest towers, the longest, thickest
cables, and the largest underwater foundation piers ever built.
The foundation piers had to be sunk in the violent, pounding waters
of the open sea, something that was thought to be impossible. (San
Franciscans love a challenge!) Today, the resulting bridge has clear
span of 4600 feet, or about nine-tenths of a mile, providing a connection
between San Francisco and the surrounding Northern Counties. The
suspended towers reach 746 ft. upward and the channel clearance
below is 220 ft. The roadway is supported by 36.5" diameter cables.
The original chief engineer, Joseph B. Strauss, designed a rather
unsightly cantilever and suspension structure in 1916. Though attempt
were made to refine the design, it wasn't until Consulting Architects
Irving F. Morrow and his wife Gertrude C. Morrow stepped in that
the current look and design were imagined and implemented. The bridge
opened for traffic 1937.
Not everybody saw the value of building the Golden Gate Bridge.
Yet, even during a time of unemployment and bread lines, support
from the Bay Area counties was gained for a $35,000,000 construction
bond issue. Gaining this support took nearly four times as long
as the actual construction of the bridge. Over the years, corporate,
private, and city monies have all played a role in maintaining the
The bridge is a lovely shade of "International Orange," or orange
vermilion, not really gold. It was selected for the way it blends
with the natural elements surrounding it. Bridge lore tells that
the U.S. Navy wanted to paint it black with yellow stripes to be
sure it was seen by passing ships!
Consulting Architect Morrow understood that uniform illumination
would cast an artificial light on the elegant lines of the bridge.
So, the bridge has less light at the top than the bottom, creating
the illusion that the bridge soars upward and becomes one with the
clouds (or fog). Though the original low pressure roadway lights
were replaced with high pressure sodium vapor lamps in 1982, an
original lamp can still be seen behind the Roundhous Gift Center
just east of the Toll Plaza.
The original horns were two-toned warnings to ships, as well as
residents, of fog conditions. In 1985, these unique horns sounded
their last. Replacement parts were no longer available so single-toned
horns, all differing in frequency from one another, were installed.
Each horn has a distinctive pitch to communicate a different message.
Vessel operators heading into the Bay steer left of the south pier
horn and right of the mid-span horn. Outbound vessels stay to the
right of the mid-span horn. The fog horns operate roughly two and
a half hours a day. In March, one of San Francisco's clearest months,
you'll hear them less, but from July through October, you can expect
to hear them as much as five hours a day.
Bridge tolls began at the modest sum of $0.50 each way, with a five
cent charge for more than 3 passengers. In 1950, the fare dropped
to $0.40 and by 1955, it was $0.25 each way! But in 1968, a southbound
toll of $0.50 was instituted, with the northbound trip free of charge.
Today, that southbound trip is $3.00.
If you want more
information visit official
web site for the internationally recognized Golden Gate Bridge.
There is a wealth of information about this modern wonder of the
world available here.
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Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. All Rights
Reserved - Used with Permission.