website of the Golden Gate Bridge
Bridge - A brief history
Symphonies in Steel:
Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate
Gate Bridge - Yahoo Links
Showing Fancy Footwork - The seismic retrofitting of the
Golden Gate Bridge.
After years of arguing about whether San Francisco, California needed this bridge, which
the opposition said was impractical to build. It was left to the people of San
Francisco to vote on whether or not to built the new suspension bridge. On Nov. 4,
1930 the public voted for the project to go ahead, and on Jan. 5, 1933 construction
began. The main span of the bridge is an amazing 4200 feet, with distinctive
stepped-back towers that climb to 746 feet in the air.
The original design plans submitted by Chief Engineer Joseph B.
Strauss called for a hybrid cantilever and suspension structure across the Golden Gate.
This plan was generally regarded as unsightly, and some doubted that the design was worthy
of a bridge that was to have the world's longest span. After Strauss submitted his first
design, Consulting Engineer Leon S. Moisseiff theorized that a long span suspension bridge
could cross the Gate, in spite of the strong winds that pass through the corridor. A
suspension structure of this length had never been tried before. On May 28, 1938 the
Golden Gate Bridge opens to vehicular traffic at twelve o'clock noon when President
Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in the White House and announce the event to
the world. The Golden Gate Bridge opened ahead of schedule and under budget.