If you watched Charmed as a kid like me, then the Golden Gate Bridge is a core part of your memory. Inaugurated on May 27, 1937, it has been enthroned in the San Francisco landscape ever since. The bridge weighs about 811,500,000 kg and requires 520,000 m³ of concrete, 75,000 tons of steel, and… 600,000 rivets.
When visiting San Francisco, you can’t miss it: it spans the Golden Gate, a strait that separates San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. So without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the things everyone ought to know about the Gold Gate Bridge.
Why the bridge is orange?
The “international orange” color is the result of a protective anti-corrosion coating applied to the steel. This color was a nice contrast to the blue sea and sky, but it was meant to be a transitional color. Although the U.S. War Department would have liked to see it striped, the bridge remained red for a practical reason: since San Francisco’s weather conditions are far from optimal year-round, leaving the steel-colored bridge was likely to be disastrous in foggy weather, in terms of visibility.
Each year, 20,000 liters of paint are needed to maintain it.
Why the bridge is equipped with many phones?
For some, the Golden Gate Bridge is a stop on their journey; for others, it is a destination: they take the bridge and end up in the tunnel. The bridge remains one of the most “popular” places to commit suicide, with about 1,500 deaths since the first one in 1937 and about 30 per year. Measures are taken to avoid such disasters: crisis phones are placed everywhere and connect to specialized anti-suicide counselors who advise you to do something other than committing the irreparable.
Why we can congratulate the Chief Engineer?
The construction of the bridge is a great technical and human achievement: “only” 11 people died during the 4 years of work, and 10 people were killed on the same day when a platform collapsed. The reason? The rule was imposed by the Chief Engineer, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure the safety of his workers.
The Golden Gate Bridge site remains the first construction site where workers were required to wear hard hats. Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss also installed a safety net under the bridge, saving 19 lives. The feeling continued to flow between these men, who later formed the “Halfway to Hell” club.
Why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World?
The American Society of Civil Engineers decided to award the most extraordinary modern constructions of the 20th century. Like the Empire State Building and the Panama Canal, the Golden Gate Bridge was chosen because of the architectural and technical prowess required at the time of its construction.
When it was inaugurated in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, with 1,280 meters between its two towers and 1,970 meters long in all, with towers that rise up to 230 meters and about 128,750 km of cables- which, put in a row, would go around the Earth about 3 times.
Divers also had to venture blindly into the rough waters to prepare for the bridge’s construction, which took 4 years. This is one of those bridges that you can simp about because it is one of the marvels of our planet. On top of that, it is used in multiple shows and is a clear demarcation that said the show takes place in San Francisco.
What San Francisco would do without its bridge?
One wonders. It’s not about to happen; the bridge is regularly maintained and brought up to code to withstand the earthquakes that rock California. The bridge has resisted during Loma Prieta and has been equipped with elaborate earthquake protections to protect it from future tremors, even the famous Big One.
A true monument of the city, as of May 30, 2012, 1,970,331,117 cars had used it since its opening, it has only been closed 3 times due to adverse weather conditions, and more than 300,000 people flocked to it to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1987. No, we repeat, San Francisco is not about to cut off the Golden Gate Bridge.
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