Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Golden Gate Bridge - Construction Of The Wonder (USA)

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. 

It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world". 

It opened in 1937 and  until 1964 had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,280 m).

Before the 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 began as early as 1820, with regularly scheduled service beginning in the 1840s for purposes of transporting water to San Francisco.

Construction began on January 5, 1933. The project cost more than $35 million, completing ahead of schedule (by April 1937) and $1.3 million under budget. The Golden Gate Bridge construction project was carried out by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Joseph Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project.

Irving Morrow designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme, and Art Deco elements such as the tower decorations, streetlights, railing, and walkways. 

Senior engineer Charles Alton Ellis was the principal engineer of the project.
Ellis was also tasked with designing a "bridge within a bridge" in the southern abutment, to avoid the need to demolish Fort Point, a pre-Civil War masonry fortification. 
He penned a graceful steel arch spanning the fort and carrying the roadway to the bridge's southern anchorage.
In May 2007, the Golden Gate Bridge District decided to give Ellis major credit for the design of the bridge.

The famous International Orange color was originally used as a sealant for the bridge. The US Navy had wanted it to be painted with black and yellow stripes to ensure visibility by passing ships. 

The bridge-opening celebration began on May 27, 1937 and lasted for one week. 

The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed by foot and roller skates. 

On opening day, Mayor Angelo Rossiand other officials rode the ferry to Marin, then crossed the bridge in a motorcade past three ceremonial "barriers", the last a blockade of beauty queens who required Joseph Strauss to present the bridge to the Highway District before allowing him to pass. 

An official song, "There's a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate", was chosen to commemorate the event. Strauss wrote a poem that is now on the Golden Gate Bridge entitled "The Mighty Task is Done." 

The next day, President Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, D.C. signaling the official start of vehicle traffic over the Bridge at noon.

For more information and guidelines visit The Golden Gate Bridge official website.
Information credit: Wikipedia. Old pictures credit: ILTWMT website.
The rest of the bridge pictures taken by me.

xo K

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