The Golden Gate Bridge: Celebrating 75 Years as a California Icon

golden-gate-bridge-2-1024x768Celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend, the Golden Gate Bridge is the iconic symbol of San Francisco and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful structures in the world. Linking the city of San Francisco with Marin County to the north, the bridge spans 4600 feet (nearly nine-tenths of a mile) over the Golden Gate Strait, the opening from the Pacific Ocean to the San Francisco Bay. When it opened in 1937, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. Currently it’s the ninth longest, and the second longest in the U.S. (behind the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York.)

This photo was taken from the Marin Headlands on the north side of the world famous bridge. Every time I visit the “City by the Bay,” I can’t resist a drive across this beautiful engineering marvel.

Check out this link for information about the 75th anniversary festivities!

Here are some fun facts from the official Golden Gate Bridge website:

  • The bridge opened to traffic 1937.
  • Over 45 million vehicles cross the bridge annually.
  • The towers reach 746 feet above the bridge and the clearance to the water below is 220 feet.
  • The bridge is painted “orange vermillion” also known as “international orange.” It was chosen because of the way it contrasts with the natural surroundings.
  • It took just over four years to construct the bridge (from 1933 to 1937.)
  • Eleven men died during the construction of the bridge. Ten of them when a section of scaffolding collapsed and they fell through the safety net.
  • There are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower.
  • The cables supporting the roadway are 36.5″ in diameter.
  • As of April 2011, 1,929,896,448 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The bridge has closed three times for inclement weather and twice when visiting dignitaries came to town – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle.

 

Here are some additional photos I took on my most recent trip to San Francisco:

Have you driven across the Golden Gate Bridge before? Have you walked or biked across? Feel free to share your impressions below!

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