Looking North toward MarinA few times a year we host students from France and one of the main activities is visiting San Francisco. Besides the shopping, they can’t wait to see the Golden Gate Bridge. And Why not? It still fascinates me. Recently I came across an article on the construction of the bridge what follows is a brief summary of several articles and a cool video on it’s 75th birthday.

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. Many experts said that a bridge could not be built across the 6,700 ft (1.26mi) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 372 ft deep at the center of the channel, and frequent strong winds. Experts said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent construction and operation.

Until 1964 the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (.8mi). Since 1964 its main span length


has been surpassed by ten bridges; it now has the second longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

Total length of the Golden Gate Bridge from abutment to abutment is 8,981 feet (1.7mi).

At 746 feet above water the Golden Gate Bridge had the world’s tallest suspension towers until 1998 when bridges in Denmark and Japan were completed.