The Golden Gate Bridge Celebrates 75 Years!

25 May

On May 27, 2012 the Golden Gate Bridge turns 75 years old! Back then, many people did not believe this bridge was even possible to build. Today, it is still referred to by many as the most spectacular bridge in the world.

This iconic bridge opened up in 1937 after four long years of construction. The San Francisco Chronicle referred to the bridge on its opening day as the 35 million dollar steel harp. In today’s dollars, it is estimated that it would cost more than a billion dollars to reproduce.

While the bridge itself is fascinating, the type of equipment, number of people, and hard work that it took to build such a work of art is even more fascinating. One area builder has a very unique connection with this world famous bridge, Shea Homes.  The J.F. Shea Company was hired in 1932 to construct the piers that support the bridge’s two towers (each tower weighing 44,000 +/- tons).  Due to the extreme conditions of the bay: high winds, tides, and fog this was a very difficult task. “The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the great monuments to American drive and ingenuity.  Our participation is one of the proud moments in history for the Shea family,” said John Shea, Shea Homes.

Quick Facts about the Golden Gate Bridge:

  • How long is the Golden Gate Bridge? 1.7 miles long
  • How tall is the Golden Gate Bridge? 746 feet above the water
  • How many vehicles cross the bridge? It is estimated that over 100,000 cars cross the bridge per day
  • How did it get its name? The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean
  • How much cable wire was used on the bridge? There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the two main cables, and it took over six months to spin them

Let’s all wish the Golden Gate Bridge a Happy 75th Birthday!  How many of you have crossed this iconic bridge?

Jason Smith By Jason Smith (BSI Triad Regional Manager) – Guest Blogger

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