The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California is one of the most beautiful and most photographed bridges in the world. Linking San Francisco with Marin County the Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7 mile-long suspension bridge that can be crossed by car, on bicycles or on foot. Parking and viewing areas are available at both ends of the bridge.
The Marin Headlands side of San Francisco’s GGB is a great place to take pictures—such as this July 4th fireworks photo or the panorama just below it—and watch freighters and sailboats cruise under the bridge. You can enjoy a view from the Marin Headlands that stretches from Golden Gate Park and Twin Peaks to The Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island and beyond.
If you visit San Francisco there are many double-decker bus or city tours available that will take you across the bridge or to one of the viewing areas and most wine tours from San Francisco cross the bridge. Nearly every San Francisco Bay cruise passes under the Golden Gate Bridge for a view you can’t get any other way. The photo to the right of the north tower was shot on one of those cruises.
Completed after more than four years , the Golden Gate Bridge construction cost was $35 million. The bridge was opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937 at twelve o’clock noon when President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a telegraph key in the White House announcing the event. The GGB opening was ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York, completed 54 years earlier in 1883 and designed by wire rope patent holder John A. Roebling, was the first famous suspension bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge helped to define and add fame to New York City in much the same way that the Golden Gate Bridge has for San Francisco.
Golden Gate Bridge Design
Joseph Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project but because he had little understanding or experience with cable-suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts.The Golden Gate Bridge design echoes an Art Deco Theme. Wide, vertical ribbing on the horizontal tower bracing accents the sun’s light on the bridge. The towers that support the Golden Gate Bridge’s suspension cables are smaller at the top than at the base, emphasizing the tower height of 500 feet above the roadway. Irving Morrow—an architect hired by Strauss to design an architectural treatment for the bridge—chose the ‘international orange’ paint color to blend with the setting while still being very visible to ships.
The Golden Gate Bridge’s 4,200 foot long main suspension span was a world record that stood for 27 years. It is still the second longest in the United States after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which links Staten Island to Brooklyn in New York. The bridge’s two towers rise 746 feet making them 191 feet taller than the Washington Monument. The five lane bridge crosses Golden Gate Strait which is about 400 feet, or 130 meters, deep. Simple yellow markers are used to switch the center lane so that there are three lanes into San Francisco for the morning commute and three leaving The City in the afternoon and evening. Tolls are only collected on the way in (going south). The toll on the Golden Gate Bridge increased to $5.00/4.00 FasTrak on September 1, 2002. There are no carpool lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge. [Article Source: www.inetours.com]