Happy 75th Birthday to the Golden Gate Bridge, California’s most famous landmark and an engineering masterpiece! To celebrate the birthday of the West Coast’s most famous bridge, we are sharing a few facts about the bridge with our readers.
Did you know that:
* The bridge is named for the Golden Gate Strait, which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait was named “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, a U.S. Army engineer, around the year 1846. Fremont chose this name because it reminded him of a harbor in Instanbul named Chrysoceras, which translates to “Golden Horn”.
* A bridge as big as the Golden Gate requires a lot of upkeep! There are currently 13 ironworkers and 3 pusher ironworkers, 28 painters, 5 painter laborers and a chief bridge painter who work on the bridge.
* It took over four years to build the bridge. Construction began on January 5, 1933 and the bridge was open to cars on May 28, 1937.
* It is difficult to say how much the bridge cost to build, but the bridge’s official website states that “The cost to construct a new Golden Gate Bridge would be approximately $1.2 billion in 2003 dollars. The total price depends on a many factors including the extent of the environmental reviews and the cost of labor and materials.”
* Bridge construction was surprisingly safe until February 17, 1927. Until then, only one man had died, but on that day in February, ten men died when a section of scaffolding collapsed and the men fell through the safety net.
* After the bridge was completed, the project’s engineer, Joseph Strauss wrote in a poem: “At last, the mighty task is done.” You can read the full poem here.
Would you like to learn more about the Golden Gate Bridge? Visit its website for more interesting facts!