CA -- San Francisco -- Golden Gate Bridge (South Side):
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GGBS_041103_002.JPG: Expanding Horizons: Bridging the Golden Gate
As much as the Golden Gate was a portal for immigrants, it also formed an impediment to overland travel within the region. From the late 1800's through the 1930's, towns to the north in Marin County were reached by ferry. Urban growth, overcrowded ferries, and automobile use led civil leaders to propose bridging San Francisco Bay as early as 1916.
After four years of construction, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937. Bridging the Golden Gate was one of the greatest engineering efforts of the century, and it acted as a social and economic catalyst that forever changed the San Francisco Bay region. Today, over 40 million vehicles cross the bridge each year.
The foundations of the bridge towers extend 110 feet below the water into bedrock. The southern approach was redesigned using a special arched section to avoid demolishing historic Fort Point.
Total length of bridge, including approaches: 8,981 feet
Length of main span portion of suspended structure: 4,200 feet
Width of bridge: 90 feet
Roadway width: 60 feet
Traffic lanes: 6
Clearance above water (mean water level): 220 feet
Height of towers above water: 746 feet
Height of towers above roadway: 500 feet
Number of main cables: 2
Diameter of main cables, including wrapping: 36-3/8 inch
Number of wires in each cable: 27,572
Length of one cable: 7,630 feet
Total estimated weight of superstructure: 83,000 tons
The bridge is painted "international orange."
GGBS_041103_016.JPG: Portal to Golden Dreams: Entering the Golden Gate:
"(The) harbor of San Francisco is one of the best I have ever seen in these seas, from Cape Horn northward... A fine harbor: it presents on sight a beautiful fitness, and it has no lack of good drinking water and plenty of firewood and ballast." Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala, Commander of the Spanish ship San Carlos, 1775
Native people living along the bountiful San Francisco Bay saw their first European ship in 1775, when the San Carlos sailed through the Golden Gate. The following year, Spain established a military post, mission and settlement here. The town remained a rural outpost until the California Gold Rush of 1849.
Almost overnight, San Francisco burgeoned into a cosmopolitan mixture of people and cultures. Gold seekers, laborers, and entrepreneurs from Asia, South America, Europe, and the eastern United States all reveled at the sight of the magnificent Golden Gate, for it meant that they had arrived in the land of golden opportunity.
GGBS_041103_022.JPG: To span the Gate, Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss had to contend with wind, fog, ocean waves and tidal currents, and a 19th century fort located where the south end of the bridge should be.
Construction began January 5, 1933. Strauss spared Fort Point by placing the South Pier 1,725 feet from short in 65 feet of water.
Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937, but the work is never finished. To prevent corrosion, the steel has been painted continuously since opening day with the reddish hue known as International Orange.
GGBS_041103_038.JPG: Take a look at this out house! Would you use it?
AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
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