golden gate bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco bay into the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States, San Francisco’s city engineer estimated the cost at $100 million, impractical for the time, and fielded the question to bridge engineers of whether it could be built for less.

One who responded, Joseph Strauss, was ambitious but dreamy engineer and poet who had, for his graduate thesis, designed a 55 mile long railroad bridge across the Bering Strait. At the time, Strauss had completed some 400 drawbridges- most of which were inland- and nothing on the scale of the new project. Strauss spent more than a decade drumming up support in Northern California. The bridge faced opposition, including litigation, for many sources.

The Department of War was concerned that the bridge would interfere with ship traffic; The Navy feared that a ship collision or sabotage to the bridge could block the entrance to one of it’s main harbors. In May 1924, Colonel Herbert Deakyne held the second hearing on the bridge on behalf of the Secretary of war in a request to use Federal land for construction. The bridges name was first used when the project was initially discussed in 1917 by M. M O’Shaughnessy, city engineer of San Francisco, and Strauss.

The name became official with the passage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act by the State Legislature in 1923. On June 12, the Santa Rosa chamber voted to endorse the actions of the “Bridging the Golden Gate Association” by attending the meeting of the Boards of Supervisors in San Francisco on June 23 and by requesting that the Board of Supervisors of Sonoma County also attend. By 1925, the Santa Rosa camber had assumed responsibility for circulating ridge petitions as the next step for the formation of the Golden Gate Bridge. Iring Morrow, a relatively unknown residential architect, designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme, and Art Deco elements such as the streetlights, railing, and walkways. The famous International orange color was originally used as a Sealand for the bridge. Senior Engineer Charles Alton Ellis, collaborating remotely with famed bridge designer Leon Moisseiff , was the principle engineer of the project.

Although the Golden Gate Bridge designer has porved sound , a later Moisseiff design , the original Tacoma Narrow Bridge, collapsed in a strong windstorm soon after it was completed, because of an unexpected aeroelastic flutter. He became an expert in strural design, writing the standard textbook of the time. Ellis did much of the technical and theoretical work that built the bridge, but he received none of the credit in his lifetime.

In November 1931, Strauss fired Ellis and replaced him with a former subordinate, Clifford Paine, ostensibly for wasting too much money sending telegrams back and forth to Moisseiff. Only much later were the contributions of the others on design team properly appreciated. In May 2007, the Golden Gate Bridge District issued a formal report on 70 years of stewardshipof the famous bridge and decided to give Ellis major credit for the design of the bridge. 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.

The Sausalito Land Ferry Company service, launched in 1867, eventually became the Golden Gate Bridge Ferry Company, a southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary, the largest ferry operation in the world by the late 1920s. The ferry crossing between the Hyde Street Pier in sane Francisco and Sausalito in Martin County took approximately 20 minutes and cost US $1. 00 per vehicle, a price later reduced to compete with the new bridge. Many wanted to build a bridge to connect San Francisco to Martin County. San Francisco was the largest American city still served primarily by ferry boats.

Because it did not have a permanent link with communities around the bay, the city’s growth rate was below the national average. Many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft [2,042 m] strait. It was going to be painted with black and yellow stripes by the US Navy to ensure visibility to passing ships. The Golden Gate Bridge and highway District, authorized by an act of the California Legislature, was incorporated in 1928 as the official entity to design, construct, and finance the Golden Gate Bridge.

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