The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is a marvelous feat of Engineering. Located on the Golden Gate Strait in San Francisco Bay, the idea of a bridge linking the two sides of the bay was first discussed in 1872. It wasn’t until the 1930`s that an Engineer named Joseph B. Strauss submitted the final plans for the bridge to the District Board of Directors and construction began.

The Art Deco styling that the bridge is famous for was the idea of the husband and wife partnership, Irving and Gertrude Morrow, with their subtle ideas and eye for good taste; they created the easy on the eye bridge span. With opposition from the US Navy, Morrow and his wife chose a unique colour for the bridge known as ‘International Orange’ and this has become famous all over the world. As Chief Engineer Strauss was very safety conscious he, with the help of Edward Bullard, a local manufacturer of safety equipment, introduced new, ground breaking safety procedures which are still followed on a high percentage of construction sites to this very day. The death rate for men working on the bridge for the time of construction was second to none showing how important safety precautions where and still are.

Key Dates

1872 . Earliest discussion of building a bridge to span the Golden Gate Strait.

May 25, 1923. The state legislature passes the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act of California into law.

December 4, 1928. Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District is incorporated as the entity to design, construct, and finance the Golden Gate Bridge.

August 27, 1930. Joseph Strauss submits his final plans for the bridge to the District Board of Directors.

November 4, 1930. Voters within the 6 counties of the District approve the $35 million bond issue to finance construction of the bridge.

January 5, 1933. Construction of the GGB begins.

May 27, 1937. opens to pedestrian traffic

May 28, 1937. opens to vehicular traffic at twelve noon. The bridge opened ahead of schedule and under budget.

July 1, 1971. Remaining original bonds issued for construction of the bridge are retired. $35 million and almost $39 million in interest were financed entirely from bridge tolls.

February 22, 1985. The one-billionth car crosses the bridge.

August 15, 1985. Construction completed on the replacement of the original roadway with modern orthotropic steel plate deck.

May 27, 1987. celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

September 2, 1998. United States Postal Service unveils Golden Gate Bridge commemorative stamp.

March 1999. The Golden Gate Bridge awarded number two position in Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century by CONEXPO-CON/AGG SECOND ONLY TO Chunnel Tunnel (Channel Tunnel).