Tuesday, January 19, 2010

California's Golden Gate Bridge

The Most Momentous Bridge in the West

In 1919, the idea of having a bridge stretching across the entrance of San Francisco Bay was first proposed. When the idea came up, Joseph Strauss, a bridge engineer from Chicago, was called in along with many other engineers. Strauss was appointed chief engineer of the project and construction started in 1933. To resist high winds, Strauss designed a conventional suspension bridge supported by two piers. Unlike many other engineers, Strauss took excessive safety precautions. He gave each worker a pair of sunglasses to protect the workers from the glare. He also had a medical team inspect the construction workers regularly. The safety net that Strauss had set up under the bridge saved at least 19 lives during construction. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened. The bridge was 8981 feet (2737m) long and spanned 4200 feet (1280m) from pier to pier. Each pier was 746 feet (227m) tall. The Golden Gate bridge survived a lot of disasters. After having to be closed down in 1940 because of its excessive flexibility, the bridge was stiffened. The bridge went on to survive a 7.1 scale earthquake in 1989 and was strengthened to withstand a 8.3 scale earthquake. The Golden Gate has become the symbol of San Francisco and has 41 million cars travel across it every day. The great bridge is now one of America's greatest wonders and is known throughout the world as the Gate to California.

Information from...
The World's Greates Buildings
Revised and Edited
Consultant Editor- Trevor Howells