San Francisco’s pride and joy, the Golden Gate Bridge, has been the work wonders. Dubbed as quite possible the most beautiful and most photographed bridge in the world by the Frommers Travel Guide, it spans a staggering 8,981 feet in length, 90 feet in width, and a whooping 746 feet in height! That’s a pretty big bridge. It was the 5th of January, in 1933 when work for the bridge began. Construction was finally completed in April 1937, and was opened to the public by the 27th of May, 1937. The Golden Gate Bridge can withstand the weight of up to 110,000 vehicles, which is exactly the amount that comes and goes every day. For more incredible facts about the Golden Gate Bridge, we’ve put together a couple of things you’d love to know about it, so go on and have a look:
Fact 1: The Golden Gate bridge, isn’t in fact, coated in Gold. The steel was imported from Spain, and to keep the metal safe from the elements as well as corrosion, a vibrant burnt red and orange colored primer coated metal. When the steel had arrived, the unconventional color was a hit. Instead of having the bridge constructed in the usual black or grey, the vibrant hue stuck on, and so the iconic bridge and its color, “International Orange”, were born.
Fact 2: The story goes, three months after the bridge was put up a man had walked along the bridge’s traffic to commit suicide. To this day, an estimated 1 person attempts suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge every 3 weeks.
Fact 3: The U.S. Navy and Army were butting heads from the very beginning of the bridge’s conceptualization. Because the construction of the bridge was during the era of wars and The Great Depression, they found the construction of the bridge to be quite a terrible idea, were it to be bombed and prevent the ships to sail because of the scrimmage. However, they both gave in under the notion that the bridge be painted in a very visible color to be seen even in fog. The Navy wanted the bridge black with yellow stripes, while the Army wanted it painted in red and white like a candy cane. Yikes! Good thing neither of them won on the decision panel.
Fact 4: Approximate cost for the construction of the world famous bridge is a grand-slam $35 Million in bonds. The residents and local of San Francisco were so keen on putting up the bridge that they were willing to give up their homes and farms and our finances in order to sponsor its construction. The private bonds were retired at last in ’71.
Fact 5: The Golden Gate Bridge is incredibly strong, boasting architecture and design feats that can withstand earthquakes that could register an 8.0 on the Richter scale, as well as string winds that could go as fast as 90 miles per hour. That’s some pretty intense metal work.
Fact 6: The bridge is incredibly high maintenance for all its strength and purpose. Much like a housewife, its demands and up-keep are quite extraordinary. For instance, the up-keep requires thirteen iron workers, three pusher iron workers, twenty-eight painters, 5 paint laborers, and one Chief bridge painter to take command. Wow!
Fact 7: The bridge was named after the Golden Gate Strait, the entry point to the San Francisco Bay if you’re coming from the Pacific Ocean. Known as “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, the name was chosen by Captain and U.S. Army Engineer John C. Fremont. The word Chrysoceras translates to Golden Horn, which seemed fitting.
Fact 8: There are six lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fact 9: It is, sadly, the second most sought after suicide spot in the whole world. The suicide rates are about 2 or so people a month.
Fact 10: If you’re standing on top of the bridge, you’re approximately 746 feet about the water, and plunging into it would take you 4 seconds before breaking the surface of the water.