The Golden Gate Bridge Just Celebrated its 78th Birthday
It was once referred to as “the bridge that couldn’t be built.” Today, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge stands tall over California’s Golden Gate strait, and celebrates a remarkable 78 years since it first opened to the public on May 27, 1937. It’s traveled by thousands of commuters daily, remains one of the most photographed landmarks in the US, and is regarded as one of the seven wonders of the modern world – certainly big achievements for a structure that “couldn’t be built.” And expectedly, it was no easy feat. Construction of the suspension bridge began on January 5, 1933, the first steps in uniting the residents of San Francisco with those separated by a mile of water in Marin County. Over the next four years and four months, two towers would skyrocket over 700 feet in the air and lay the framework for hanging the bridge’s main 4,200 foot span of roadway (1.7 miles long in total). Construction officially ended in May 1937, totaling a cost of around $35 million in its day. Sadly, 11 workers gave their lives in the process. RELATED: This Rare Lamborghini Was Abandoned by London's Tower Bridge
On May 27, 1937, thousands of excited visitors took an inaugural stroll across the Golden Gate, accompanied by celebratory aerial flyovers, and followed one day later by the very first public motor vehicles to officially cross the bridge. These days, over 38 million people cross the bridge every year.
The Golden Gate Bridge would hold its title for the longest suspension bridge span in the world for 27 years, until the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. And if its last 78 years of service have proven anything, it’s hopefully set to provide a full 78 more as both bridge and iconic postcard backdrop.
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Photo Credit: Kevin Cole and Jerome Decq
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