The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most iconic bridge in the world, certainly the most photographed. The American Society of Engineers claim it to be one of The Wonders of The World!
Built a few years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, construction began on 5th January 1933 and was finished on 27th May 1937 and impressively is it said to have been $1.3 million under budget! The opening ceremony lasted for a whole week and before traffic was allowed to cross it is said that 200,000 people crossed wither on foot or roller skates.
With over 1.2 million rivets, the roadway is hung from 2 immense cables that contain 25 further cables that are made from 752 individual strands and put all together a single line it is estimated to be 130,000km (81,0000 miles) long! The two towers supporting the cables are themselves massive, standing at 227m (744ft) tall, they were the tallest structures in the world.
The Golden Gate bridge has been closed 4 times since the opening date. On 1st December gusts of 111km/h (69mp/h) forced the first closure. On 23rd December 1982 winds in excess of 113km/h (70mp/h) forced the second closure and then on 3rd December gusts of 121km/h (75 mp/h) forced the last closure. In May 1987, the bridge was closed as part of the 50th Anniversary. The other concern about the bridge is that it stands just 450km south of the Andreas Fault and not forgetting the corrosion caused by the salty water.
As beautiful as the bridge is, it has gained a reputation as one of the most popular places in the world for suicide. The problem was so bad that once the count got to 997 the official count was stopped to prevent record breakers! It is said that 5% survive the potential impact speed of 120 km/h, hypothermia and the very fast current.