HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO BUILD THE BRIDGE? Just over four years. Construction commenced on January 5, 1933 and the Bridge was open to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.
WHAT IS THE POEM ON THE BRIDGE WRITTEN BY JOSEPH B. STRAUSS? Upon completion of building the Golden Gate Bridge in May 1937, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss wrote a poem entitled “The Mighty Task is Done.”
WHY IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED INTERNATIONAL ORANGE? The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted orange vermilion, deemed “International Orange.” Rejecting carbon black and steel gray, Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the span’s natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.
HOW MANY IRONWORKERS AND PAINTERS MAINTAIN THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE? Currently, a revered and rugged group of 17 Ironworkers and 38 Painters battle wind, sea air and fog, often suspended high above the Gate, to repair corroding steel. Ironworkers replace corroding steel and rivets with high-strength steel bolts, make small fabrications for use on the Bridge, and assist Painters with their rigging. Ironworkers also remove plates and bars to provide access for Painters to the interiors of the columns and chords that make up the Bridge. Painters prepare all Bridge surfaces and repaint all corroded areas.
HOW MANY VEHICLES HAVE CROSSED THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE? As of November 2009, 1,874,100,431 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (includes northbound and southbound) since opening in 1937.
WHY DOES THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE USE REVERSIBLE LANES? Reversible lanes were inaugurated on the Bridge on October 29, 1963. Their use greatly aids the flow of traffic during the heavy morning and evening commute hours and during weekend tourist periods. The Bridge has a total of six lanes. At any given time the number of lanes northbound or southbound may be adjusted. Bright yellow lane markers are manually placed in “sockets” in the Bridge roadway to clearly identify the San Francisco outbound lanes (northbound) and San Francisco inbound lanes (southbound). During the morning commute, there are four lanes of traffic southbound to San Francisco and two lanes northbound to Marin. During the afternoon commute, currently there are three lanes northbound to Marin and three lanes southbound to San Francisco. Read more about current lane configurations.
IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, LIKE THE SHAPE, THAT INFLUENCES THE FOG?”Advection fog” forms when humid air from the Pacific Ocean swoops over the chilly California current flowing parallel to the coast. The fog hugs the ground and then the warm, moist air condenses as it moves across the bay or land. This is common near any coastline. The Bridge has an influence in directing the fog as it pushes up and pours down around the Bridge. Sometimes, high pressure squashes it close to the ground. By the way, the color of the bridge is International Orange, and was chosen in part because of its visibility in the fog.
WHY IS THE ARCHED (PORTAL) ENTRANCE TO THE WALDO TUNNEL LOCATED JUST NORTH OF THE BRIDGE IN MARIN COUNTY PAINTED AS A RAINBOW? A Caltrans engineer came up with the idea in 1970. The late Alan Hart, who was the former director of the San Francisco District of Caltrans, then known as the State Division of Highways, ordered the rainbow look. Because they are visible from homes, the portals on the north side of the tunnel remain unadorned. Caltrans crews have maintained the rainbow paint job ever since.
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Facts courtesy of http://www.goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php