Golden Gate Bridge is not only an iconic landmark but also an engineering marvel. It was termed as impossible to build but engineers made it possible within reasonable cost and time. For kids, it is an important landmark to study so we have gathered a complete set of Golden Gate Bridge Facts For Kids to teach them all about this amazing bridge by answering all the questions they may have in their minds about this bridge. Enjoy these Golden Gate Bridge Facts and do share them with your friends and family.
Golden Gate Bridge Facts For Kids
1. What is the Golden Gate Bridge
- The Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s icon landmark and marvel of modern engineering.
- It is a suspension bridge that connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge spans over a 1.6 km (1 mile) wide strait which is known as the Golden Gate.
2. Why is it called the Golden Gate Bridge – Golden Gate Bridge Name
- It is called the Golden Gate Bridge because it spans over a strait named Golden Gate Strait.
- The Golden Gate Strait is a 1.6 km (1 mile) narrow entrance between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
- In 1846, a US explorer named John C. Fremont named the strait as Golden Gate two years before the actual discovery of gold in California.
3. Why is the Golden Gate Bridge Important
- Before the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and several other bridges, San Francisco was the largest American city that was still using ferry boats as a mode of transportation. The need for a bridge increased with time and as the population increased.
- People used to get to Marin County from San Francisco through ferries. The available road way through the South Bay and up through the East Bay was very long and would take hours to reach Marin County.
- When Golden Gate Bridge was constructed it solved this commuting problem between Marin County and San Francisco. As a result, the Bay Area residents were not only able to commute easily to the north up the cost but also their businesses flourished.
4. Why is the Golden Gate Bridge Famous
- Historically, it was famous because it was the longest span bridge in the world till 1964 when New York City’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge was constructed. The New York City’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge is 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Today it is the ninth-longest suspension bridge in the world.
- It is well known for its extraordinary design and is recognized among the world’s famous landmarks.
- It has been a popular photography site and is very famous for its amazing view through the rising fog in the morning. Its orange color against the blue water and green Marin hills at the background along with the white fog makes it spectacular.
- Unfortunately it is also known for the most suicide jumps from bridges in the world. Every year, more than 30 people jump to death from it.
5. Why is the Golden Gate Bridge a Landmark
- A landmark is any natural, artificial, small structures or features of a place that:
- stands out in its environment
- can be seen from long distances
- is used for navigation purposes
- is the local or national symbol
- As per the above definition of landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge does stand out from its environment, is visible from long distances, is used for navigation purposes. So this is why Golden Gate Bridge is a landmark.
6. Where is the Golden Gate Bridge – Golden Gate Bridge Location
- It is located in San Francisco and Marin County in the state of California on U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1.
- It connects the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula and Marin County by spanning over the Golden Gate strait.
7. When was the Golden Gate Bridge built
- The Golden Gate Bridge was built on 5 January 1933.
8. When was the Golden Gate Bridge Completed
- It was completed on April 19, 1937.
9. How long did it take to build Golden Gate Bridge
- It took 4 years 3 months 14 days to build the Golden Gate Bridge.
10. When did the Golden Gate Bridge Open
- It was opened on May 27, 1937.
11. How old is the Golden Gate Bridge
- Till the year 2017, the Golden Gate Bridge is 84 years old.
12. Golden Gate Bridge History – Why is the Golden Gate Bridge Historical
- In 1849, after the Gold Rush boom, it was realized that the value of the land situated at the north of San Francisco Bay can be appreciated if direct access to San Francisco city is provided.
- A plan proposing a bridge spanning over the Golden Gate and connecting the San Francisco Peninsula with the Marin County was presented.
- Though the idea of the bridge was presented in 1869 but it was not until 1916 when the actual proposal took place.
- James Wilkin, who was an engineering student and working in San Francisco Bulletin, presented the idea of a 3000 feet long suspension bridge.
- A $100 million was the estimated cost for such a suspension bridge.
- Michael M. O’Shaughnessy, who was San Francisco’s city engineer, started looking for engineers who could do it for a lower cost.
- Joseph Strauss who was an engineer as well as a poet proposed that he can build such a bridge at a lower cost.
- O’Shaughnessy and Strauss worked out a plan of building at least 4,000 feet long bridge for $25-30 million.
- The project faced many obstacles and litigation from different sources. Then the financing options got limited due to the great depression in 1929. It was then in 1932 when Bank of America bought the entire project to help the economy.
13. How was the Golden Gate Bridge built – Golden Gate Bridge Construction
The first step in building the Golden Gate Bridge was the construction of anchorages on both sides of the bridge. These anchorages were for tying down the main cables of the bridge. Concrete plants were set up on both sides of the Golden Gate as a huge amount of concrete was required for the construction of anchorages. The anchorages were completed in 1936 and it took 3 years to complete them.
Along with the construction of anchorages, the construction of the two main towers was also started. At that time these towers were the highest towers to be ever built for a suspension bridge. The tower on the northern side was easy to build as it was located on the shore while the tower on the southern side was difficult to build as it was a thousand feet away from the shore inside the water. 30 feet long concrete fenders were erected on the sea bed to create an artificial island of concrete for the southern tower to stand on. Construction of the steel tower started after the completion of the artificial island.
After the completion of the main tower and anchorages, the work on the main cables was started. The main cables had a diameter of 36 inches and were composed of 27,572 individual galvanized steel wires. The main cables were run over the top of both the towers for about 7,650 feet (2,332 meters) and then anchored at both ends of the bridge. 250 pairs of vertical suspender cables were used to hang the deck (on which the road runs). The total load on main cables (123,000 tons or 122,000,000 kg) is distributed evenly between the two towers.
The roadbed was allowed to flex a little in the wind so that the force exerted by the wind can be transmitted to the towers. This procedure allowed a lighter and thinner deck which not only saved time and money but also made the bridge look more beautiful.
A safety net was suspended under the bridge to catch workers in case they fell down while working. The bridge deck was about 250 feet high and any one falling down will not only get drown but will also hit the water at a speed of 75 miles per hour. This safety net saved a lot of lives during the bridge construction. Only once it was unable to save 10 people when a 5 ton work platform fell into it. The net was unable to hold the weight of the work platform for long and the workers fell into the water and got drowned.
Painting the Bridge
After the construction of the bridge, the last step was to paint it. The International Orange color was selected. This color is not only aesthetically pleasing but also enhances its visibility in fog.
14. Who made the Golden Gate Bridge
Who designed the golden gate bridge?
- It was designed by the Architecture firm Strauss Engineering Corp.
- The two Architects named Irving Morrow and Charles Alton Ellis worked on its design.
- The Engineers who made the bridge included:
- Joseph Strauss
- Charles Alton Ellis
- Leon Moisseiff
- Clifford Paine
15. Who owns the Golden Gate Bridge
- The Golden Gate Bridge is owned by Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
- It is a special-purpose district located in the San Francisco Bay Area that owns, maintains and operates the following three regional transportation assets
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Golden Gate Transit
- Golden Gate Ferry
- It has around 800 employees.
16. What kind of bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge
- The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge.
- A suspension bridge is the kind of bridge in which suspension cables and vertical suspenders are used to hold the deck (on which the road runs). Cables are suspended between the bridge towers and vertical suspender cables are used to hold the weight of the deck which hangs below them.
17. Golden Gate Bridge Structure
The Golden Gate Bridge is made up of six major structures:
- San Francisco (south) approach viaduct
- San Francisco (south) anchorage housing and pylons S1 and S2
- Fort Point arch
- Suspension bridge
- Marin (north) approach viaduct
- Marin (north) anchorage housing and pylons N1 and N2
18. Golden Gate Bridge Dimensions
How big is the Golden Gate Bridge
- The bridge is 2,737 meters long, 27 meters wide, and 67 meters high.
How long is the Golden Gate Bridge – Golden Gate Bridge Length
- The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 miles (8,981 feet or 2,737 meters) long from abutment to abutment.
- The length is about 9,150 feet (2,788 meters) when the approach from abutment to abutment and the distance to the Toll Plaza is included.
- The length of the suspension span (both main span and side spans) is 1.2 miles (6,450 feet or 1,966 meters).
- The length of the main span (distance between towers) is 4,200 feet (1,280 meters).
- Length of a single side span is 1,125 feet (343 meters).
How much does the Golden Gate Bridge Weigh – Golden Gate Bridge Weight
- The Golden Gate Bridge weighs 887,000 tons (804,700,00 kg).
- The weight of a single anchorage is 60,000 tons (54,400,000 kg).
- Its original weight back in 1937 was 894,500 tons (811,500,000 kg) which was reduced due to redecking in 1986.
How wide is the Golden Gate Bridge – Golden Gate Bridge Width
- The bridge is about 90 feet (27 meters) wide.
- The total width of the roadway is 62 feet (19 meters).
- The width of sidewalk is 10 feet (3 meters).
Golden Gate Bridge Tower
- The bridge has two main towers.
- These two towers support the two main cables.
- The height of each tower above the water is 746 feet (227 meters) and above the roadway is 500 feet (152 meters).
- The combined weight of the two main towers is about 44,000 tons (40,200,000 kg).
- The weight of load on each tower due to main cables is 61,500 tons (56,000,000 kg).
19. What is the Golden Gate Bridge made out of
- The Golden Gate Bridge is made out of:
- 389,000 Cubic Yards (297,475 Cubic Meters) of Concrete.
- 83,000 tons (75,293,000 kg) of steel.
- 24,500 tons (22,200,000 kg) of two main cables, 500 suspender cables, and accessories.
- 1,200,000 rivets
20. How many people died building the Golden Gate Bridge
- 11 workers died building the Golden Gate Bridge. Their names are:
- Kermit Moore,
- O.A. Anderson
- Chris Anderson
- William Bass
- O. Desper
- Fred Dümmatzen
- Terence Hallinan
- Eldridge Hillen
- Charles Lindros
- Jack Norman
- Louis Russell.
21. How deep is the water under the Golden Gate Bridge
- The water under the Golden Gate Bridge is about 360 feet deep at its deepest point.
22. Golden Gate Bridge Color
- The Golden Gate Bridge Color is an orange vermilion also known as international orange.
- It was selected by consulting architect Irving Morrow as it not only complements the environment but also increases the visibility of the bridge in the fog.
23. Golden Gate Bridge Engineering Facts
- All required safety aspects were incorporated in building the bridge.
- The design of the bridge accurately takes into account the impact of wind forces on the bridge.
- The suspension cables, tower, and the anchors are all engineered to carry on all probable weight.
- Several engineering factors were accounted for during the designing phase such as:
- the movement of the deck due to its weight
- range of environment temperature
- wind speed and direction
- deck sag between suspension cables
- elongation of suspension cables due to stress and temperature.