There’s something about the Golden Gate Bridge that inspires, tantalizes and adds an extra layer of beauty to this city. Its sweeping curves and pristine paint job create a vision like no other. Towering over the city from its vantage point above, it is more than just an architectural wonder — it is a symbol of San Francisco.

Structural properties

The Golden Gate Bridge’s main span, from tower to tower, is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) long. The bridge’s width varies from about 250 feet (76 m) wide at the towers to about 68 feet (21 m) wide under the roadway deck.

The bridge towers rise 746 feet above the water and are held up by massive concrete pylons sunk 60 to 90 feet into the mud of San Francisco Bay.

Each tower weighs more than 1 million tons and contains over 4 million pounds of steel.

The basic structure of each tower is comprised of two identical halves: a base tier [that] forms a flat platform topped with an arched section that supports steel cross braces used as diagonal tension members (think TIE Fighter).


The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California.

It was designed by chief engineer Joseph Strauss and constructed between 1933 and 1937 by McClintic-Marshall Company.

Upon completion, it became the longest suspension bridge in the world at 4,200 feet (1,280 m) until 1964 when it was surpassed by its sister bridge, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. The Golden Gate Bridge has continued to be an iconic landmark for San Francisco since it’s opening.

The Golden Gate Bridge is also known as “The Most Beautiful Eyeduct In The World.”


The bridge was completed in 1937 and it opened May 27, 1937. It is 1.7 miles long (2.74 km), but due to its height over water only 1/3 of its length touches land at any one time.

The original design called for towers with an overall height of 746 feet (227 m). When constructed, they were actually built with an overall height of 693 feet (211 m).

This made them taller than any other tower in existence at the time, although they have since been surpassed by several others including both Tokyo Tower and Riga Radio/Television Tower in Latvia.


Construction on the bridge began on January 5, 1933. The structure was designed by Joseph B. Strauss and built by American Bridge Company (ABC).

The project employed over 13,000 men who completed both towers within a year and began work on the approaches. By then end of 1935, they had made great progress: The main span of 1,280 feet was finished that summer and its two suspension sections were completed in early 1936.

On May 28th 1937 at precisely 11:30 am, the first car drove across what was then known as “The Golden Gate” from Marin County into San Francisco – eight months ahead of schedule and $1.3 million under budget!

Maintenance and operation

The bridge is painted about every three years. The last time was in 2017, and the next time will be in 2020.

As many as 60 painters are employed to do the job—some of whom have been involved since the 1950s.

They use 1,300 gallons (5,000 liters) of paint each year, which costs $5 million ($6 million USD). The paint contains zinc-rich primer, lead-free white opalescent aluminum pigment and an automotive grade clear coat that protects against weathering and corrosion.

The painting process takes about 8 months to complete—from January until October—and involves removing all signs of rust first with steel wool pads dipped in sodium hydroxide solution (lye).

Next comes a sandblast that removes any remaining rust particles before two coats are applied: one primer coat followed by a final topcoat containing fine glass beads that provide extra protection against cracking or chipping over time under high winds speeds such as those experienced on the Golden Gate Bridge itself!

Technology and engineering

The Golden Gate Bridge is made of steel and concrete. The bridge weighs about 165 million pounds (including the cables), which is about as much as the Eiffel Tower!

Safety systems

The Golden Gate Bridge has a safety system that includes a deck net, a pedestrian safety barrier, and a movable median barrier.

The deck net is a steel mesh that hangs under the bridge deck and is designed to stop vehicles that go over the side of the bridge.

The pedestrian safety barrier consists of two 1-foot-high steel fences on either side of it. These fences are designed to protect pedestrians from falling off or being hit by cars when crossing at points where there are no sidewalks provided for pedestrians.

In addition, this section has signs warning drivers about crossing pedestrians since they can be hidden behind large trucks parked in their blind spots.

Finally, there’s also an automatic movable median barrier which can be moved out of position at any time if needed by traffic engineers looking after public safety while maintaining traffic flow through this area with minimal delays during peak periods (rush hours).

Engineering design by Joseph Strauss, Charles Ellis, Leon Solomon Moisseiff

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge, with two towers and a main span of 4,200 feet (1,280 m).

Joseph Strauss was the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District who also designed it.

He died in 1938. Charles Ellis was chosen as his successor in 1936 and served until 1942 when he left to work on other projects. Leon Solomon Moisseiff designed the bridge deck structure for Strauss after completing work on a bridge similar to that of the Golden Gate at Poughkeepsie, New York.

Construction began on January 5th 1933 by Bechtel Corporation under contract from California Department of Public Works.

Is golden gate bridge a toll road?

No, the Golden Gate Bridge does not charge tolls for drivers to cross. However, there is a $6 fee for southbound vehicles in order to maintain the bridge.

A toll plaza is located on the south side of the bridge and all drivers are required to stop and pay this fee before they cross into Marin County or San Francisco.

Drivers with a class one toll tag are charged $6.00 while those with class two tags pay $5.20 (money can be paid in cash or by card).

Can the golden gate bridge withstand an earthquake?

The Golden Gate Bridge is built to withstand wind gusts up to 160 mph and the strongest earthquakes.

The bridge has been tested with both a magnitude 4.7 earthquake and a large concrete block dropped from a height of about 200 feet onto one of its suspension cables, which are suspended from towers over 200 feet above the water below.

The tests proved that if an earthquake or other natural disaster occurs, the bridge will be able to stay standing.

Does the golden gate bridge sway?

  • The bridge is designed to move during an earthquake. The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD) has a page dedicated to explaining how the bridge can withstand earthquakes.
  • The bridge can sway as much as 27 feet during an earthquake. According to GGBHTD, “The bridge is flexible and can withstand an earthquake.”

I’ve heard people say that the Golden Gate Bridge sways in strong winds but does not sway during earthquakes because it was built on sand instead of bedrock, or because it’s too far from San Francisco Bay to be affected by tides. Is this true?

What golden gate bridge made of?

The Golden Gate Bridge is a steel cantilever bridge. A cantilever bridge is one that does not use piers to support the structure. Instead, it relies on its own weight for support as it rises above its foundation.

The Golden Gate Bridge’s two towers are each over 200 feet tall and were built with a steel frame that includes 1,200 tons of steel (that’s about 4 million pounds).

The cables supporting the roadway span more than 2 miles (3.2 km) between each tower and are made up of 21 strands of wire, each strand containing 728 wires approximately 19 inches in diameter!

These massive cables are capable of supporting 25 times their own weight in tension—that’s close to 60 million pounds! At night when you’re driving across this beautiful bridge with lights twinkling below your car, remember that there’s no magic at play here; everything is real engineering and science at work!

Is golden gate bridge free?

Yes, the Golden Gate Bridge is free to walk across. You can get a permit to go underneath it on a tour, but that requires a reservation and costs money.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in America. It’s also one of the most expensive bridges ever built. The construction cost was $35 million (in 1937 dollars), which would be more than $500 million today.

It took over four years to build and opened on May 27, 1937. Since then, it has become one of the most heavily trafficked bridges in America — especially since its addition of pedestrian walkways in 2015.

Why is the golden gate bridge so strong?

You may have heard that the Golden Gate Bridge is strong, but do you know why?

The answer is simple: steel. The Golden Gate Bridge uses a lot of it. It’s made up of more than 17 million pounds (7 million kilograms) of steel and some concrete to support it all—that’s enough material to build 2,200 cars! The bridge also has 852 steel cables that form its suspension structure and support towers on either side of the span.

The engineers who designed this half-mile long piece of architecture knew that they had to make sure their design was strong enough for earthquakes and weathering winds traveling up to 160 miles per hour (258 kilometers per hour).

They tested it by placing heavy loads on the structure until cracks appeared in different parts around San Francisco Bay Area where they might be needed later down the road if something happens unexpectedly during construction.

Then they fixed those spots before moving onto other areas as needed until finally finishing up with painting them black so nobody else could see them anymore except for us secret spies out here digging deep into things like this one day at a time through our research process.”