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Did You Know?
A photo of one of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge rising from the fog.
  • The submerged cleft in the Coastal Mountain Range that is the opening to San Francisco Bay was named the “Golden Gate” by Captain John C. Fremont in 1848. This land feature is where the bridge draws its name from (not from its color).
  • The bridge was finished ahead of schedule and under budget, an amazing feat.
  • The total length of the bridge is 1.7 miles.
  • The span between the two towers is 4,200 feet and was the longest in the world until 1964. Today it is still the ninth longest suspension bridge in the world.
  • The two bridge towers rise 746 feet tall above the water, and each weights 44,000 tons (40,200,000 kg).
  • The existing toll booths were designed by Donald MacDonald in 1980-82 after an architectural competition.
  • The two main cables that hang between the towers are each made of 27,572 strands of wire, and the two cables contain 80,000 miles of wire that took more than 6 months to spin together.
  • A safety net was suspended beneath the entire bridge during its construction to catch any men who fell. It saved the lives of 19 men, which became known as the “Half Way to Hell Club.”
  • Daily traffic is 118,000. As of April 2011, almost 2 billion vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (both north- and southbound traffic) since its opening.
  • The official name of the color of the bridge is “International Orange,” chosen because it blends well with the natural colors of the land and contrasts with the cool colors of the water, fog, and sky.
  • High winds of 69-75 miles per hour have forced the closure of the Golden Gate Bridge three times since its completion. The first time was December 1, 1951; the second on December 23, 1982; and most recently on December 3, 1983.
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