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You have to know that if you wat to cross the bridge walking it´s free but if you want to cross it by car, you have to pay $6.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937 and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate, a narrow, 400-foot (120 m) deep strait that serves as the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, between San Francisco at the northernmost tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, and the Marin Headlands at the far southern end of Marin County. Although close by proximity, the two sides of the strait are separated by significant natural obstacles. Crossing the strait directly by boat is dangerous because of strong currents and lack of suitable landings. Ocean tides drive an average of 528 billion gallons (2 billion cubic meters) of water every six hours, at peak currents exceeding 5.6 miles per hour (2.5 m/s). Circumnavigating the Bay, however, involves a trip of several hundred miles and crossing several major rivers.

Construction began on 5 January 1933. The project cost more than $26 million. Strauss remained head of the project, overseeing day-to-day construction and making some groundbreaking contributions. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he had placed a brick from his alma mater's demolished McMicken Hall in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured. He innovated the use of movable safety netting beneath the construction site, which saved the lives of many otherwise-unprotected steelworkers. Of eleven men killed from falls during construction, ten were killed (when the bridge was near completion) when the net failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen. Nineteen others who were saved by the net over the course of construction became proud members of the (informal) Halfway to Hell Club.

The project was finished by April 1937, $1.3 million under budget. Strauss was Chief Engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project. However, because he had little understanding or experience with cable suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts.

Irving Morrow, a relatively unknown residential architect, designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme, and Art Deco elements such as the streetlights, railing, and walkways. The famous International Orange color was originally used as a sealant for the bridge. Many locals persuaded Morrow to paint the bridge in the vibrant orange color instead of the standard silver or gray, and the color has been kept ever since.
Senior engineer Charles Alton Ellis, collaborating remotely with famed bridge designer Leon Moisseiff, was the principal engineer of the project. Moisseiff produced the basic structural design, introducing his "deflection theory" by which a thin, flexible roadway would flex in the wind, greatly reducing stress by transmitting forces via suspension cables to the bridge towers. Although the Golden Gate Bridge design has proved sound, a later Moisseiff design, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, collapsed in a strong windstorm soon after it was completed, because of an unexpected resonance mode caused by a too-thin roadway and unexpected wind forces.

Ellis was a Greek scholar and mathematician who became a University of Illinois professor of engineering despite having no engineering degree. He became an expert in structural design, writing the standard textbook of the time. Ellis did much of the technical and theoretical work that built the bridge but got none of the credit in his lifetime. In November 1931, Strauss fired Ellis and replaced him with a former subordinate, Clifford Paine, ostensibly for wasting too much money sending telegrams back and forth to Moisseiff. Ellis, obsessed with the project and unable to find work elsewhere during the Depression, continued working 70 hours per week on an unpaid basis, eventually turning in ten volumes of hand calculations.

With an eye toward self-promotion and posterity, Strauss downplayed the contributions of his collaborators who, despite receiving little recognition or compensation, are largely responsible for the final form of the bridge. He succeeded in having himself credited as the person most responsible for the design and vision of the bridge. Only much later were the contributions of the others on the design team properly appreciated. In May 2007, the Golden Gate Bridge district issued a formal report on 70 years of stewardship of the famous bridge and decided to right an old wrong by giving Ellis major credit for the design of the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a frequent site for suicides and is sometimes reported to be the most popular place to commit suicide in the world. The deck is approximately 245 feet (75 m) above the water. After a fall of approximately four seconds, jumpers hit the water at some 88 miles per hour (142 km/h), which is nearly always fatal. Most of those who survive the impact die in the cold water.

September 2008

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