An Engineered Wonder Of The World

1160 words - 5 pages

An Engineered Wonder of the World
"This bridge needs neither praise, eulogy nor encomium. It speaks for itself. We who have labored long are grateful. What Nature rent asunder long ago, man has joined today." This is a quote from Joseph Strauss, the engineer that designed the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is truly a piece of engineering excellence. It stretches for almost 9,000 feet over the San Francisco Bay, in San Francisco, California. The bridge has faced many problems during the designing process, construction, and even to this day it produces controversy. The final result of the bridge, however, is an amazing engineering feat that will be around for a long time.
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Tension is then run into the ground from these anchorages. Suspension bridges usually have two main towers that support most of the weight of the bridge. The rest of the pressure is supported by the cables. These vertical cables receive the bridge`s tension forces. The Golden Gate Bridge is a “textbook” suspension bridge (Lamb, Robert, and Michael Morrissey). Thus, with all of the designs and made, the Golden Gate Bridge was ready to be built.
To continue, it was January 5th, 1933, when construction officially started on the bridge. The two anchorages of the bridge were the first parts to be built. The first of the two to be built was on the San Francisco side of the bay. The other on the Marin side of the bay. The San Francisco tower access trestle was then started. It extended for more than 1,000 feet off shore. Unfortunately, a major setback was met on August 14, 1943. On this date, a steamship crashed into the access trestle, and damaged almost 400 feet. The repairs were not completed for another four months. Then to make matters worse, the trestle was battered again, but for 800 feet of damage this time. Another four months were needed for these repairs. Next up was the Marin tower. As previously stated, suspension bridges have two towers, and this was the first of the two built. There were no problems faced in the construction of the tower, and it was completed in about a year. The San Francisco tower was built next. Then the cables were put on, and finally on November 18th, 1936, the two sections of the bridge were joined in the middle. After this, the roadway was finally put in. On April 27th, 1927, the final rivet was put into the bridge, ending construction. About a month later on May 28th, 1927, the Golden Gate Bridge officially opened to traffic at 12:00 noon (Construction Timeline Golden Gate Bridge). This was the opening of years of hard work and ingenuity.
Continuing, although the Golden Gate Bridge seemed to be only a positive symbol, for some, it has become a symbol of something much worse. The Golden Gate Bridge is arguably the most popular suicide site in the world. There have been almost 2,000 suicides committed on the bridge. Some argue that it is the bridge`s magnetic pull that attracts people. Others say that it is a popular spot because of the easy access. The bridge is open to pedestrians, and the railing is only four feet high. This certainly does not deter...

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