Construction Contracts and Cost

Eleven of the nation’s leading bridge engineering firms submitted construction proposals. On August 11, 1930, the War Department issued its final permit for the construction of a 4,200-foot main span with a vertical clearance of 220 feet at mid-span. On August 27, 1930, Joseph Strauss submitted final plans to the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Board of Directors. In November 1932, contracts totaling $23,843,905 were awarded for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The authorized bond issue was for $35 million and the total construction cost came in at $35 million which included $27,125,000 for the construction of the structure, $2,050,000 for Engineering and Inspection, $423,000 for Administrative and Preliminary Expenses, $4,068,000 for Financing, and $1,334,000 in surplus. The $27 million for final construction of the span is higher than the $23 million for the initial construction bids as other items were included in the final cost such as the toll plaza ($450,000), toll collection equipment ($72,000), tower elevators ($60,000), miscellaneous equipment ($45,000), and Military replacements and improvements ($575,000).

On October 14, 1932, bids were received for the following:

  1. Contract I-A: Steel Superstructure to McClintic-Marshall Corporation, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, San Francisco, CA, in the amount of $10,494,000.
  2. Contract I-B: Steel Cables, Suspenders & Accessories to John A. Roebling's Sons Company, Trenton, NJ, in the amount of $5,855,000
  3. Contract II: San Francisco Tower Pier and Fender, Marin Tower Pier to Pacific Bridge Company in the amount of $2,935,000.
  4. Contract III: Anchorages and Piers of Approach Spans to Barrett & Hilp, San Francisco, CA, for $1,859,855.
  5. Contract IV: Steel Superstructure for San Francisco and Marin Approaches to J.H. Pomeroy & Company, Inc. and Raymond Concrete Pile Co. in the amount of $934,800.
  6. Contract V: Presidio Approach Road (later renamed Doyle Drive) to Eaton & Smith Construction Company, San Francisco, CA, in the amount of $996,000.
  7. Contract VI: Sausalito Approach Road in the amount of $59,780.
  8. Contract VII: Paving of Main Spans to Barrett & Hilp and Pacific Bridge Company in the amount of $555,000.
  9. Contract VIII: Electrical Work to Alta Electric& Mechanical Company, Inc. in the amount of $154,470.

The nine contracts totaled $23,843,905. In November 1932, contracts were awarded for contracts I-B, II, III, IV, V, and VIII. Contract VI, the Sausalito Lateral (Alexander Avenue today), was not awarded and was later built as a WPA project.

Primary Contractors for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge were:

  1. Marin and San Francisco Tower Piers: Pacific Bridge Company
  2. Anchorages and Approach Piers: Barrett & Hilp
  3. Structural Steel of Suspension Span and Towers: McClintic-Marshall Corporation, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation
  4. Main Cables: John A. Roebling’s Sons Company
  5. Structural Steel of Approaches: J.H. Pomeroy & Company, and Raymond Concrete Pile Company
  6. Presidio Approach Road (Doyle Drive): Eaton & Smith Construction Company
  7. Pavement for Suspension Spans and Approaches: Pacific Bridge Company and Barrett & Hilp
  8. Electrical Work: Alta Electric & Mechanical Company

The last of the construction bonds was retired in 1971, with $35 million in principal and nearly $39 million in interest being paid entirely from Bridge tolls. With the exception of the Sausalito Lateral approach road (Alexander Avenue today) which was built as a federal WPA project, there was no state or federal funds involved in building the Golden Gate Bridge.