Frequently Asked Questions about the Golden Gate Bridge

Bridge History and Construction  |  Painting and Maintaining the Bridge  |  Traffic and Tolls  |  Fun and Quirky Things  |  Miscellaneous


Bridge History and Construction

Why the name "Golden Gate"?

How long did it take to build the bridge?

When did the Golden Gate Bridge open?

How many people worked on the Bridge during its construction?
Were hard hats used during construction?
How many workers died during construction and what were their names?
What is the Halfway-to-Hell Club?
What would it cost to build the Golden Gate Bridge today?

How many rivets are in each tower of the Golden Gate Bridge?

What kind of lighting is on the Golden Gate Bridge?

What is the poem written by Joseph B. Strauss upon completion of building the Bridge?

On opening day in 1937, how did the San Francisco Chronicle refer to the Golden Gate Bridge?

Where was the steel fabricated for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge?

How can I find out if my relative worked on the Golden Gate Bridge?

What construction dedication/memorial plaques are posted on the Bridge?

Does the Golden Gate Bridge have the world's longest suspension span?

What is the elevation rise of the Bridge roadway?

Additional information on Bridge construction

 

Painting and Maintaining the Bridge

Why is the Golden Gate Bridge painted international orange?

What is the color formula for the unique International Orange color used on the Bridge?
Why isn't the Golden Gate Bridge painted gold?
Is the Golden Gate Bridge painted from end-to-end each year?
How often is the Golden Gate Bridge painted?
How many ironworkers and painters maintain the bridge?

What are the original rivets replaced with when they become corroded?

Additional information on caretaking of the Bridge

 

Traffic and Tolls

How can I learn about all electronic tolling at the Golden Gate Bridge?

How many vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge?
When did the bridge experience its highest and lowest volumes of traffic?
Why does the Golden Gate Bridge use reversible lanes?
What about one-way toll collection, when was it instituted?
When did FasTrak become available on the Golden Gate Bridge?

What are the carpool hours on the Golden Gate Bridge?
Why are 3 people required for a carpool and during what hours?

Was a pedestrian fee ever charged to access the Golden Gate Bridge sidewalks?


Additional information on toll and traffic data

 

Fun and Quirky

Has the Golden Gate Bridge ever been closed?

Is there anything special about the Golden Gate Bridge, like the shape, that influences the fog?

How many people attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge?

What movies include the Golden Gate Bridge?

The Golden Gate Bridge: Who destroyed it best?

How can I find movie phrases for the words: Golden Gate Bridge?

What documentaries have been made about the Golden Gate Bridge?

What year did the Golden Gate Bridge appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?

Why is the arched (portal) entrance to the Waldo Tunnel just north of the Bridge on the Marin side painted as a rainbow?

What other not-so-famous bridge is painted the same color as the Golden Gate Bridge?

Miscellaneous

Where is the Golden Gate Bridge located?

Is the Golden Gate Bridge part of the State Highway System?

Is the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District a public agency?

May I scatter the ashes of a loved one from the Golden Gate Bridge?

 


 

WHY THE NAME GOLDEN GATE?

The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.  The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.  It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae", or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846.  It reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

 


 

Bridge Opens to Traffic, May 28, 1937

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO BUILD THE BRIDGE?

Just over four years.  Construction commenced on January 5, 1933 and the Bridge was open to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.

 



 

WHEN DID THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE OPEN?

The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.  Pedestrian Day was held on May 27, 1937.

 


 

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORKED ON THE BRIDGE DURING ITS CONSTRUCTION?

We do not have the exact employment figures. The Bridge was built by 10 different prime contractors and their subcontractors. These contractors are no longer in business and our agency did not have the employment records.

 



 

WERE HARD HATS USED DURING CONSTRUCTION?

Yes they were and here is how they came to be. The E.D. Bullard Company was founded in 1898 in San Francisco, CA, where the firm manufactured equipment for miners in western states. Many years later when Bullard's son, Edward W. Bullard (1899-1963), returned from World War I, he applied his experience with Doughboy army helmets in designing protective headgear for miners, and soon after, for the construction industry. E.W. Bullard's original 1919 "Hard-Boiled Hat" was manufactured out of steamed canvas, glue and black paint and included a suspension device. It was considered the first "hard hat," which revolutionized construction and mine worker safety. During construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bullard adapted his hats for bridge workers. E.D. Bullard Co., Inc. remains a family-owned business and continues to produce innovative products for construction and public safety from its headquarters in Cynthiana, Ky.



 

HOW MANY WORKERS DIED DURING CONSTRUCTION AND WHAT WERE THEIR NAMES?

Eleven men.  Until February 17, 1937, there had been only one fatality, setting a new all-time record in a field where one man killed for every million dollars spent had been the norm.  On February 17, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffold carrying twelve men fell through the safety net.

October 21, 1936:   Kermit Moore

February 17, 1937: O.A. Anderson; Chris Anderson; William Bass; O. Desper; Fred Dümmatzen; Terence Hallinan; Eldridge Hillen; Charles Lindros; Jack Norman; and Louis Russell.

 


 

Photo of Ironworker Working on Bridge

WHAT'S THE HALFWAY-TO-HELL CLUB?

The most conspicuous precaution was the safety net, suspended under the floor of the Bridge from end to end.  During construction, the net saved the lives of 19 men who became known as the "Halfway-to-Hell Club."



 

WHAT WOULD IT COST TO BUILD THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TODAY?

The cost to construct a new Golden Gate Bridge would be approximately $1.2 billion in 2003 dollars. The total price depends on a many factors including the extent of the environmental reviews and the cost of labor and materials.

 


 

HOW MANY RIVETS ARE THERE IN EACH GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TOWER?

There are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower.

 


 

WHAT IS THE POEM ON THE BRIDGE WRITTEN BY JOSEPH B. STRAUSS?

Upon completion of building the Golden Gate Bridge in May 1937, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss wrote a poem entitled "The Mighty Task is Done."  

 


 

ON OPENING DAY IN 1937, HOW DID THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE REFER TO THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

A thirty-five million dollar steel harp! 

 


 

WHERE WAS THE STEEL FABRICATED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

The fabricated steel used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in plants in Trenton, New Jersey and Sparrows Point, Maryland and in plants in three Pennsylvania towns: Bethlehem, Pottstown, and Steelton. The steel was loaded, in sections, onto rail cars, taken to Philadelphia and shipped through the Panama Canal to San Francisco. The shipment of the steel was timed to coincide with the construction of the bridge.

 


 

HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY RELATIVE WORKED ON THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

During the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, ten prime contractors and various subcontractors were used.  Not all of them kept accurate records of the people they employed.  All ten prime contractors are no longer in business, and therefore employment records are not available (to our knowledge).  The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is unable to identify individuals who contributed to the building of the bridge.

 


 

WHAT CONSTRUCTION DEDICATION/MEMORIAL PLAQUES ARE POSTED ON THE BRIDGE?

There is a plaque on the south face of the south tower that acknowledges the names of the Officers, Past Officers, Directors, Past Directors, Engineering Staff and Contractors involved in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a memorial plaque at the southern entrance to the west sidewalk that was created as a memorial to the eleven men killed while building the Golden Gate Bridge; their names are listed on the plaque.

Click on icons below for largest image

construction plaqueconstruction plaque
memorial plaque
memorial plaque

 

There are also three plaques displayed together in the Flag Pole area in the visitor area on south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The three plaques include:

  1. American Society of Civil Engineers awarded a special citation for infrastructure rehabilitation for the redecking of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1986.
  2. American Society of Civil Engineers named the Golden Gate Bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1984.
  3. American Society of Civil Engineers, San Francisco Section named the Golden Gate Bridge as a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1976.
         
1986plaque
1984plaque
1976plaque

 

DOES THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE HAVE THE WORLD'S LONGEST SUSPENSION SPAN?

Not any more.  The 4,200-foot long suspension span of the  Golden Gate Bridge was the Bridge Span Under Constructionlongest span in the world from the time of its construction in 1937 until New York City's Verrazano Narrows Bridge was opened on November 21, 1964.  It is 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate Bridge.  The Verrazano was the longest single span bridge until July 17, 1981, when the Humber Bridge in England, spanning the Humber River, was opened for traffic with a main span of 4,626 feet.

Today, both the Great Belt East Bridge in Denmark (main span of 5,328 feet) and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan (main span of 6,532 feet)  have main span lengths which exceed that of the Humber Bridge.  The table below shows the relative suspension bridges in comparison. 


WORLD'S LONGEST SUSPENSION BRIDGES

Suspension Bridge

  Main Span Length*   Year Opened 
In feet In meters
1.
6,529 1,991 1998
2.
5,414 1,650 2009
3.
5,328 1,624 1998
4.
4,888 1,490 2005
5.
Humber Bridge, England
4,626 1,410 1981
6.
4,543 1,385 1999
7.
Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong
4,518 1,377 1997
8.
4,260 1,298 1964
9.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
4,200 1,280 1937
10.
4,200 1,280 2007
11.
3,970 1,210 1997
12.
3,800 1,158 1957
13.
3,635 1,108 2008
14.
3,609 1,100 1989
15.
Second Bosphorus (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge), Turkey
3,576 1,090 1988
16.
Balinghe, China 3,570 1,088 2009
17.
3,524 1,074 1973
18.
3,500 1,067 1931
* The main span is the length of the main suspended span between the two main towers.

 

WHY IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED INTERNATIONAL ORANGE?

The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted orange vermilion, deemed "International Orange." Rejecting carbon black and steel gray, Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the span's natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.

 


 

WHAT IS THE COLOR FORMULA FOR THE UNIQUE INTERNATIONAL ORANGE COLOR USED ON THE BRIDGE?

Many people ask about the formula for the Bridge’s unique International Orange paint color. Paint stores can mix it with the following information:
CMYK colors are: C= Cyan: 0%, M =Magenta: 69%, Y =Yellow: 100%, K = Black: 6%.

The closest existing color codes to the International Orange color formula are PMS 173 (CYMK = 0%, 80%, 94%, 1%), PMS 174 (CYMK 8%, 85%, 100%, 34%) and Pantone 180 (CYMK 19.4%, 77.9%, 79.6% 3.6%).

When purchasing paint for the Golden Gate Bridge, it is done through a competitive bidding process. Currently, the paint is supplied by Sherwin Williams and is made to match the Bridge International Orange color formula. The closest off-the-shelf paint color that Sherwin Williams has available is "Fireweed" (color code SW 6328).

 


 

WHY ISN'T THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED GOLD?

Actually, the term Golden Gate refers to the Golden Gate Strait which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.  The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.  It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae" or Golden Gate by Army Captain John C. Fremont, circa 1846.  It is said it reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

 


 

IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED FROM END-TO-END EACH YEAR?

No. Painting the Golden Gate Bridge is an ongoing task and the primary maintenance job. The paint protects the Bridge from the high salt content in the air which rusts and corrodes the steel components.

 


 

Photo of Bridge Painter on Top of Main Cable HOW OFTEN IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PAINTED?

Many misconceptions exist about how often the Bridge is painted. Some say once every seven years, others say from end-to-end each year. Actually, the Bridge was painted when it was originally built. Until 1965, only touch up was required. In 1965, advancing corrosion sparked a program to remove the original lead-based paint (which was 68% red lead paste in a linseed oil carrier). The removal continued to 1995. In 1965, the original paint was replaced with an inorganic zinc silicate primer and acrylic emulsion topcoat. In the 1980s, this paint system was replaced by a water-borne inorganic zinc primer and an acrylic topcoat. The Bridge will continue to require routine touch up painting on an on-going basis.

 



 

Photo of Worker Walking on Main Cable HOW MANY IRONWORKERS AND PAINTERS MAINTAIN THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

Currently, a revered and rugged group of of 13 ironworkers and 3 pusher ironworkers along with and 28 painters, 5 painter laborers, and a chief bridge painter battle wind, sea air and fog, often suspended high above the Gate, to repair corroding steel.  Ironworkers replace corroding steel and rivets with high-strength steel bolts, make small fabrications for use on the Bridge, and assist painters with their rigging. Ironworkers also remove plates and bars to provide access for painters to the interiors of the columns and chords that make up the Bridge. Painters prepare all Bridge surfaces and repaint all corroded areas.

 



 

WHAT ARE THE ORIGINAL RIVETS REPLACED WITH WHEN THEY BECOME CORRODED?

Since 1970, as various construction projects and painting projects occur across the Bridge, the original rivets are being replaced with ASTM A-325 high-strength bolts of equal diameter. In the early 1970s, corroded rivets were replaced with ASTM A-325 high-strength bolts dipped in organic zinc rich primer prior to installation. When galvanized ASTM A-325 bolts became available in the mid-1970s, corroded rivets have been replaced with galvanized high-strength bolts.

When installing high strength galvanized bolts, they have to be pre-tensioned a certain amount so they “clamp” the connection together rather than “pin it” together. Using a predetermined torque value can result in being either over or under the required pre-tension depending on the roughness of the contact surfaces of the turning elements. Using the “turn of the nut” method sidesteps the potential over or under pre-tensioning problem, but it varies depending on the length of the bolt. So, what is normally done is that workers establish the “turn of the nut” rotation and torque value based on the specific length of a lot of bolts under clean conditions. They then tighten it by “turn of the nut” method and check it with a torque wrench that is calibrated first to the specific lot of bolts being installed.

 


 

HAS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE EVER BEEN CLOSED?

Full Closures due to Weather: The Golden Gate Bridge has been closed due to high winds three times:

December 1, 1951: As gusting winds reached 69 miles per hour, the Bridge was closed for about three hours.
December 23, 1982: High winds of up to 70 miles per hour closed the Bridge for almost two hours.
December 3, 1983: Once again high winds closed the Bridge for the longest period in its history—3 hours and 27 minutes. Wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour, but again the Bridge suffered no structural damage.

Full Closure due to Construction: On July 13, 1975 the entire Bridge roadway was closed from 3 am to 4:20 am to move the cable traveler being used for the Suspender Rope Replacement Project.

Full Closure for 50th Anniversary: On May 24, 1987, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 5 am to 11 am for the 50th Anniversary Pedestrian Walk.

Full Closure for 75th Anniversary: On May 27, 2012, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 9 pm to 10:01 pm for the 75th Anniversary fireworks display.


Brief Closures for Dignitaries: The Bridge was closed very briefly on two separate occasions for visiting dignitaries President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Charles de Gaulle of France.



 

HOW MANY VEHICLES HAVE CROSSED THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

As of January 2014, 2,025,883,491 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (includes northbound and southbound) since opening to traffic on May 28, 1937.

 


 

WHEN DID THE BRIDGE EXPERIENCE ITS HIGHEST AND LOWEST VOLUMES OF TRAFFIC?

LOWEST: On Monday, January 4, 1982, a devastating rainstorm struck the San Francisco Bay Area.  Earth slides and flooding covered the highway and roads north of the Bridge. Two days later on Wednesday, January 6, only 3,921 southbound vehicles crossed the Bridge. This compares to the average daily southbound count of 37,936 for January 1982.

HIGHEST: During the evening commute on October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta Earthquake jarred the Bay Area with a force measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. The Golden Gate Bridge withstood, undamaged, the most devastating quake to strike the Bay Area since 1906. During this time of myriad traffic problems, extra bus and ferry trips were added to help smooth the commute as a flood of 30,000 to 40,000 drivers were diverted from the East Bay to Highway 101 and the Golden Gate Bridge due to the failure of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge. On October 27, 1989, an all-time record of 162,414 vehicles crossed the Bridge north and southbound.

 


 

WHY DOES THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE USE REVERSIBLE LANES?

Reversible lanes were inaugurated on the Bridge on October 29, 1963. Their use greatly aids the flow of traffic during the heavy morning and evening commute hours and during weekend tourist periods. The Bridge has a total of six lanes.  At any given time the number of lanes northbound or southbound may be adjusted.  Bright yellow lane markers are manually placed in "sockets" in the Bridge roadway to clearly identify the San Francisco outbound lanes (northbound) and San Francisco inbound lanes (southbound). During the morning commute, there are four lanes of traffic southbound to San Francisco and two lanes northbound to Marin. During the afternoon commute, currently there are three lanes northbound to Marin and three lanes southbound to San Francisco.

 


 

WHAT ABOUT ONE-WAY TOLL COLLECTION, WHEN WAS IT INSTITUTED?

In October 19, 1968, the Golden Gate Bridge became the first major bridge in the world to offer one-way toll collection.  The system proved so successful it has since been instituted on many bridges throughout the world.

 


 

WHAT ARE THE CARPOOL HOURS ON THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

In April 1976, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District initiated toll free passage on the Golden Gate Bridge for two-axle vehicles with three or more occupants, motorcycles, and buses during peak commute traffic hours.  The free CAR POOL hours, weekdays only, are from 5:00-9:00 a.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m.

 


 

WHY ARE 3 PEOPLE REQUIRED FOR A CARPOOL and DURING WHAT HOURS?

In April 1976, the Bridge District initiated toll free passage for motorcycles and vehicles with THREE or more people on weekdays except holidays from 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. Policy requires three or more people for two key reasons: to ease traffic congestion and to remain within the budgetary requirements of the Bridge District.

 


 

IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, LIKE THE SHAPE, THAT INFLUENCES THE FOG?

"Advection fog" forms when humid air from the Pacific Ocean swoops over the chilly California current flowing parallel to the coast. The fog hugs the ground and then the warm, moist air condenses as it moves across the bay or land. This is common near any coastline. The Bridge has an influence in directing the fog as it pushes up and pours down around the Bridge. Sometimes, high pressure squashes it close to the ground. By the way, the color of the bridge is International Orange, and was chosen in part because of its visibility in the fog.

 


 

IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT A PUBLIC AGENCY?

Yes.  The "Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act" was enacted by the California State Legislature on May 25, 1923.  The enabling legislation gave counties the right to organize as a bridge district and borrow money, issue bonds, construct a bridge and collect tolls.  On December 4, 1928, the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District was formed as the entity to design, construct and finance the Golden Gate Bridge.  The District consists of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Del Norte and parts of Mendocino and Napa counties.  On November 10, 1969, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 584 authorizing the District to develop a transportation facility plan for implementing a mass transportation program in the Golden Gate Corridor.  This was to include any and all forms of transit, including ferry.  At that time, the word "Transportation" was added to the District name.

 


WHERE IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE LOCATED?

The Golden Gate Bridge crosses the Golden Gate Strait and connects the City of San Francisco and the County of Marin to the north. The longitude and latitude for the Bridge location is approximately: N 37 Degrees, 49 Minutes, 8.0 Seconds --- W 122 Degrees, 28 Minutes, 40.6 Seconds.

 


IS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE PART OF THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM?

Technically, Highway 101 and State Route 1 end at the north abutment of the Golden Gate Bridge and at about 1,000 feet south of the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. The Golden Gate Bridge is not technically or officially part of Highway 101 or State Route 1. The GGB is not considered part of the State Highway System, but it is considered part of the National Highway System. For more information refer to the California Streets and Highways Code Section 301 and 401.


 

Photo of Bridgewalk '87, 50th Anniversary HOW MANY PEOPLE ATTENDED THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.  On Sunday, May 24, 1987, this dream come true was celebrated as the Golden Gate Bridge turned fifty.  With great fanfare, people from all over the world came to pay homage to the Bridge, become part of an historical celebration and create lifelong memories.  The day began as "Bridgewalk 87", a reenactment of "Pedestrian Day 37".  It is estimated that nearly 300,000 people surged onto the roadway.  By 11:00 a.m. the Bridge was cleared for a commemorative vintage automobile motorcade.  As a token of appreciation to the thousands of motorists who use the Bridge each day, the Board of Directors suspended toll collection for the day.

To review the abstract from the Center for Design Informatics at the Harvard Design School evaluating stresses placed on the Bridge during the 50th Anniversary event, click here.

To purchase a photo of this event, click here.



 

MAY I SCATTER THE ASHES OF A LOVED ONE FROM THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. Under California Penal Code Section 219.3, any person who willfully drops or throws any object or missile from any toll bridge is guilty of a misdemeanor.


WHAT YEAR DID THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE APPEAR ON THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE?

On February 26, 1976, the Golden Gate Bridge appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine as the backdrop with five prominent San Francisco based rockers of the day, with a title above the photo that read, “What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been.”


 

WHAT MOVIES INCLUDE THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

A number of major motion pictures have included the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop or contain scenes filmed on the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is a small sampling:

 

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): Eight years of being raised by humans and now left behind in an abusive sanctuary, Caesar a hyper-intelligent chimpanzee leads a revolution of apes (with a huge fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge with apes against the CHP) towards freedom from man's torturous exploitation.
  • Going the Distance (2010): A romantic comedy centered on a couple who try to keep their love alive as they travel back and forth between New York and San Francisco to see one another. The Golden Gate Bridge is featured in several scenes.
  • Star Trek (2009): Once again, as in several other Star Trek movies, we see a few fleeting images of Star Fleet Academy which is located right next to the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009): The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the sea. The massive shark snacks on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens (2009): A monster named Susan moves vehicles on the Golden Gate Bridge. Susan is among the crew trying to save us from extra-terrestrial threats, and there's a standoff on the Bridge.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): Magneto Man moves the Golden Gate Bridge...nothing to it!
  • The Core (2003): To save the Earth from catastrophe, they must drill down to the core and set it spinning again. The Golden Gate Bridge comes down along the way.
  • Boys and Girls (2000): A friendship is put to the test when two best friends end up together. The Golden Gate Bridge plays a part in that.
  • Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco (1996): It’s another incredible journey. Shadow, Sassy and Chance are back, the family lives in San Francisco and they're taking a vacation in Canada. The pets escape at the airport. The family is in Canada and the pets are all alone in San Francisco. They must navigate the streets of San Francisco, trying to find their home across the Golden Gate Bridge, but the road is blocked by a series of hazards, both man and beast.
  • The Rock (1996): A payload of explosives on Alcatraz threatens the Golden Gate Bridge and the rest of San Francisco. Three Black Hawk helicopters emerge from under the Bridge on their way to save the day.
  • Murder in the First (1995): An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
  • Interview with a Vampire (1994): A vampire tells his epic life story, with a dramatic ending on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Final Analysis (1992): Starring Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, and Uma Thurman, this murder mystery includes scene of an ambulance crossing the Golden Gate Bridge roadway, scenes below the Bridge on the northeast side at the Fort Baker Fishing Pier, and a scene at a Bay Area lighthouse.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991): The crews of the Enterprise and the Excelsior must stop a plot to prevent a peace treaty between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. The Star Fleet Academy is located at the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986): The Bridge is struck by a cosmic storm when a space probe is searching for a humpback whale.
  • A View to a Kill (1985): James Bond must stop a mad industrialist who plans to destroy Silicon Valley. There is lots of dangling at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge tower with helicopter rescue scene.
  • Superman (1978): The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) arrives in time to save a school bus on the edge of the Bridge.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): In this remake of the original 1956 classic, cars speed through the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza. The Bridge was one of many San Francisco locations featured in the film.
  • High Anxiety (1977): This film was partially shot in San Francisco, with some scenes taking place in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency as well as under the Golden Gate Bridge. Many different Alfred Hitchcock films, including Vertigo and Psycho, are parodied in this movie.
  • The Domino Principle (1977): One scene in this espionage thriller starring Gene Hackman and Mickey Rooney was filmed on the hillside located under the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974): Herbie the Love Bug drives Helen Hayes up one of the main cables of the Golden Gate Bridge on a ride around San Francisco.
  • The Love Bug (1968): The driverless Love Bug attempts to drive off the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Vertigo (1958): A story about a San Francisco detective and his psychological troubles with fear of heights and obsession over a woman. They spend some time at the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955): In this sci-fi classic, a giant octopus destroys the Golden Gate Bridge and much of the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
  • Dark Passage (1947): Humphrey Bogart plays a man convicted of murdering his wife who escapes from prison in order to prove his innocence. Bogart has to get past a roadblock at the Golden Gate Bridge and does so by hiding in Lauren Becall’s car under some large canvas paintings.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941): One of the best classic detective mysteries ever made. With a slow camera pan in a grayish 1940s, several San Francisco landmarks show up including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge.

 

 


THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: WHO DESTROYED IT BEST?

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge has suffered all manner of damage and destruction in television and on film. But of all the earthquakes, sea monsters, and alien attacks, who caused the Bridge its most impressive destruction? Find out here!


HOW CAN I FIND MOVIE PHRASES FOR THE WORDS: GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

As of this writing (June 2011), the www.subzin.com website is a great search engine that can answer this question.

 


 

WHAT RECENT DOCUMENTARIES HAVE BEEN MADE ABOUT THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

An American Icon: Originally aired on NBC Bay Area on April 2012, produced by NBC Bay Area and hosted by Doug McConnell. Click here to view the various segment produced for the 75th anniversary by NBC Bay Area.

Artland (episode 6 of season 2): Originally aired on Voom Network in 2007 and produced by Illuminations.

Impossible Bridges: Golden Gate: Originally aired on National Geographic Channel in 2007 and produced by Michael Hoff Productions.

The National Parks: Extreme Maintenance: Originally aired on the Travel Channel in April 2005 and produced by Bellevue Entertainment.

MegaStructures, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on National Geographic Channel in 2004 and produced by Principal Films.

The Once and Future City: Filmed in 2004 and produced by Beyond Productions for the Discovery Channel.

The American Experience: Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on PBS in May 2004 and produced by Ben Loeterman Productions. You can purchase the DVD through PBS here: http://www.shoppbs.org/home/index.jsp

Modern Marvels, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on the History Channel in 2004 and produced by Actuality Productions.

Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on A&E in 2001 and produced by LMNO Productions.

Bridges: Reaching Out: Originally aired on Discovery Channel in 2000 and produced by Arcwelder Films.

 


 

WHY IS THE ARCHED (PORTAL) ENTRANCE TO THE WALDO TUNNEL LOCATED JUST NORTH OF THE BRIDGE IN MARIN COUNTY PAINTED AS A RAINBOW?

A Caltrans engineer came up with the idea in 1970. The late Alan Hart, who was the former director of the San Francisco District of Caltrans, then known as the State Division of Highways, ordered the rainbow look. Because they are visible from homes, the portals on the north side of the tunnel remain unadorned. Caltrans crews have maintained the rainbow paint job ever since.

On October 1, 2009, Caltrans workers began repainting the Waldo Tunnel's fading rainbows, bleached by years of sun, wind and fog. Fresh coats of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet were applied. Belinda Hallmark, an architectural color and finish consultant from Novato, donated time to assist Caltrans in selecting the paint for the refreshed rainbow. And Marin Color Service Inc., where Hallmark works part-time, donated the Benjamin Moore "Aura" brand exterior paint for the project.

 


 

WHAT IS THE ELEVATION RISE OF THE ROADWAY FROM THE SOUTH END OF THE BRIDGE TO THE MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE?

At midspan, the height of the top of the roadway surface is +270.9 feet Mean Lower Low Water, which is the average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch. At the south abutment of the Bridge, the height of the top of roadway surface is +186.5 feet. The difference, equaling the rise in elevation as you travel across the Bridge roadway, is +84.4 feet. These data are from the most recent survey done in 1992.

 


 

WHAT OTHER NOT-SO-FAMOUS SUSPENSION BRIDGE IS PAINTED THE SAME COLOR AS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?

The 25 de Abril Bridge, or the "25th of April Bridge," is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo River. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966, and a train platform was added in 1999. Because of its similar coloring, it is often compared to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (but not the Golden Gate Bridge), explaining its similarity in design to the Bay Bridge. With a total length of 2,277 meters, it is the 20th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper platform carries six car lanes, the lower platform two train tracks. Until 1974, the bridge was named Salazar Bridge. To easily see the similarities, take a look at photos of the 25th of April Bridge on this web link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25_de_Abril_Bridge.

 


 

WAS A PEDESTRIAN FEE EVER CHARGED TO ACCESS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE SIDEWALKS?

From May 1937 to December 1970, a pedestrian toll (sidewalk fee) was charged and collected using a coin turnstile. By Board of Director Resolution No. 7159, authorized on December 15, 1970, the pedestrian toll was eliminated.