Prime Tourist Attraction: The Golden Gate Bridge

Most people have a travel bucket list of the places they want to go and the attractions they want to see while there. One attraction that is commonly on said bucket lists is the Golden Gate Bridge, especially true for anyone who grew up watching Full House. It has so much recognition that it has been deemed as one of the topmost photographed bridges internationally. It has also been designated as one of the modern Wonders of the World.

Where is the Golden Gate Bridge?

For those of you who don’t know, this sleek, majestic structure connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County in California. This county is home to over 250,000 people. Prior to the Bridge, the only way from San Francisco to Marin County was by ferry. The ferry services were originally created for the transportation of water to San Francisco in 1840s. In the 1860s, the ferry began transporting people at a cost of $1.00 per person taking around 27 minutes for a one-way trip. Despite the fact that the city’s growth rate was below average when compared to other U.S. cities many dreamed of a way to connect the two locations.

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge

The construction of this bridge was definitely out of necessity when the proposal for its creation was first presented in 1916 by James Wilkins. As a response to the call for engineers, Joseph Strauss rose to the challenge. He had previously constructed around 400 drawbridges in his career as an engineer. However, these bridges were significantly shorter, therefore making this project especially challenging. Strauss estimated that it would take $17 million to build it, but the bridge ultimately cost more than double his estimate.

There were some who were against the construction of the bridge. Concerns that the bridge would disturb ship traffic and those making their living off of ferry services opposed the commencement of the project. Two forces backing the construction of the bridge were the Secretary of War and the automobile industry, ultimately pushing the bridge into the construction phase.

After lots of planning, construction of the bridge began in early 1933. McClintic-Marshall Construction Co. is credited with the building of the bridge with Strauss overseeing the work. The bridge took over 4 years to build, with construction ending in April of 1937 and officially opening at the end of May.

How did the Golden Gate Bridge get its name?

The name of the bridge was determined by the city engineer, M.M. O’Shaughnessy, and Joseph Strauss. It was named after the waterway forming the entrance to the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, which was named The Golden Gate Straight.

About the Author

Rebecca is a guest contributor from America by Rail, a company that provides train tours throughout North America. Rail travel is an exciting and relaxing way to fulfill this bucket list item and more!