The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge in California. It spans a stretch of water called the Golden Gate Strait between San Francisco and Marin County.
It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. When it was opened in 1937 it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world! The bridge is 8,981 feet long and weighs 887,000 tons.
Many people didn’t believe it would be possible to build the bridge, but the bridge’s designer, Joseph Strauss, proved them wrong!
Today over 120,000 cars cross the bridge every day and it has become an iconic landmark of San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge Facts for Kids
- The bridge is suspended over the water and held in place by two cables secured to towers on each end of the bridge. These cables weigh around 24,500 tons. The bridge is largely made of concrete and steel.
- The bridge is open to vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. You cannot cross the bridge on horseback, roller skates or on a skateboard, though! The road has six lanes, so a lot of traffic can cross it at once. For pedestrians there are sidewalks, but it’s not actually that easy to walk across the bridge. It’s extremely long, far above sea level and can sway up to 28 feet when it’s really windy!
- The planning for the bridge took years. It then took four years to build, and it wasn’t that easy to construct, due to wind and other weather conditions. There was even an earthquake during construction!
- Thousands of workers helped to build the bridge. It was dangerous work. The deck of the bridge is around 250 feet above the water, so as a safety measure, a large net was suspended below the bridge to catch any workers that fell. On one occasion this safety measure failed, and ten workers fell and lost their lives.
- The bridge is a stunning sight and very popular with photographers and filmmakers. It is the most photographed bridge in the world and can be seen in over 30 Hollywood movies, such as ‘Superman’ and ‘Hulk’. Good times to view it are in the morning when it’s sometimes covered in mist or late at night when it’s lit up with lights.
- Before the bridge was built, people wanting to get from San Francisco to Marin County had to either take the ferry or drive for hours. The bridge meant people could commute easily from San Francisco to Marin County and vice versa, which was great for local businesses.
- The bridge cost 35 million dollars to build in the 1930s.
- It is easily recognized around the world because of its orange color, officially called International Orange. This color was chosen because it can be seen easily by ships and because it stands out against the colors of the local landscape. Before this color was chosen, other colors were discussed, including yellow and black stripes and red and white stripes!
- Over the years, three babies have been born on the bridge – all of them boys!
- There are 128 lampposts on the roadway across the bridge, and 24 further lights on the sidewalks.
Question: When is the Empire State Building open to visitors?
Answer: It is open every day of the year, from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m.
Question: What instrument can you often hear being played on the 86th-floor observatory?
Answer: You can hear a saxophone!