Sunday, September 15, 2013

Visit San Francisco Bridges

By John Feyd

There is no doubt that San Francisco bridges are the most spectacular and intricate bridges in the US. Bridges in San Francisco are renowned for many various reasons, if it is for their size or the mark they have made in history. Here is a few of the most unique and important bridges that San Francisco has to show off.

Hayward Bridge

Originally known as the San Francisco Bay Toll Bridge, this bridge connects the San Francisco Bay with the East Bay. At 7 miles long, it is currently the longest bridge in San Francisco and it ranks as one of the top 25 longest bridges on the planet. When they Hayward Bridge was first built in 1929, it was only two lanes with a vertical lift span over the shipping channel. In 1967, the bridge was reconstructed and made from concrete trestle spans and multiple steel girders.

Oakland Bay Bridge

This unique first of a kind structure is essentially two bridges and a tunnel that connect the eastern side of San Francisco and the western side of Oakland. It was designed by Charles Purcell with construction kicked off in 1933 and opening in 1936. The first part is a two spanned double-decker suspension bridge running 10,304 feet long and connecting San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island. After leaving the Yerba Buena tunnel, a 10,176 foot cantilever bridge continues to the Oakland Bay.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate bridge was designed by the famous architect Joseph Strauss and was finished in 1937 setting the standard for future bridges. The weight of the bridge is supported by two main cables, with each of the cables having 27,572 wires, equaling 80,000 miles of the thick cable wire. Most conspicuous though is the orange paint that was used so the bridge would be tangible to ships in the fog. The Golden Gate is the first Bridge that ever used a security net for the safety of the bridge workers during construction.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge

This wonderful double-decker cantilever and truss bridge is 29,040 feet long and was opened for traffic in 1956. It is popularly called the "roller coaster" bridge and many consider it to be one of the sturdiest bridges ever built. Despite it having a clearance of 185 feet this bridge has been understood to be hit by ships but hasn't had to close down for repairs due to it. In fact a navy radar vessel and a World War II war ship collided with the bridge both on the self same day.

Antioch Bridge

The original Antioch Bridge was built in 1926 by Aven Hanford and Oscar Klatt, it was actually the first toll bridge over the San Francisco tributary. But from the inception it encountered problems, because of a design failing many ships collide into its narrow opening and in 1970 the lift span stopped working. In 1978 a new steel plate girder bridge was made and is now known as the Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge.

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