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Old Posted May 27, 2008, 4:30 PM
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Amanita Amanita is offline
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SAN FRANCISCO | Happy Birthday Golden Gate Bridge!

Exactly 71 years ago today, on may 27, 1937, San Franciscans came out to celebrate what had once been deemed impossible- the bridging of the Golden Gate strait. The bridge that "Couldn't be built" now stood completed, the pride, joy, and glory of San Francisco.

The bridge's first day was reserved exclusively for pedestrians, and at least 200,000 of them came out to celebrate. At least one person crossed on stilts, and another crossed with her tongue sticking out.

Since that happy day, the Golden Gate Bridge has achieved many impressive firsts- for 40 years, holding the world record for longest suspension span- 4200 feet between the towers. It was only dethroned in the 60's by the Verrazano narrows bridge, and by only 60 feet.
The Golden Gate was also the first toll bridge to institute one-way toll collection, now many others have copied it. It was also the first suspension bridge to undergo a complete replacement of its vertical suspender ropes, which took 4 years in the early 70's.

Much was learned about the behavior of long-span suspension bridges thanks to Golden Gate. In the wake of the Tacoma-Narrows bridge collapse, the Golden Gate recieved some structural retrofitting, which has made it even stronger than before. The Bridge has lost weight too- about 11,500 ton's worth. This was the result of having its original poured concrete road deck replaced with a much lighter and stronger orthotropic steel one.

On the bridge's 50th birthday, so many enthusiastic people showed up for another pedestrian day that their weight flattened the graceful arch of the Golden Gate's deck! Luckily the bridge was unhurt, such was its great strength and flexibility.

Even today, the work continues to keep this beautiful and much-loved bridge in fighting shape- painting is constant, old rivets are replaced with high strength bolts, and a massive seismic retrofit is underway.

Golden Gate Bridge may not be the longest suspension bridge in the world anymore, but surely it may be the world's most loved. Heck, even Magneto of the X-Men couldn't resist, and tried to pick it up and take it home with him!

So let's celebrate this amazing structure, the bridge that couldn't be built, and has since confounded all critics by not only getting built, but surviving 71 years of storms, earthquakes, and ever increasing traffic.

Happy Birthday Golden Gate, we'll see you in 2012 for your 75th, and maybe we'll even flatten out your road deck again!



Now to celebrate, let's see some serious Golden Gate Bridge Porn!
Here's the live webcam, so we can admire the bridge live:

http://www.goldengatebridge.org/

And a link to some cool facts and lovely pics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge
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Old Posted May 27, 2008, 7:23 PM
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Happy birthday to the golden gate, the most beautiful bridge in the world
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Old Posted May 27, 2008, 8:04 PM
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my favorite bridges in the world!
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Old Posted May 29, 2008, 4:57 AM
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Here are a few I've taken over the past year or so. I have more on my wife's computer I'll upload when she is done with it.





Looking through Raccoon Straight:






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Old Posted May 29, 2008, 6:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
On the bridge's 50th birthday, so many enthusiastic people showed up for another pedestrian day that their weight flattened the graceful arch of the Golden Gate's deck! Luckily the bridge was unhurt, such was its great strength and flexibility.
I was one of them. Luckily, I was unhurt, such was my great strength and flexibility. However, I have probably gained 75 lbs since then and if we all do it again, I'm not sure the bridge could take that extra weight.
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Old Posted May 29, 2008, 6:36 PM
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Peanut Gallery, those are some lovely pics! Can't wait to see the others, I'm sure they will be amazing.
I can't wait to get to San Francisco and take some pics myself. I'll be sure to post them here when I do.

Maybe for the 75th birthday party, we should handle bridgewalk 2012 like the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge in Japan did- from what I heard, bridgewalk '87 was a logistical disaster- people swarmed the bridge at once, and from both ends. The result? A human traffic jam that took forever to clear.

I saw some pics on the net of one of Akashi's bridgewalks. To prevent that kind of mess, they made people register first, and handed out passes with times stamped on them. The time on your pass was the time you start your crossing, and the times were staggered to prevent too many people from crowding on all at once. I definately think the Golden Gate Bridge district needs to talk to Akashi-Kaikyo's management about that- pedestrian day is hella cool, I would love to take part in one. I just don't want to see anyone get hurt, or Golden Gate end up with a broken back, or any other injury for that matter.
You don't celebrate an icon's 75th birthday by injuring it severely. You just don't.
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Old Posted May 31, 2008, 6:58 AM
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Thanks Amanita. Here are some more. I just realized that almost everything I've posted is shot from Crissy Field. I guess we spend a lot of time there. Anyway, hope you enjoy.





Here's a shot of my dog:






Here's a shot of my son:


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  #8  
Old Posted May 31, 2008, 7:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
from what I heard, bridgewalk '87 was a logistical disaster- people swarmed the bridge at once, and from both ends. The result? A human traffic jam that took forever to clear.
It wasn't a disaster at all. The idea was to put as many people on the bridge as possible--sort of like putting as many people as possible in a Volkswagen or phone booth. And it WAS wall to wall. I was pretty close to the middle. And sure, when the party was over it took a while for them all to empty out but so what? Nobody was in a hurry.

The worst part by far was getting home on Muni--as I recall, I ended up walking most of the way home because it was impossible to get on what busses there were (and it would have been impossible to find a place to park if you tried to drive there).
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Old Posted Jun 1, 2008, 1:33 AM
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Ahh..I read some accounts online that things were not intended to be quite as nuts as they were, and that so many people swarmed out at once that the opening ceremonies were pretty much overwhelmed.

Either way, I don't think the bridge's engineers were expecting to see thier bridge with a flattened road deck! So I suspect if they do pedestrian day again, it won't be in the fashion of volkswagon or phonebooth stuffing.

I'll have to visit Chrissy field when I'm in San Francisco, it looks like a lovely spot to capture the bridge in all its handsome glory
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Old Posted Jun 2, 2008, 4:54 AM
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^^^Definitely! You'll really like it earlier in the day when the sunlight is hitting it from the east. It's also worth seeing from the Marin headlands and from below at Fort Point.
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