BRIDGES: The Golden Gate Under Construction

Of all the bridges in the world the Golden Gate is the most special and beautiful to me. It's constantly changing and fascinating from all angles. I'll admit, when I'm crossing it I'm silently saying to myself, "Oh please don't let the big one hit now." I do not want my last moments on earth to be spent inside a car falling to the cold water below. Still, the view would be nice which is unfortunately what draws so many suicide victims.

The bridge is constantly being painted, a never ending job. Not a job I could fathom doing thanks to my fear of heights. Even more disconcerting would be to have been one of the men who built the bridge. Click here to see a vintage snapshot of a man named Geo. McLeod working on the bridge in 1936.
Construction began on January 5, 1933. The project cost more than $35 million. The Golden Gate Bridge construction project was carried out by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation founded by Howard H. McClintic and Charles D. Marshall, both of Lehigh University.
Strauss remained head of the project, overseeing day-to-day construction and making some groundbreaking contributions. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he placed a brick from his alma mater's demolished McMicken Hall in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured. He innovated the use of movable safety netting beneath the construction site, which saved the lives of many otherwise-unprotected steelworkers. Of eleven men killed from falls during construction, ten were killed (when the bridge was near completion) when the net failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen. Nineteen others who were saved by the net over the course of construction became proud members of the (informal) Half Way to Hell Club.
The project was finished by April 1937, $1.3 million under budget.
With the death of Jack Balestreri in April 2012, all workers involved in the original construction are now deceased. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Click on image to see it larger.

Click on image to see it larger.

I have crossed beneath the bridge several times aboard ships; twice heading to Hawaii and twice returning. Even in the fog it's mysterious and beautiful. Imagine actually building it.

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