The Golden Gate Bridge – Famous Suspension Bridge That Spans San Francisco Bay


The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the largest and most famous suspension bridges in the world. It spans the entrance of San Francisco Bay connecting Northern California to San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge has become one of the most famous landmarks in the world

The bridge has vast dimensions. It is 2,700 meters long and consists of over 75,000 tons of steel and 300,000 cubic meters of concrete. There are two towers on both sides of the bridge that hold up steel cables almost one meter in diameter. These two support towers span over 1200 meters. The bridge reaches a height of about 260 meters above the surface of the water. A six-lane road and two sidewalks make the Golden Gate Bridge an important traffic connection between San Francisco and Marin City in the north. About 100,000 cars cross the bridge every day.


Before the Golden Gate Bridge was built ferries had taken people from one side of San Francisco Bay to the other. The bridge was planned in 1916 by the Joseph Strauss, an engineer and designer. Construction began in 1933 and it was finished in 1937. The whole project cost 35 million dollars.

Traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

Traffic on Golden Gate Bridge - Bill Ebbesen


At the time of construction many people did not think that such a bridge could be built. Problems had to be overcome. First, the new bridge was near the San Andreas Fault, an earthquake line that divides California into two parts. After an earthquake had hit the region about a hundred kilometers south of San Francisco , authorities started plans to refit the structures of the bridge to make it withstand quakes that may hit the centre of San Francisco.

The Golden Gate Bridge can also be a tragic place. More people commit suicide jumping off the bridge than at any other place in the world. Over thirty people jump to death every year.

In its 75-year history the bridge has only been closed three times, because of high winds.

Because of its extraordinary design the Golden Gate Bridge soon became one of the world’s most famous landmarks. It has appeared on countless photos, most impressive when the bridge comes through the rising morning fog. The orange-reddish color was chosen to protect the bridge from rust and the moisture of San Francisco’s fogs.



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  • appear = to be seen
  • authority =people who are in charge of or controls something
  • commit suicide = to kill yourself
  • concrete = material used for building, that is made by mixing sand, stones, cement and water
  • consist = made up of
  • construction = building
  • countless = too many to be counted
  • diameter = straight line from one side of a circle to another
  • dimension = size
  • earthquake = sudden shake of the earth’s surface that can cause a lot of damage
  • engineer = someone whose job it is to build roads, houses, bridges etc…
  • entrance = way in, gate
  • extraordinary = amazing
  • ferry = a boat or ship that carries people across an area of water
  • fog = cloudy air near the ground
  • height = how high something is
  • landmark = a famous object that everyone knows
  • lane = a part of a road that is divided by painted lines to keep cars apart
  • moisture = wetness
  • overcome = solve
  • refit = to improve something
  • rising = move up
  • rust = reddish-brown material that forms on iron and steel when it gets wet
  • span = cross
  • steel = strong metal that can be easily shaped
  • structures = parts
  • support = hold up
  • surface = the top layer of something
  • suspension bridge = a bridge that has no support under it but hangs from strong steel ropes fixed to towers
  • tragic = sad
  • vast = large
  • withstand = to be strong enough not to collapse