Impressive Feats of Engineering #7: The Golden Gate Bridge

The great bridges of the world are among the highest achievements in the engineering industry, requiring extensive planning, particularly in terms of safety, as well as ideas surrounding structure and design. One of the most famous bridges in the world is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. The Golden Gate Bridge is among engineering’s greatest accomplishments, spanning approximately 1.7 miles across the stretch of water between San Francisco and Marin County, and taking over 4 years to build. Read on to find out more…


Nowhere to cross

Before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, travellers were restricted to using a ferry if they wished to travel between San Francisco and Marin County, with a trip taking just under half an hour. With San Francisco being the largest city in America that was still serviced primarily by ferries for the transportation of both people and cargo, there was a lot of demand for a bridge to be built.

High winds and strong currents

Many believed that building a bridge across the Golden Gate would be impossible due to frequent high winds and strong currents, as well as the substantial distance across. Engineers were posed with a significant challenge when establishing plans for the bridge, having to carefully calculate how the bridge would be structured in order to weather the extreme conditions, as well as planning how construction could take place in such a dangerous and unpredictable environment.



Beginning in January 1933 and ending in April 1937 (and costing over $35 million), the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Company and overseen by Joseph Strauss, who is credited as coming up with the innovative idea of movable safety netting to protect falling workers; an excellent example of safety engineering. The bridge was constructed using approximately 1.2 million steel rivets and finished ahead of time and under budget, opening on May 27, 1937.

The Golden Gate Bridge is truly an impressive feat of engineering, and is one of the most famous structures in the world. It is these feats that show how remarkable the engineering industry can be. However, smaller feats still require quality materials. If you are looking for quality drives and transmission equipment from Boschert and other manufacturers, contact Motion Drives and Controls today on 01926 411 544 or email

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