Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hovering Golden Gate

We needed to include a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge before heading out five hours east to Yosemite National Park.

This technological marvel, coupled with the spectacular setting of spanning one of the most beautiful and strategic bays in the world, makes it a global tourist destination.

The bridge is, indeed, an incredible site and its character changes every day depending upon the weather conditions. We crossed with a fog hovering just below the bridge at about 10 in the morning.

There is something about the bridge which has inspired onlookers since 1937 when it was completed. Its span is 1,280 metres across a 120 metre deep strait at the mouth of the bay. It's a treacherous area with strong currents. Ocean tides drive 528 billion gallons of water every six hours through its mouth.

One has to marvel at the work of civil engineers who study models of load capacity and spans, materials, stresses, and aesthetics. Their work has withstood the test of time and the bridge is ranked as one of the most stunning pieces of architecture today.

In the photo there is a display model of one of the two giant cables which enables the bridge to support such tremendous weights:
- Main Span 4,200 feet
- Length of Cable: 7,650 feet
- Diameter of Cable: 55 inches
- Wires in Cable 27,572
- Total Wire Length 80,000 miles
- Weight of Cable 24,500 tons

Indeed, Golden Gate is a dynamic symbiosis of man and nature.

What bridge has caught your interest?