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Science & Technology

Golden Gate Bridge Still Shines After 75 Years

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The Golden Gate Bridge is now 75 years oldThe Golden Gate Bridge is now 75 years old
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The Golden Gate Bridge is now 75 years old
The Golden Gate Bridge is now 75 years old

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This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.
 
The Golden Gate Bridge is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. The bridge opened to vehicle traffic on May twenty-eighth, nineteen thirty-seven. Since then, more than two billion vehicles have crossed the world famous structure between San Francisco and Marin County, California. As many as one hundred twelve thousand cars make the trip each day.

The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension span in the world, at the time it was built. The suspended roadway stretches one thousand two hundred eighty meters between the bridge’s two tall towers. Today it still rates among the top ten longest bridge spans in existence.
 
Mary Currie works for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. She says the bridge is one of the most extraordinary engineering projects of all time.
 
MARY CURRIE: “The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel certainly, and it gets award after award after award for what it means in civil engineering and structural engineering. It’s also a place where things happen first. For example, we were the first suspension bridge to have to change the roadway deck.”  
 
The Golden Gate Bridge is named after the Golden Gate Strait. That narrow passage of water connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Joseph Strauss was the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge project. Work began in nineteen thirty-three. The project took four years to complete.
Builders at work on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1935Builders at work on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1935
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Builders at work on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1935
Builders at work on the Golden Gate Bridge in 1935

The bridge is two thousand seven hundred eighty-eight meters long from one end to the other. It is twenty-seven meters wide. Two large cables pass over the top of the bridge’s towers. These structures stand two hundred twenty seven meters above water and one hundred fifty two meters above the road. Each cable holds more than twenty-seven thousand five hundred strands of wire.
 
Two hundred fifty pairs of vertical suspender ropes connect the support cables to the suspension bridge. This is part of what enables the bridge to move up and down by nearly five meters.
 
The Golden Gate Bridge weighed eight hundred eleven million five hundred thousand kilograms when it was completed in nineteen thirty-seven. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper called the finished project, “a thirty-five million dollar steel harp!”
 
Architect Irving Morrow gets credit for the bridge’s bright orange color. The Navy wanted the bridge painted in yellow and black. The Air Force had suggested red and white.
 
MARY CURRIE: “But we were fortunate that Irving Morrow knew that that color would blend with the environment, it would contrast with the ocean and the air above, and it would also allow the art deco styling to really stand out.”
 
And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com. We're also on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
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by: Mercè from: Catalonia
07/02/2012 7:40 PM
Truly, The Golden Gate is one of the most remarkable engineering works of all time. I hope someday to see it and admire the contrast of the ocean, the blue sky and the bright orange colour of the bridge.
Thanks to Architect Irving Morrow for his decision to choose this colour.


by: Jean
06/07/2012 1:03 AM
It's lucky that the Golden Gate Bridge is red instead of yellow and black or other colors. It's the most beautiful bridge for me. I was there to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Thousands upon thousands people swarmed into the beach area around the bridge and I was one of them. The fireworks were the most spectacular I've ever seen. The weather was freezing, so I caught a cold. Although I had a severe headache for two days, it was worthy. Will there be fireworks every year? I hope the next grand celebration won't be for its hundredth anniversary. Thanks VOA.


by: Chen from: Taiwan
06/05/2012 12:08 PM
Golden Gate Bridge is very famous in the California. It represent California. In Taiwan, we have Taipei101. I think good building can represent a country or a place. Taipei101 is a symbol of Taiwan.


by: Tinny Xuan from: China
06/05/2012 1:30 AM
it is really marvel at that ago. Now in our country,china, where have the longest bridge named" qingdao jiaozhou bay bridge", total length is 41.58Km and completed in 2011. and there are another big bridge named" hangzhou bay bridge", the total length is 36Km and completed in 2008


by: Helene from: China
06/04/2012 11:23 PM
Congratulation the Golden Gate Bridge is seventy fifth aniversary .Anyone has a chance visiting the US should save a little time to come to the Golden Gate Bridge in California . There is a top ten longest suspension bridge in the world. The weather is often cold and plenty of fog . Traffic condition is always busy.Day time or night time,it's so beautiful .It gets award after award and award for the structural engineering for the chief engineerJoseph Strauss .


by: stephane from: france
06/04/2012 7:21 PM
In france, we have the bridge of normandie, but he is younger than the golden gate, and he is with concrete.
At this time, the golden gate bridge was the most famous bridge on the world.An exceptionnal building of human


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
06/04/2012 4:45 PM
This golden artistic wonder has a fascinating appeal on the onlooker. Its golden color provides the best combination against the dark blue waters below and the sunlit or moonlit night sky above. They have a lot to speak out about man's artistic excellence. It is an artistic wonder held between the sea and the sky in the heart of America.


by: Yoshi from: Japan
06/04/2012 4:26 AM
Cnglaturations, the Golden Gate Bridge marks seventy-fifith annversary. Its orange color really contrasts beautifully with the sea and the sky above. The bridge is famous in Japan as a symbol of San Francisco. Exactly speaking, the bridge ranks in the ninth place in bridge span. The longest one is Akashi Strait bridge one thousand nine hundred ninty-one meters suspension span completing in nineteen ninty-one.

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