August 31, 2015 00:33 UTC

Science & Technology

Golden Gate Bridge Still Shines After 75 Years

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

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

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
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
x
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.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.

Learn with The News

  • Audio Serena Williams Chasing History at US Open

    The U.S. Open tennis tournament begins Monday in New York City. It is the last opportunity for 127 women to win a ‘Grand Slam’ title this year. And it is a chance for one player, Serena Williams, to win a place in history. A victory would give Williams a rare 'calendar-year Grand Slam.' More

  • Diana Kuya is a student at the University of Nairobi.  She plans to start her own agribusiness once she graduates.

    Video More Kenyans Exploring Agricultural Businesses

    Kenya is facing high unemployment rates. Recent college graduates face a difficult time in finding a job. Now, more and more Kenyan university graduates are planning to start pursuing agricultural business -- 'agribusiness'-- as way to have their own business and make money. More

  • Video Student Develops Gun Unlocked by Fingerprint

    Kai Kloepfer has a talent for technology. He has been teaching himself engineering skills since he was a child. He decided to create a gun designed to prevent accidental shootings. More

  • Audio Is China’s Economic Information Correct?

    An American expert on China says the Chinese government is not influencing information about the country’s economic growth. He believes that the economy is changing quickly. And he says the ways of measuring new economic activity is unable to keep up with the changes. More

  • Audio Ten Years after Katrina, New Orleans Is a Different City

    On the anniversary of storm, President Obama and other officials recognize efforts to remake a city famous for its culture and music. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: Fun with Future Tenses

    English has several ways to talk about the future. It's one of the most flexible tenses in English. We visit some popular songs for examples of the future forms. Read and listen as the Everyday Grammar team shows you six ways to express an event in the future. You will not regret it! More

  • Video A Horseman in the Sky by Ambrose Bierce

    Carter Druse lived in Virginia, a southern state during the American Civil War. He had a tough decision to make - should he join the Confederate Army or the Union Army? Read this classic American Story to find out what decision he makes, and what it means to his father and fellow soldiers. More

  • Audio Betty Azar, 'Rock Star' of English Grammar

    It all started with a question from a student. The year was 1965. Betty Azar was teaching her first English as a Second Language class at the University of Iowa. A student from the Middle East asked Ms. Azar, “Why can’t I put a in front of water?’ As in ‘I drank a water.’” More

  • Audio Millions with Mental Illness Get Little or No Treatment

    The World Health Organization reports that hundreds of millions of people worldwide have a mental disorder. However, the WHO adds that most get little or no treatment. Learn the vocabulary needed to talk about this important study. More

  • Hoarding

    Video Could Organizing Your Home Change Your Life?

    A new movement in the United States is all about clearing away unnecessary things in your life. A Japanese cleaning expert on clutter is now the hot topic on playgrounds, at work and parties. But can cleaning out clutter really help you succeed at your job or lose weight? Read on to learn more. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs