November 22, 2014 16:31 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

  • Obama Immigration

    Video Republicans Promise to Fight Obama on Immigration

    Republican Party lawmakers are promising to fight President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. The order protects millions of people who have been living in the United States illegally. The president’s announcement immediately angered Republicans in the U.S. Congress. More

  • A worker at state-owned Pertamina, the country's main retailer of subsidised fuel, fills a vehicle at a petrol station in Jakarta November 17, 2014. Indonesia's president raised the price of subsidised gasoline and diesel by more than 30 percent on Monday

    Audio Indonesians Protest Rising Fuel Prices

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the government would cut the financial support on fuel. The move led to a 30 percent increase in fuel overnight. These rising prices have led some public transportation groups to go on strike. The government has had to prepare other forms of transportation. More

  • Rita Jeptoo of Kenya hoists the trophy after winning the women's division of the 118th Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014.

    Audio Kenyan Runners Accused of Using Banned Substances

    A new report says the use of performance-improving substances has become a serious issue in Kenya. Their use threatens the belief that Kenyan runners are among the fastest long-distance runners in the world because of their hard work and natural talent. | As It Is More

  • President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

    Video Obama Orders Changes to US Immigration Policy

    Mr. Obama’s decision will affect the lives of five million people who have entered the United States without permission. He says the country’s immigration system has not been working for many years and needs immediate reform. | In the News More

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Vienna International Airport for talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program, Nov. 20, 2014.

    Audio Kerry in Vienna for Iran Nuclear Talks

    The talks are taking place four days before a deadline to reach a new agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Also, North Korea has threatened to carry out another nuclear test in answer to U.N. action against it. A U.N. committee condemned North Korea for suspected human rights abuses. More

Featured Stories

  • Jonathan Evans Performs with Bonerama

    Video With Bonerama, Three Trombones Lead the Big Parade

    The New Orleans-based group brings together funk, rock, blues and jazz, creating a gumbo for the ears. Bonerama has horns like many bands. But, unlike most groups, the trombone players lead this band. Reporter Jonathan Evans performed with the band and wrote about it for American Mosaic. More

  • A line from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is displayed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

    Audio Lincoln's Words at Gettysburg Still Have Meaning

    On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said no one would remember his speech at a battlefield cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address remains one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. More

  • PLASTIC DREAMS

    Audio Surgery Safaris: Looking for the Perfect Body

    Many people these days are going as far as South Africa to get their version of perfection. People from across Africa and the world come for so-called “surgery safaris.” There are no animals to see on these safaris. The visitors instead look for smaller stomachs, firmer bottoms or perhaps new eye. More

  • Video South Korea Attempting to Reuse More E-Waste

    South Korea is dealing with increasing amounts of waste from electronic devices. These useless or unwanted parts are often called “e-waste.” . The city of Seoul throws out about 10 tons of e-waste each year. Some local governments in South Korea are creating special "e-waste" recycling programs. More

  • FILE - Brittany Maynard, shown with her Great Dane puppy, Charlie, took a lethal dose of medication prescribed by a doctor in Oregon on Saturday. Maynard was battling brain cancer.

    Video Should You Have the Right to Die?

    The recent case of a 29 year old woman with brain cancer has again raised questions about the right to die. Americans are divided on whether doctors should be able to give deathly sick patients drugs to end their lives. Only four U.S states permit doctor, or physician, assisted suicide. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs