The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait, which is a body of water that is 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. This structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, California, which is located on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, which carries both U.S. Connecting Highway 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait.
Today, the bridge is globaly recognizible symbol of San Francisco.
The bridge is one of the most internationally recognizable symbols of San Francisco and California. Originally, the structure was designed by engineer Joseph Strauss in 1917. One of the many World Wonders chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers, it has been widely recognized as a noteworthy structure.
In the late 1800s, San Francisco Bay was considered to be the only practical route between San Francisco and Marin County, and so prior to the bridge being built, all travelers had to take to the water in order to travel between the two areas. San Francisco has had ferry service running at least since the year 1820. Regularly scheduled service commenced in the 1840s for the express purpose of transporting water to San Francisco.
Construction began on January 5, 1933, and the project cost more than $35 million (equivalent to $523 million in 2019 dollars), and was completed ahead of schedule and $1.3 million under budget (equivalent to $24.2 million today). The Golden Gate Bridge construction project was performed by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Company, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation that was founded by Howard H. McClintic and Charles D. Marshall, both of Lehigh University.
People love to walk or bike on the bridge, and the walkways on either side of the six-lane roadway are designed for pedestrians and bicyclists. At first, only a metal curb separated the pedestrian walkways from the traffic lanes, but in 2003 railings were added to supplement this precaution, and they are now in place primarily to keep bicyclists from falling into the roadway.