Engineering Marvel: The Golden Gate Bridge
Jeremiah Thomas, PE (a.k.a. Bullfrog) is part of the Engineering & Training Team at ECP. He will be sharing engineering topics on our blog so check back frequently for updates from Jeremiah.
The famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has become an icon of the USA and had the longest suspension bridge span in the world for over 30 years. Design on the bridge started in 1929, long before computer analysis was available. The 36-inch diameter main suspension cables place 120,000,000 pounds of vertical load on each tower. Due to this extreme load, the calculations on the 746-foot-tall steel towers were verified with tests on a 1:56 scale steel model. Load tests were also performed on the south tower foundation by placing approximately 270,000 pounds on a 20-inch square area to verify the capacity of the serpentine rock.