11 Incredible Facts About Golden Gate Bridge That Will Make You Feel Like An Ant

Golden Gate Bridge

Photo: Flickr/Channone Arif

The Golden Gate Bridge celebrates its 75th anniversary this weekend. The iconic span, named after the narrow strait where San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean, was the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge when it opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.    

Although the landmark no longer holds that title, it’s still a masterpiece of modern engineering that took nearly four years and $35 million to construct.   

The total length of the bridge is about 8,981 feet, or roughly the length of 25 football fields.

The main span, which refers to the length of the bridge between the two main towers is 4,200 feet. This makes it the ninth-longest suspension span in the world.

The entire bridge weighs about 887,000 tons. That's equal to more than 2,000 Boeing 747s.

The steel alone weighs 83,000 tons, the equivalent to more than 8,000 dump truck loads of gravel.

The bridge has two main towers that support the two main cables. Each tower rises 746 feet above the water, which is about half the height of the Empire State Building.

The towers weigh 44,000 tons each, or the weight of roughly 6,000 full-grown African elephants.

There are about 600,000 rivets in each tower.

The total length of wire used in the two main cables that pass over the top of the bridge is 80,000 miles.

The combined weight of both main cables, suspender cables and accessories is 24,500 tons.

As of April 2011, nearly 2 billion vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge since opening in 1937.

More than 120,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day and there are about 41 millions crossings each year.

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