There's no doubt that San Francisco bridges are examples of the most spectacular and elaborate bridges in the United States. Bridges in San Francisco are famous for many different reasons, if it is for their size or the mark they have made in history. Featured here are a few of the most unusual and outstanding bridges that San Francisco has to give.
Originally called the San Francisco Bay Toll Bridge, the Hayward Bridge connects the San Francisco Bay with the East Bay. At 7 miles long, it is at present the longest bridge in the San Fran area and it ranks as amongst the top 25 longest bridges globally. When the Hayward Bridge was initially built in 1929, it was only two lanes with a vertical lift span over the shipping channel. In 1967, the Hayward Bridge was re-made from multiple steel girders and concrete trestle spans.
Oakland Bay Bridge
The first of its kind, the Oakland Bay Bridge is basically two bridges and a tunnel that connect the eastern side of San Francisco and the western side of Oakland. The bridge was designed by Charles Purcell with construction beginning in 1933 and opening in 1936. The first part is a two spanned double-decker suspension bridge running 10,304 feet long and connecting San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island. After leaving the Yerba Buena tunnel, a 10,176 foot cantilever bridge continues to the Oakland Bay.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate bridge was designed by the famous architect and designer Joseph Strauss and was finished in 1937 setting the standard for future bridges. The total weight of the bridge is supported by two main cables, with each having 27,572 wires, equaling 80,000 miles of the thick cable wire. Most obvious though is the orange paint that was used so the Golden Gate Bridge would be tangible to ships in the thick San Francisco fog. The Golden Gate is the first Bridge that ever used a security net for the safety of the workers during construction.
Richmond San Rafael Bridge
This superb double-decker cantilever and truss bridge is 29,040 feet long and was opened for traffic in 1956. It is nick-named the “roller coaster” bridge and many consider it to be one of the sturdiest bridges ever built. Despite it having a clearance of 185 feet this bridge has been known to be hit by ships but hasn’t had to close down for repairs due to it. In truth a navy radar vessel and a World War 2 warship collided with the bridge both on the self same day.
The original Antioch Bridge was built in 1926 by Aven Hanford and Oscar Klatt, it was initially the first toll bridge over the San Francisco tributary. But from the inception it had problems, because of a design failing many ships collide into its narrow opening and in 1970 the lift span ceased working. In 1978 a new steel plate girder bridge was made and is now called the Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge.