Golden Gate Bridge
Location & Geography

San Francisco Earthquakes

The Bay Area has been a seismically active area for millions of years, and the Big One of 1906 was only 2 decades old when serious debate about bridging the Bay was taking place in the 1920ís. The War Department was very concerned about a large bridge collapsing into the channel and rendering 4 naval bases vulnerable to attack with no escape (not to mention the same effect being caused by enemy attack). Some businesses were also concerned about the economic effect of shipping being halted at the same time. Others threw in with the modernists who believed that progress in technology would overcome all that nature could throw at us, so letís build a bridge already!

One of the arguments in favor of the suspension design was that it did not have to be rigid to be strong, as the towers could safely sway, and the road bed could safely bounce without the failure of critical structures - up to a point - and 100 years of experience seems to bear that out!

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