Bridge Systems Ltd is celebrating 20 years in business today!

On this very day in 1933 there was another ‘Bridge’ born, The Golden Gate Bridge;

Here comes your history lesson …don’t worry, this one is quite interesting……

Gold was found by James W Marshall in 1848 in California, word got round and there was a huge influx of people to the state causing San Francisco to grow from 200 residents to 36,000 residents in the space of 6 years hence the name ‘boom town’

Following the ‘Gold rush’ people realised that the land north of San Francisco would increase in value in direct proportion to its accessibility to the city. So a plan was devised to build a bridge that would span the Golden Gate (the strait connecting the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay)

James Wilkins, working as a journalist with the San Francisco Bulletin, called for a suspension bridge with a centre span of 3,000 feet, nearly twice the length of any in existence. Wilkins’ idea was estimated to cost an astounding $100 million. So, San Francisco’s city engineer, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy (he’s also credited with coming up with the name Golden Gate Bridge), began asking bridge engineers whether they could do it for less.

Engineer and poet Joseph Strauss reckoned they could; Eventually, O’Shaughnessy and Strauss concluded they could build a pure suspension bridge within a practical range of $25-30 million with a main span at least 4,000 feet. The construction plan still faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources.

By the time most of the obstacles were cleared, the Great Depression of 1929 had begun, limiting financing options, so officials convinced voters to support $35 million in bonded indebtedness, citing the jobs that would be created for the project. However, the bonds couldn’t be sold until 1932, when San-Francisco based Bank of America agreed to buy the entire project in order to help the local economy.

The Golden Gate Bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937, the longest bridge span in the world at the time. The first public crossing had taken place the day before, when 200,000 people walked, ran and even roller skated over the new bridge.

More than 200,000 people crossed the bridge the day it opened in 1937. Many walked. Others ran, tap-danced, roller-skated, unicycled, or strode on stilts.

So there you have it, the birth of two ‘Bridges’ on this day in history!






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