The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge stretches across a strait that connects the San Francisco Bay with which large body of water?

And the answer is: the Pacific Ocean.

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The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide strait that connects San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world.

Creation of the Golden Gate Bridge spanned over a period of about four years. The construction was intense and dangerous, yet the chief engineer Joseph Strauss made safety a high priority. In the 1930s, the general rule of thumb on high-steel bridge construction projects was an expected 1 death per each $1 million spent. However, the Golden Gate surpassed expectations with just 11 deaths for the $35 million construction. It was the first construction site in America to require the use of hard hats. Strauss also installed a $130,000 safety net to save the lives of fallen workers, a fact that ultimately saved 19 lives. These survivors dubbed themselves members of the "Halfway to Hell Club."

When the massive project met its end, feelings of relief were palpable in the lives of workers, engineers and citizens alike. After facing hurdles and resistance from nearly every corner, the bridge stood tall between the San Fransisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Chief engineer Strauss commemorated the occasion by dedicating a poem to its completion.

The Golden Gate Bridge has since withstood the destructive attempts of most everything thrown at it, including each earthquake that has passed through the area. Impressively, it was closed down only three times in its first 75 years for weather conditions. It remains a cornerstone of American achievement and great feat of engineering ingenuity.

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