The Longest Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area

February 11, 2023

When it comes to bridges, the San Francisco Bay Area is a hot spot for the world's greatest steel construction. It's home to eight major highway bridges, four of which are rated among the world's best.

The Golden Gate Bridge is arguably the longest unsupported span in the world, a record it held for decades until the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge opened in NYC in 2016. It is also one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, and the perfect target for disaster movies (Superman, Godzilla, X-Men, San Andreas).

In 1927, Emperor Norton I asked for a suspension bridge to connect San Francisco to the island of Yerba Buena. This project remained on the back burner for years, but finally took shape in the 1930s.

A commission was appointed to study various designs and plans for a link across the bay, and Charles H. Purcell, the State Highway Engineer of California, became chief engineer for the project.

Purcell envisioned a tunnel and causeway that would allow ships to enter and leave the bay safely, and he worked with engineers to develop the design of the bridge. Eventually, legislation was passed to create the California Toll Bridge Authority, and the state's first bridge over San Francisco Bay began construction in 1936.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, and it has become a popular destination for tourists. It's also a must-see for locals, as it links the city of San Francisco with the Marin County peninsula and is one of the most iconic symbols of the Bay Area. For a closer look, head to Vista Point, on the north side of the bridge.


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