January 5, 1933 – Golden Gate Bridge breaks ground

Having been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Golden Gate Bridge is a most recognizable landmark in San Francisco, California, and of all the United States. Construction on the bridge began on this day in 1933. Starting in the1820s San Francisco was connected to what is now Marin County primarily by ferry boat across San Francisco Bay. Because SF was harshly connected to surrounding communities due to its position in the bay, many wanted a bridge across the bay to ease the commute for the growing city. Engineer Joseph Strauss provided initial drawings for the bridge, saying it could be done for $17 million, opposed to $100 million from other estimates. Local authorities agreed to proceed under certain conditions. Eventually the budget was raised to just more than $38 million and construction commenced. Finishing ahead of schedule and under budget, the bridge opened on May 27, 1937, allowing more than 200,000 people to walk or skate across the bridge. Today the 1.7 mi (2.7 km) long bridge carries both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the Golden Gate strait.┬áThe Golden Gate Bridge by night, with part of downtown San Francisco visible in the background at far left By Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress Catalog

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