What had been pinned as a hopeful concept that could be done for less than $100 million then ($2.12 billion today), in a 1916 San Francisco Bulletin article written by an engineering student, was answered by a relatively known bridge builder, Joseph Strauss. He claimed he could built a bridge that stretched between the one-mile-wide area between the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean for $17 million. With nearly a decade of work to rally support for the construction, which was eventually backed by the Secretary of War and the automobile industry, construction workers began to excavate 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the bridge's anchorages on Jan. 5, 1933. In what took four years to build, on Feb. 26, 1937, the official groundbreaking ceremony was held at Crissy Field with 100,000 attendees and a congratulatory telegram from then-president Herbert Hoover for the 4,200-foot-long construction.
But the building of it was no easy task. The Marin-side tower, or the northern tower, took six months to complete. To conjoin each tower, the main span was met in the middle on Nov. 18, 1936. To ensure the pedestrian-friendly aspect of the both walkable and drivable bridge, it was open for walking and running on May, 27, 1937, and to cars a day later.
Read more about the Bay Area icon in the San Francisco Gate.
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