All of us here at Velodyne are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our offices are located in Silicon Valley, a short driving distance from San Francisco and, arguably, the most famous bridge in the world. Of course, I am referring to the Golden Gate Bridge. And it just so happens that this American icon turns 75-years-old this month.
I was unaware of this birthday when I recently got to play hooky and take Velodyne’s 64E LiDAR sensor up to the city by the bay for a photo shoot. And I fell in love with the beauty of San Francisco and the Golden Gate all over again.
Now, let me say that I am a New York girl at heart. That’s where I was born and raised and it will always be at the center of my soul. But I spent over five years living in San Francisco and, in that time, there was one thing that always amazed me. After five years of pounding the San Fran pavement, it was a regular occurrence to stop dead in my tracks, amazed at the beauty of the scenery. Every day I felt like I was living in a painting.
And that bridge in the background of the city is, in my opinion, just about as close as something man-made can get to rivaling the beauty of nature.
So, if you are lucky enough to live in or near San Francisco, be sure to join in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Make sure you don’t miss the fireworks display. And if you aren’t local, I hope you enjoy the photos I’ve posted for you.
- In total, the bridge is 8,981 feet across and its tallest point is 746 feet.
- It is famously “over-engineered and is four times stronger than it needs to be.
- It took over four years to build and cost over $35 million.
- Each of its twin towers weighs more than 44,000 tons and the total weight of the bridge is almost 900,000 tons.
- It is the second largest suspension bridge in the U.S. and, if you untangled all of its cables, they would stretch around the world three times.
- The Golden Gate Bridge is painted a deep shade of International Orange, which is specially formulated to protect the bridge from the danger of rust from the moisture of the fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean.
- There is more than 10 million square feet of steel to paint on the bridge and painting it is hard work. It takes a team of about 30 painters. The only thing that stops them from doing their job is rain. But the bridge is wrapped in fog 70 percent of the time and the winds can blow 60 mph-which can cause problems because workers usually use spray guns.