FAQ

Paying Your Bridge Toll FAQs

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All Golden Gate Bridge tolls are collected electronically, in the southbound direction into San Francisco. You can conveniently pay your toll with a FasTrak Account,  License Plate Account, a One-Time Payment, or a Toll Invoice.

To choose which toll payment option is best suited for your needs, consider how frequently you cross the Golden Gate Bridge and how often you use other Bay Area toll bridges and express lanes where FasTrak is accepted. Also consider the added benefit of a discounted toll when using FasTrak on the Golden Gate Bridge. Learn more about your Toll Payment Options at left.

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If you take no action to pay your Golden Gate Bridge toll, a Toll Invoice will be generated about seven days after your crossing the Bridge and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Therefore, it is important that vehicle owner information be kept current with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Please note: An unpaid Toll Invoice or any unpaid portion of a Toll Invoice will escalate to a Toll Violation, with added fees and penalties.

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Although Golden Gate Bridge tolls are collected electronically, motorists can still use cash to pay their Bridge toll. 

  • Motorists can make a One-Time Payment at a Cash Payment Location. Please be sure to have the license plate number handy when making your payment.
  • Cash is also an option when using FasTrak. A FasTrak toll tag may be purchased at select Bay Area retail locations, such as Costco and Walgreens. Then, after registering the toll tag online at www.bayareafastrak.org or over the phone (toll-free 1-877-229-8655 or 415-486-8655 outside the USA), you can replenish or fund your account using cash at a Cash Payment Location or at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco).
  • A License Plate Account can be opened at www.bayareafastrak.org or over phone (toll-free 1-877-229-8655 or 415-486-8655 outside the USA). Then, funds can be added to the account using cash at a Cash Payment Location. Note: A cash-based License Plate Account requires a prepaid balance (the value of one toll), before crossing the Bridge.
  • A Toll Invoice can be paid using cash at a Cash Payment Location or at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA).

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Using FasTrak FAQs

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FasTrak services remain the same with two exceptions: (1) At the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, we no longer have dedicated FasTrak-only toll lanes and all toll lanes are equipped to process tolls electronically; (2) Motorists now have more options to replenish their FasTrak Account using cash, including at a Cash Payment Location and at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco).

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To learn about FasTrak and how it can save you time and money, do one of the following: 

  1. Go online: www.bayareafastrak.org
  2. By phone: Toll-free 1-877-229-8655 or 415-486-8655 outside the USA.
  3. Stop by in person: Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco).

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If you don't have a FasTrak Account, you can pay your Golden Gate Bridge toll by opening a License Plate Account, making a One-Time Payment, or paying a Toll Invoice.

For more information on these options, visit the www.bayareafastrak.org

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Yes, especially if you use other Bay Area toll bridges or express lanes. Plus, you pay a discounted toll on the Golden Gate Bridge. Please note: Opening a FasTrak Account requires an initial prepaid toll balance and the use of a toll tag. For more information about FasTrak, visit the Bay Area FasTrak website

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The initial prepaid toll balance to open a FasTrak Account is $25 if using a credit card or $50 if using cash, check, or money order. After establishing a FasTrak Account, the replenishment amount may increase based on the frequency of your crossings.

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To use cash to open and replenish a FasTrak Account, customers must first visit the Bay Area FasTrak Cusotmer Service Center (375 Beale Street, San Francisco) to open a cash-based account. The account can then be replenished by visiting a Cash Payment Location

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The FasTrak toll tag is provided at no charge and requires a $20 refundable toll tag deposit when opening your FasTrak account.

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As you drive through the Toll Plaza, you should hear a beep if your FasTrak toll tag signal is detected. If the signal is not detected, digital images of your license plates will be captured, and the plate number will be reconciled against existing FasTrak Accounts. If the license plate isn’t associated with a valid account, a Toll Invoice (for just the toll amount) will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

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Toll Invoice FAQs

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If you crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in the southbound direction and took no action to pay the toll (either by opening a FasTrak Account, opening a License Plate Account, or making a One-Time Payment), a Toll Invoice was generated and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, based on the license plate of that vehicle. The invoice amount due is for the amount of the toll only; fees and penalties are assessed if an invoice or any portion of an amount due goes unpaid.

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To avoid the inconvenience and hassle of receiving and paying a Golden Gate Bridge Toll Invoice, take action now and do one of the following:

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Toll Invoices are generated and mailed to motorists who take no action to pay their Golden Gate Bridge toll (either by opening a FasTrak Account, opening a License Plate Account, or making a One-Time Payment). 

The first Toll Invoice is mailed about a week after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for California plates (longer for some out-of-state plates). Thereafter, invoices are mailed on a 30-day cycle if the customer crosses the Golden Gate Bridge again in the same vehicle.

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Yes. A Toll Invoice will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, whether or not the vehicle is registered in California or not. This Toll Invoice must be paid within 21 days after being generated. If a visitor won’t be home within 21 days of crossing the Bridge heading southbound into San Francisco), it is recommended that they make a One-Time Payment within 30 days before or within 48 hours after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Use links at left to learn more. 

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An unpaid Toll Invoice or any unpaid portion of a Toll Invoice will result in a Toll Violation notice which attaches a $25 penalty for each toll transaction associated with the unpaid invoice.

If the first violation notice goes unpaid, a second violation notice will be issued, with increased penalties. If this second notice goes unpaid, the amount due is referred the California Department of Motor Vehicles which will withhold your vehicle registration until the penalties are paid. For out-of-state vehicles, the matter is referred to a collections agency. 

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If you have a FasTrak Account or License Plate Account in good standing and still received a Golden Gate Bridge Toll Invoice, the license plate number shown on the invoice likely has not yet been added to your account.

You can manage your account online at www.bayareafastrak.org or by calling toll free 1-877-229-8655 or 415-486-8655 outside the US. 

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If you were sent a Toll Invoice for a vehicle that does not belong to you, please complete the toll dispute information on the reverse side of the invoice and return it to the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center in the envelope provided, by the due date indicated.

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Carpools & Vehicles with DMV Decals FAQs

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Golden Gate Bridge toll lane #2 (second lane from right in the southbound direction) is the designated carpool lane during carpool hours (weekdays, except holidays, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.).

This designated carpool lane may only be used by eligible carpool vehicles with a FasTrak Account in good standing. Eligible vehicles include two-axle vehicles with three or more persons; motorcycles, as defined and designated by California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); and buses. Note: Two-seat vehicles, vehicles with rear axle dual tires, and vehicles with DMV-issued Clean Air Vehicle decals do NOT qualify as carpool vehicles. 

Carpool holidays include New Year's Day (January 1), Presidents' Day (third Monday in February), Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), and Christmas Day (December 25).

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Rental Vehicles FAQs

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Most major rental companies offer a convenience fee-based tolling program, which may be the most convenient way to pay your Golden Gate Bridge toll. Please inquire with your rental agency at the time of your reservation about its tolling program.   

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You may add a rental vehicle to a FasTrak Account by adding the plate number to the account. However, this is not a recommended practice because if you forget to remove the plate number from your account, you will be charged additional tolls if someone uses the same vehicle at other Bay Area toll facilities. 

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If you opt out of your rental company's tolling program and you take no action to pay your Golden Gate Bridge toll by making a One-Time Payment or opening a License Plate Account, the rental company (as the registered owner of the vehicle) will receive a Toll Invoice and, in turn, you will be billed for the toll, plus additional fees. These fees vary by rental agency.

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If your rental agency doesn't offer a rental toll program or you choose not to participate in its toll program, you must take action to pay your Golden Gate Bridge toll.

Tolls may be paid 30 days in advance of your first southbound Bridge crossing, or within 48 hours after crossing, by opening a limited-term License Plate Account, making a One-Time Payment, or paying cash at a Cash Payment Location. For complete details, visit the Bay Area FasTrak website

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General Information FAQs

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The Golden Gate Bridge converted to all electronic tolling in March 2015 for several key reasons.

  • Proven technology: All electronic tolling was in use across the USA, including in Miami, Denver, Texas, and Seattle, and around the world.
  • Time savings & convenience: Motorists no longer have to fumble for cash or stop at the Toll Plaza.
  • Increased flexibility: The FasTrak and Pay-By-Plate payment options allow customers to pay their toll using a credit card, cash, check, or money order.
  • Decrease in traffic congestion at the Toll Plaza: Especially on weekday evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Cost savings: The switch to all electronic tolling is projected to save $16 million over an eight-year period following the conversion.

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All electronic tolling - sometimes referred to as cashless tolling - assesses all tolls electronically, either by a vehicle-mounted FasTrak toll tag or by the vehicle license plate number. Motorists no longer have to stop to pay their toll.

All Golden Gate Bridge tolls are now collected electronically. We have equipment at the Toll Plaza that can detect a signal from a FasTrak toll tag and capture images of vehicle license plates. If a FasTrak signal is detected, the toll is automatically link to and posted to the related FasTrak account. If a signal is not detected, the license plate number is used to link to a FasTrak account, a License Plate Account, or a One-Time Payment. If none exists, a Toll Invoice (for just the toll amount) is generated within several days and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. 

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The Golden Gate Bridge introduced the FasTrak electronic toll option in July 2000. Traffic congestion during the weekday morning commute period immediately improved, with typical wait times at the Toll Plaza reduced from up to 20 minutes to under a minute. Today, over 70% of all southbound motorists use FasTrak. The FasTrak market share of weekday commuters is 86% in the morning and 79% in the evening; Saturday evening market share is at 59%.

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Dedicated FasTrak-only toll lanes are no longer needed now that all toll lanes are equipped to process FasTrak and Pay-By-Plate options. 

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License plate information that is collected as a part of all electronic tolling at the Golden Gate Bridge is used for the purposes of toll collection only. Data collected for the purpose of assessing tolls in California is eliminated from the data systems in accordance with Senate Bill 1268.

Neither the Golden Gate Bridge toll collection system nor the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center system is publicly accessible. 

Read the entire Electronic Tolling Privacy Policy on our Privacy Policies page. 

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Bridge History and Construction FAQs

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The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots. It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae", or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

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CarsOnBridgeConstruction of the Golden Gate Bridge took a total of 1,604 days or a little over 4 years and 4 1/2 months. Work began on January 5, 1933, and the Bridge opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937.

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The dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.  Pedestrian Day was held on May 27, 1937.

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We do not have the exact employment figures. The Bridge was built by 10 different prime contractors and their subcontractors. These contractors are no longer in business and our agency did not have the employment records.

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Yes they were and here is how they came to be. The E.D. Bullard Company was founded in 1898 in San Francisco, CA, where the firm manufactured equipment for miners in western states. Many years later, when Bullard's son, Edward W. Bullard (1899-1963), returned from World War I, he applied his experience with Doughboy army helmets in designing protective headgear for miners, and soon after, for the construction industry. E.W. Bullard's original 1919 "Hard-Boiled Hat" was manufactured out of steamed canvas, glue and black paint and included a suspension device. It was considered the first "hard hat," which revolutionized construction and mine worker safety. During construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bullard adapted his hats for bridge workers. E.D. Bullard Co., Inc. remains a family-owned business and continues to produce innovative products for construction and public safety from its headquarters in Cynthiana, Ky.

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A total of eleven men died during construction. Until February 17, 1937, there had been only one fatality, setting a new all-time record in a field where one man killed for every million dollars spent had been the norm. On February 17, ten more men lost their lives when a section of scaffold carrying twelve men fell through the safety net.

October 21, 1936: Kermit Moore

February 17, 1937: O.A. Anderson; Chris Anderson; William Bass; O. Desper; Fred Dümmatzen; Terence Hallinan; Eldridge Hillen; Charles Lindros; Jack Norman; and Louis Russell.

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WorkerThe most conspicuous precaution was the safety net, suspended under the floor of the Bridge from end to end. During construction, the net saved the lives of 19 men who became known as the "Halfway-to-Hell Club."

 

 

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The cost to construct a new Golden Gate Bridge would be approximately $1.64 billion in 2019 dollars. The total price depends on a many factors including the extent of the environmental reviews and the cost of labor and materials.

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There are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower.

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Upon completion of building the Golden Gate Bridge in May 1937, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss wrote a poem entitled "The Mighty Task is Done." 

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A thirty-five million dollar steel harp!

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The fabricated steel used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured by Bethlehem Steel at plants in Trenton, New Jersey and Sparrows Point, Maryland, and at plants in three Pennsylvania towns: Bethlehem, Pottstown, and Steelton. The steel was loaded in sections onto rail cars, taken to Philadelphia and shipped through the Panama Canal to San Francisco. The shipment of the steel was timed to coincide with the construction of the Bridge.

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We are unable to identify individuals who contributed to the building of the Bridge. Ten prime contractors and various subcontractors were used, and not all companies kept accurate records of the people they employed. None of the prime contractors is still in business; therefore, employment records are unavailable (to our knowledge). 

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There is a plaque on the south face of the south tower that acknowledges the officers, past officers, directors, past directors, engineering staff, and contractors involved in the construction of the Bridge.

construction-plaque

Also, there is a memorial plaque at the southern entrance to the west sidewalk as a memorial to the 11 men killed while building the Bridge; their names are listed on the plaque.

memorial-plaque
Finally, there are three plaques displayed together in the Flag Pole area in the visitor area on south side of the Bridge. The three plaques include:

  • American Society of Civil Engineers special citation for infrastructure rehabilitation for the redecking of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1986
  • American Society of Civil Engineers named the Golden Gate Bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1984
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, San Francisco Section named the Golden Gate Bridge as a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1976

plaque1_002plaque2_002 plaque3_002

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BridgeSpanNot any more.  The 4,200-foot long suspension span of the  Golden Gate Bridge was the longest span in the world from the time of its construction in 1937 until New York City's Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened on November 21, 1964 (it's 60 feet longer than the Golden Gate Bridge). The Verrazano was the longest single span bridge until July 17, 1981, when the Humber Bridge in England, spanning the Humber River, was opened for traffic with a main span of 4,626 feet.

Today, both the Great Belt East Bridge in Denmark (main span of 5,328 feet) and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan (main span of 6,532 feet) have main span lengths which exceed that of the Humber Bridge. The table below shows the relative suspension bridges in comparison.

Suspension Bridge

  Main Span Length*   Year Opened 
In feet In meters
1. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, Japan 6,532 1,991 1998
2. Xihoumen Bridge, China 5,414 1,650 2009
3. Great Belt East Bridge, Denmark 5,328 1,624 1998
4. Osman Gazi Bridge, Turkey 5,090 1,550 2016
5. Yi Sun-sin Bridge, South Korea 5,068 1,545 2013
6. Runyang Bridge, China 4,888 1,490 2005
7. Second Dongtinghu Bridge, China 4,854 1,480 2018
8. Nanjing 4th Yangtze River Bridge, China 4,652 1,418 2012
9. Humber Bridge, England 4,626 1,410 1981
10. Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Turkey 4,619 1,408 2016
11. Jiangyin Yangtze River Bridge, China 4,543 1,385 1999
12. Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong 4,518 1,377 1997
13. Hardangar Bridge, Norway 4,297 1,310 2013
14. Verrazano Narrows Bridge, New York 4,260 1,298 1964
15. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco 4,200 1,280 1937
16. Yangluo Bridge, China 4,200 1,280 2007
17. High Coast Bridge, Sweden 3,970 1,210 1997
18. Longjiang River Bridge, China 3,924 1,196 2016
19. Aizhai Bridge, China 3,858 1,176 2012
20. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan 3,800 1,158 1957
* The main span is the length of the main suspended span between the two main towers.

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At midspan, the height of the top of the roadway surface is 270.9 feet Mean Lower Low Water, which is the average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch. At the south abutment of the Bridge, the height of the top of roadway surface is 186.5 feet. The difference, equaling the rise in elevation as you travel across the Bridge roadway, is 84.4 feet. These data are from a survey done in 1992.

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The Bridge has many different kinds of lighting, including roadway lights, tower lights, sidewalk lights, main cable lights, beacons, etc. For more information about Bridge lighting, visit our Bridge Features page

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Painting & Maintaining the Bridge FAQs

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The Golden Gate Bridge has always been painted orange vermilion, deemed "International Orange." Rejecting carbon black and steel gray, Consulting Architect Irving Morrow selected the distinctive orange color because it blends well with the span's natural setting as it is a warm color consistent with the warm colors of the land masses in the setting as distinct from the cool colors of the sky and sea. It also provides enhanced visibility for passing ships. If the U.S. Navy had its way, the Bridge might have been painted black and yellow stripes to assure even greater visibility for passing ships.

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Many people ask about the formula for the Bridge’s unique International Orange paint color. Paint stores can mix it with the following information:
CMYK colors are: C= Cyan: 0%, M =Magenta: 69%, Y =Yellow: 100%, K = Black: 6%.

The closest existing color codes to the International Orange color formula are PMS 173 (CYMK = 0%, 80%, 94%, 1%), PMS 174 (CYMK 8%, 85%, 100%, 34%) and Pantone 180 (CYMK 19.4%, 77.9%, 79.6% 3.6%).

When purchasing paint for the Golden Gate Bridge, it is done through a competitive bidding process. Currently, the paint is supplied by Sherwin Williams and is made to match the Bridge International Orange color formula. The closest off-the-shelf paint color that Sherwin Williams has available is "Fireweed" (color code SW 6328).

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Actually, the term Golden Gate refers to the Golden Gate Strait which is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.  The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.  It is generally accepted that the strait was named "Chrysopylae" or Golden Gate by Army Captain John C. Fremont, circa 1846.  It is said it reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

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No. Painting the Golden Gate Bridge is an ongoing task and the primary maintenance job. The paint protects the Bridge from the high salt content in the air which rusts and corrodes the steel components.

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CableWorker2Many misconceptions exist about how often the Bridge is painted. Some say once every seven years, others say from end-to-end each year. Actually, the Bridge was painted when it was originally built. Until 1965, only touch up was required. In 1965, advancing corrosion sparked a program to remove the original lead-based paint (which was 68% red lead paste in a linseed oil carrier). The removal continued to 1995. In 1965, the original paint was replaced with an inorganic zinc silicate primer and acrylic emulsion topcoat. In the 1980s, this paint system was replaced by a water-borne inorganic zinc primer and an acrylic topcoat. The Bridge will continue to require routine touch up painting on an on-going basis.

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CableWorkerCurrently, a revered and rugged group of of 13 ironworkers and 3 pusher ironworkers along with and 28 painters, 5 painter laborers, and a chief bridge painter battle wind, sea air and fog, often suspended high above the Gate, to repair corroding steel.  Ironworkers replace corroding steel and rivets with high-strength steel bolts, make small fabrications for use on the Bridge, and assist painters with their rigging. Ironworkers also remove plates and bars to provide access for painters to the interiors of the columns and chords that make up the Bridge. Painters prepare all Bridge surfaces and repaint all corroded areas.

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Since 1970, as various construction projects and painting projects occur across the Bridge, the original rivets are being replaced with ASTM A-325 high-strength bolts of equal diameter. In the early 1970s, corroded rivets were replaced with ASTM A-325 high-strength bolts dipped in organic zinc rich primer prior to installation. When galvanized ASTM A-325 bolts became available in the mid-1970s, corroded rivets have been replaced with galvanized high-strength bolts.

When installing high strength galvanized bolts, they have to be pre-tensioned a certain amount so they “clamp” the connection together rather than “pin it” together. Using a predetermined torque value can result in being either over or under the required pre-tension depending on the roughness of the contact surfaces of the turning elements. Using the “turn of the nut” method sidesteps the potential over or under pre-tensioning problem, but it varies depending on the length of the bolt. So, what is normally done is that workers establish the “turn of the nut” rotation and torque value based on the specific length of a lot of bolts under clean conditions. They then tighten it by “turn of the nut” method and check it with a torque wrench that is calibrated first to the specific lot of bolts being installed.

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Traffic and Tolls FAQs

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As February 28, 2019, 2,241,603,474 vehicles have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (includes northbound and southbound) since opening to traffic on May 28, 1937.

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LOWEST: On Monday, January 4, 1982, a devastating rainstorm struck the San Francisco Bay Area. Earth slides and flooding covered the highway and roads north of the Bridge. Two days later, on Wednesday, January 6, only 3,921 southbound vehicles crossed the Bridge. This compares to the average daily southbound count of 37,936 for January 1982.

HIGHEST: During the evening commute on October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta Earthquake jarred the Bay Area with a force measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. The Golden Gate Bridge withstood, undamaged, the most devastating quake to strike the Bay Area since 1906. During this time of myriad traffic problems, extra bus and ferry trips were added to help smooth the commute as a flood of 30,000 to 40,000 drivers were diverted from the East Bay to Highway 101 and the Golden Gate Bridge due to the failure of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. On October 27, 1989, an all-time record of 162,414 vehicles crossed the Bridge north and southbound.

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Reversible lanes were inaugurated on the Bridge on October 29, 1963. Their use greatly aids the flow of traffic during the heavy morning and evening commute hours and during weekend tourist periods.

The Bridge has a total of six lanes with northbound and southbound lanes separated by a moveable median barrier. At any given time, the lane configuration may be adjusted using a transfer machine (aka "zipper truck"). The barrier is a one-foot wide, 32-inch high concrete and steel barrier that provides a safe division of traffic and helps eliminate head-on collisions. This barrier replaced the bright yellow lane markers that were used to separate opposing traffic lanes.

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On Saturday, October 19, 1968, the Golden Gate Bridge became the first major bridge in the world to offer one-way toll collection. The system proved so successful it has since been instituted on many bridges throughout the world.

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Since April 1976, the Golden Gate Bridge has offered a discount toll to two-axle vehicles with three or more occupants ("carpools"), motorcycles, and buses during peak commute traffic hours. For current carpool rates, hours, policies, and eligibility requirements, visit our Toll Rates page.

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From May 1937 to December 1970, a pedestrian toll (sidewalk fee) was charged and collected using a coin turnstile. By Board of Director Resolution No. 7159, authorized on December 15, 1970, the pedestrian toll was eliminated.

 

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The FasTrak electronic toll collection system launched to the public on the Golden Gate Bridge in July 2000.

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Fun and Quirky FAQs

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Full Closures due to Weather: The Golden Gate Bridge has been closed due to high winds three times:

December 1, 1951: As gusting winds reached 69 miles per hour, the Bridge was closed for about three hours.
December 23, 1982: High winds of up to 70 miles per hour closed the Bridge for almost two hours.
December 3, 1983: Once again high winds closed the Bridge for the longest period in its history—3 hours and 27 minutes. Wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour, but again the Bridge suffered no structural damage.

Full Closure due to Construction: On July 13, 1975 the entire Bridge roadway was closed from 3 am to 4:20 am to move the cable traveler being used for the Suspender Rope Replacement Project.

Full Closure for 50th Anniversary: On May 24, 1987, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 5 am to 11 am for the 50th Anniversary Pedestrian Walk.

Full Closure for 75th Anniversary: On May 27, 2012, the Bridge was closed to traffic from 9 pm to 10:01 pm for the 75th Anniversary fireworks display.

Brief Closures for Dignitaries: The Bridge was closed very briefly on two separate occasions for visiting dignitaries President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Charles de Gaulle of France.

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"Advection fog" forms when humid air from the Pacific Ocean swoops over the chilly California current flowing parallel to the coast. The fog hugs the ground and then the warm, moist air condenses as it moves across the bay or land. This is common near any coastline. The Bridge has an influence in directing the fog as it pushes up and pours down around the Bridge. Sometimes, high pressure squashes it close to the ground. By the way, the color of the bridge is International Orange, and was chosen in part because of its visibility in the fog.

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50thThe dream of spanning the Golden Gate Strait had been around for well over a century before the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.  On Sunday, May 24, 1987, this dream come true was celebrated as the Golden Gate Bridge turned fifty.  With great fanfare, people from all over the world came to pay homage to the Bridge, become part of an historical celebration and create lifelong memories.  The day began as "Bridgewalk 87", a reenactment of "Pedestrian Day 37".  It is estimated that nearly 300,000 people surged onto the roadway.  By 11:00 a.m. the Bridge was cleared for a commemorative vintage automobile motorcade.  As a token of appreciation to the thousands of motorists who use the Bridge each day, the Board of Directors suspended toll collection for the day.

To review the abstract from the Center for Design Informatics at the Harvard Design School evaluating stresses placed on the Bridge during the 50th Anniversary event, click here.

To purchase a photo of this event, click here.

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A number of major motion pictures have included the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop or contain scenes filmed on the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is a small sampling:

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): Eight years of being raised by humans and now left behind in an abusive sanctuary, Caesar a hyper-intelligent chimpanzee leads a revolution of apes (with a huge fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge with apes against the CHP) towards freedom from man's torturous exploitation.
  • Going the Distance (2010): A romantic comedy centered on a couple who try to keep their love alive as they travel back and forth between New York and San Francisco to see one another. The Golden Gate Bridge is featured in several scenes.
  • Star Trek (2009): Once again, as in several other Star Trek movies, we see a few fleeting images of Star Fleet Academy which is located right next to the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009): The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the sea. The massive shark snacks on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens (2009): A monster named Susan moves vehicles on the Golden Gate Bridge. Susan is among the crew trying to save us from extra-terrestrial threats, and there's a standoff on the Bridge.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): Magneto Man moves the Golden Gate Bridge...nothing to it!
  • The Core (2003): To save the Earth from catastrophe, they must drill down to the core and set it spinning again. The Golden Gate Bridge comes down along the way.
  • Boys and Girls (2000): A friendship is put to the test when two best friends end up together. The Golden Gate Bridge plays a part in that.
  • Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco (1996): It’s another incredible journey. Shadow, Sassy and Chance are back, the family lives in San Francisco and they're taking a vacation in Canada. The pets escape at the airport. The family is in Canada and the pets are all alone in San Francisco. They must navigate the streets of San Francisco, trying to find their home across the Golden Gate Bridge, but the road is blocked by a series of hazards, both man and beast.
  • The Rock (1996): A payload of explosives on Alcatraz threatens the Golden Gate Bridge and the rest of San Francisco. Three Black Hawk helicopters emerge from under the Bridge on their way to save the day.
  • Murder in the First (1995): An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
  • Interview with a Vampire (1994): A vampire tells his epic life story, with a dramatic ending on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Final Analysis (1992): Starring Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, and Uma Thurman, this murder mystery includes scene of an ambulance crossing the Golden Gate Bridge roadway, scenes below the Bridge on the northeast side at the Fort Baker Fishing Pier, and a scene at a Bay Area lighthouse.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991): The crews of the Enterprise and the Excelsior must stop a plot to prevent a peace treaty between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. The Star Fleet Academy is located at the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986): The Bridge is struck by a cosmic storm when a space probe is searching for a humpback whale.
  • A View to a Kill (1985): James Bond must stop a mad industrialist who plans to destroy Silicon Valley. There is lots of dangling at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge tower with helicopter rescue scene.
  • Superman (1978): The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) arrives in time to save a school bus on the edge of the Bridge.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): In this remake of the original 1956 classic, cars speed through the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza. The Bridge was one of many San Francisco locations featured in the film.
  • High Anxiety (1977): This film was partially shot in San Francisco, with some scenes taking place in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency as well as under the Golden Gate Bridge. Many different Alfred Hitchcock films, including Vertigo and Psycho, are parodied in this movie.
  • The Domino Principle (1977): One scene in this espionage thriller starring Gene Hackman and Mickey Rooney was filmed on the hillside located under the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974): Herbie the Love Bug drives Helen Hayes up one of the main cables of the Golden Gate Bridge on a ride around San Francisco.
  • The Love Bug (1968): The driverless Love Bug attempts to drive off the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Vertigo (1958): A story about a San Francisco detective and his psychological troubles with fear of heights and obsession over a woman. They spend some time at the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955): In this sci-fi classic, a giant octopus destroys the Golden Gate Bridge and much of the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
  • Dark Passage (1947): Humphrey Bogart plays a man convicted of murdering his wife who escapes from prison in order to prove his innocence. Bogart has to get past a roadblock at the Golden Gate Bridge and does so by hiding in Lauren Becall’s car under some large canvas paintings.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941): One of the best classic detective mysteries ever made. With a slow camera pan in a grayish 1940s, several San Francisco landmarks show up including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge.

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San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge has suffered all manner of damage and destruction in television and on film. But of all the earthquakes, sea monsters, and alien attacks, who caused the Bridge its most impressive destruction? Find out here!

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As of this writing (June 2011), the www.subzin.com website is a great search engine that can answer this question.

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An American Icon: Originally aired on NBC Bay Area on April 2012, produced by NBC Bay Area and hosted by Doug McConnell. Click here to view the various segment produced for the 75th anniversary by NBC Bay Area.

Artland (episode 6 of season 2): Originally aired on Voom Network in 2007 and produced by Illuminations.

Impossible Bridges: Golden Gate: Originally aired on National Geographic Channel in 2007 and produced by Michael Hoff Productions.

The National Parks: Extreme Maintenance: Originally aired on the Travel Channel in April 2005 and produced by Bellevue Entertainment.

MegaStructures, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on National Geographic Channel in 2004 and produced by Principal Films.

The Once and Future City: Filmed in 2004 and produced by Beyond Productions for the Discovery Channel.

The American Experience: Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on PBS in May 2004 and produced by Ben Loeterman Productions. You can purchase the DVD through PBS here: http://www.shoppbs.org/home/index.jsp

Modern Marvels, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on the History Channel in 2004 and produced by Actuality Productions.

Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden, Golden Gate Bridge: Originally aired on A&E in 2001 and produced by LMNO Productions.

Bridges: Reaching Out: Originally aired on Discovery Channel in 2000 and produced by Arcwelder Films.

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On February 26, 1976, the Golden Gate Bridge appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine as the backdrop with five prominent San Francisco-based rockers of the day, with a title above the photo that read, “What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been.”

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A Caltrans engineer came up with the idea in 1970. The late Alan Hart, who was the former director of the San Francisco District of Caltrans, then known as the State Division of Highways, ordered the rainbow look. Because they are visible from homes, the portals on the north side of the tunnel remain unadorned. Caltrans crews have maintained the rainbow paint job ever since.

On October 1, 2009, Caltrans workers began repainting the Waldo Tunnel's fading rainbows, bleached by years of sun, wind and fog. Fresh coats of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet were applied. Belinda Hallmark, an architectural color and finish consultant from Novato, donated time to assist Caltrans in selecting the paint for the refreshed rainbow. And Marin Color Service Inc., where Hallmark works part-time, donated the Benjamin Moore "Aura" brand exterior paint for the project.

In June 2015, the name of the tunnel was officially changed to the "Robin Williams Tunnelafter the late comedian and Marin resident.

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The 25 de Abril Bridge, or the "25th of April Bridge," is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tejo River. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966, and a train platform was added in 1999. Because of its similar coloring, it is often compared to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (but not the Golden Gate Bridge), explaining its similarity in design to the Bay Bridge. With a total length of 2,277 meters, it is the 20th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper platform carries six car lanes, the lower platform two train tracks. Until 1974, the bridge was named Salazar Bridge. To easily see the similarities, take a look at photos of the 25th of April Bridge on this web link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/25_de_Abril_Bridge.

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Miscellaneous FAQs

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The Golden Gate Bridge crosses the Golden Gate Strait and connects the City of San Francisco and the County of Marin to the north. The longitude and latitude for the Bridge location is approximately: N 37 Degrees, 49 Minutes, 8.0 Seconds --- W 122 Degrees, 28 Minutes, 40.6 Seconds.

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Technically, Highway 101 and State Route 1 end at the north abutment of the Golden Gate Bridge and at about 1,000 feet south of the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. The Golden Gate Bridge is not technically or officially part of Highway 101 or State Route 1. The GGB is not considered part of the State Highway System, but it is considered part of the National Highway System. For more information, refer to the California Streets and Highways Code (specifically, sections 301 and 401). 

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Yes.  The "Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act" was enacted by the California State Legislature on May 25, 1923.  The enabling legislation gave counties the right to organize as a bridge district and borrow money, issue bonds, construct a bridge and collect tolls.  On December 4, 1928, the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District was formed as the entity to design, construct and finance the Golden Gate Bridge.  The District consists of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Del Norte and parts of Mendocino and Napa counties.  On November 10, 1969, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 584 authorizing the District to develop a transportation facility plan for implementing a mass transportation program in the Golden Gate Corridor.  This was to include any and all forms of transit, including ferry.  At that time, the word "Transportation" was added to the District name.

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Unfortunately, this is not permitted. Under California Penal Code Section 219.3, any person who willfully drops or throws any object or missile from any toll bridge is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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