The Golden Gate Bridge/ has been called one of the world’s most beautiful bridges. It is also one of the most visited places/ in the world. Experts say/ about nine million people/ visit the bridge/ each year. They say/ more than one thousand million vehicles/ have used the bridge/ since it opened/ almost seventy years ago.
The bridge/ has always been painted the color/ called “International Orange.” The color/ was chosen/ because it went well/ with the natural surroundings. It is also easier/ to see/ in the heavy fog/ that often covers the area.
But the Golden Gate Bridge/ was not named/ for its orange color. It was named/ for the body of water/ that it crosses, the Golden Gate Strait. The Golden Gate Strait/ is the entrance/ to the San Francisco Bay/ from the Pacific Ocean. The Golden Gate Bridge/ links the city of San Francisco/ with Marin County, California.
Planning for the bridge/ began in the nineteen twenties/ when the area around San Francisco/ was growing. People/ living in the area/ needed another way/ to get to the city/ besides the small ferry boats.
The chief engineer/ for the project/ was Joseph Strauss. Work/ began in nineteen thirty-three. Mister Strauss/ demanded the strongest safety protections/ in the history of bridge building. These protections/ included the first use/ of the hard hat/ and special glasses/ to protect the workers’ eyes. A special safety net/ was suspended/ under the bridge. This net/ saved the lives of nineteen men/ during the construction. Still, eleven others/ were killed/ when they fell from the bridge/ through the net.
The Golden Gate Bridge/ opened in nineteen thirty-seven. It extends one thousand two hundred eighty meters/ across the water. It was the largest suspension bridge/ in the world/ until nineteen sixty-four. That is/ when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge/ opened in New York City.
Joseph Strauss/ wrote a poem/ called “The Mighty Task is Done”/ after the Golden Gate bridge was completed. Here is/ how the poem begins:
At last/ the mighty task/ is done;
Resplendent/ in the western sun
The Bridge/ looms mountain high;
Its titan piers/ grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms/ link shore with shore,
Its towers/ pierce the sky.