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The Existing Bay Bridge at a Glance
From "High Steel" — The Building of the Bridge
From "The Bridge Builders" — When They Built the Bridge
From "The Bridge Builders" — Looking Back at the Building of the Bridge
From "We're Building a Bridge" — Hurtling Bolts and Red-Hot Rivets
Links to Historical Photos
In Memoriam

The Existing Bay Bridge at a Glance

Construction start: May, 1933

Last rivet driven Oct. 23, 1936

Opened Nov. 12, 1936, two months ahead of schedule, six months ahead of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Cost: $78 million (Including Transbay Transit Terminal).

Fare: 65 cents. Reduced to 50 cents three months later to compete with the ferry system.

Length: 23,000 feet (4.5 miles)

Length of total project (structural and roadway including approaches, toll plaza, etc.): 8.4 miles

Structure: Suspension, tunnel, cantilever and truss

Lanes: Six for autos on the upper deck, three for trucks and two for light rail on the lower. (Converted to present configuration in 1958.)

Number of construction employees: 6,500

Man-hours to build: 54.8 million

Lives lost: 24

Steel: 200,000 tons

Concrete: 1 million cubic yards

Barrels of cement: 1.3 million

Timber: 30 million board feet

Paint: 200,000 gallons

Rivets: 22 million

Number of cables: 2

Cable diameters: 28 and 3/4 inches

Number of wires in each cable: 17,464

Diameter of each wire: 0,195 in.

Total length of cable wire: 70,815 miles

Total length of 21/4 inch suspender wires: 45 miles.

West Bay Suspension Bridge:

Length 9260 feet (2822.4 meters)

Vertical clearance 220 feet

Span length 2,310 feet

Tower height 526 feet (from water level)

East Bay Cantilever Bridge:

Length 10,176 feet

Vertical clearance 191 feet

Span length 1,400 feet

Deepest Bridge Pier: 242 feet below water level - 396 feet high

Tunnel: Largest bore tunnel in the world: 76' wide, 58' high (546 meters (1700') long)

Avg. Daily Traffic: 270,000 vehicles

Sources: Caltrans; High Steel: Building the Bridges Across San Francisco Bay
by Richard Dillon. Celestial Arts, 1979.

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