Of course, the bridge is always battling corrosion. The main cable is still in need of repainting, and examinations in 2013 discovered deterioration beneath the surface. However, these problems don't seem to be causing any immediate risk to driver or pedestrian safety.
The fact is that the bridge is always being painted. The bridge's painting is a continuing undertaking and a vital maintenance responsibility. The bridge's steel is protected by paint against the high salt concentration in the air, which can cause the steel to corrode or rust. The color of the bridge itself is not meant to be aesthetic; it serves a functional purpose as well.
The original design called for the bridge to be painted gold, but the cost was estimated at more than $7 million, so it was decided instead to paint the central section of the bridge silver. The rest of the bridge would be painted over time as funds allowed.
The first thing you should know about the Golden Gate Bridge is that it is a suspension bridge. This means that it uses cables to hold up the deck structure. There are four such cables attached to towers that stand out on either side of the strait. If a person were standing on the bridge with her back to San Francisco, she would be looking at Marin County and beyond.
You should also know that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Tourists come from all over the world to take photos of this beautiful piece of architecture. In addition, the bridge is used by photographers who want to shoot across the city with the Bay behind them.
The bridge was painted International Orange during construction, using a lead primer and a lead-based finish. The original paint has deteriorated due to weather conditions and traffic exposure.
In 1994, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District replaced the bridge's white paint with a new color called Maritime Sunset Orange. This color is made up of six parts Sunlight Yellow to one part Dark Orange. The new color was chosen to replace International Orange as it would be easier on the eyes at night when driving home across the bridge after dark.
In addition to replacing the white paint with orange, the district also cleaned and repainted the bridge's sidewalks, parking garages, and approach roadways. The district does not plan to renew its contract with the paint manufacturer once it expires in 10 years; instead, they plan to use another brand of paint that they say will produce a more durable finish.
Some individuals may know that the bridge used to be red, but this is incorrect. Before it was painted white, the bridge was always painted some version of black paint. The fact that there is no record of what color it was before that makes it hard to imagine how it could be described as anything other than black.
Metals, dust, paint, salt spray, and grime combine to transform our bridge into a battery, conducting electric currents up and down the arch to hasten the oxidation and corrosion of steel hanging over water. The naked eye may see large swaths of rust beneath the surface.
No, painting the Golden Gate Bridge is a continuous effort that serves as the principal maintenance work. The paint shields the bridge from the high salt content in the air, which corrodes and rusts the steel components. Painting also covers up any surface defects so they do not become eyesores for tourists.
The Golden Gate Bridge has been the subject of many paintings over its lifetime. The first was done in 1933 by John Goodwin Anderson who created an image of the span that remains popular today. Other notable artists include Kenneth Callahan, Charles Russell, and David Macaulay. In 2001, a new painting was completed by Ralph Goings to replace one destroyed during the 1995 earthquake. The painting was made with more environmentally friendly materials and was expected to last 100 years.
But the need for constant painting leads to some questionable practices. For example, the base color of the bridge has always been gray because researchers have found that white paints tend to wash away faster.
And while most of the painting is done off-site, the process still requires plenty of labor on the bridge itself. Some sections require as much as 70 gallons of paint per square foot.
Finally, it should be noted that the Golden Gate Bridge is never really gone for long. Even though it's now painted gray, its original color was gold.
Every two years, the bridge's experts check every inch of the bridge, according to Cosulich-Schwartz. "That generates a work plan for where we need to paint and undertake other maintenance work to keep the bridge in excellent functioning order."
The first section of the bridge to be painted was the San Francisco side starting in February 2014. The project is scheduled for completion in February 2016.
After three months, crews will move on to the Marin County side of the bridge.
Painting the Golden Gate Bridge is an enormous task that requires specialized equipment and skilled workers. The project is divided up into sections to ensure that traffic is not disrupted during maintenance work.
Each year, tens of thousands of vehicles cross the Golden Gate Bridge. The majority are tourists driving from Sausalito to San Francisco or vice versa; however, some are commercial trucks carrying goods across the Bay Bridge or CA Hwy 101 at Fort Mason.
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, it serves as a major link in providing access for medical emergencies and helps prevent accidents by acting as a deterrent due to its distinctive color.
It has been estimated that if all the paint were to wash away, the damage would be so great that the bridge would have to be replaced.
Because zinc corrodes more easily than steel, it shields the steel. Because zinc acts as a sacrificial metal, steel does not rust when it is present. On top of that zinc primer is a top coat of paint in International Orange, the characteristic hue of the Golden Gate Bridge. The color comes from an additive called citrongreen.
Some other common elements found in the world's best-known bridges are iron, wood, and concrete. The Golden Gate Bridge is made of steel and concrete.
The key element in any bridge is its strength. The stronger the bridge, the longer it can be expected to last. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the strongest building structures ever created: it uses trusses to support itself instead of walls or pillars. It is made up of three separate sections connected by two huge suspension bridges.
Each section is about half a mile long and consists of a deck supported by hundreds of vertical members called "trusses". There are actually four types of trusses used in construction of the bridge, each with their own unique design feature to provide different levels of strength and flexibility for the structure.
A closer look at the components inside a truss reveals that they are mainly made of steel, with some exceptions such as wood for certain parts of the bridge deck where it may get wet more often than others.