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Home> Destinations> America> San Francisco> See> Historical

Bay Bridge

Updated: 2014-07-11 / (sanfrancisco.travel)
Photo from sanfrancisco.travel

Opened just six months before its counterpart, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge has connected the city with Oakland and the East Bay areas since 1936. A glittering necklace of lights was added to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 1986 and the Bay Lights for it’s 75th anniversary.

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge holds the title of longest high-level bridge in the world at 8.4 miles. Completed in 1936, the Bay Bridge earned the honor of being declared the seventh wonder of the world in 1955 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is actually two different types of bridges--suspension on the San Francisco side and cantilever on the Oakland side--connected via tunnel through Yerba Buena Island. Due to the extraordinary depth of the water, ranging from 50 to 105 feet, and a bay floor thick with several layers of mud, the building of the bridge brought about new engineering challenges. Special caissons (watertight chambers) were designed for digging through the Bay floor in order to embed the bridge's foundation in bedrock. As more people began making the East Bay their home, the Bay Bridge became the most heavily traveled bridge in the Bay Area, third busiest in the country, carrying more than 250,000 vehicles daily.

While on Treasure Island, look west to the city's skyline, one of the few places you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city without the crowds.


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