High on a Hill: Bay Bridge
Well deserving of honorable mention is the other bridge, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As Maryann is to Ginger and Jan is to Marcia, the Bay Bridge is usually overshadowed by its celebrated counterpart. Completed in 1936, about six months before the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge spans 8 and a quarter miles between San Francisco, Yerba Buena Island, and Oakland. Not to be outshone by its sister on the other side of the bay, the Bay Bridge has its own place in architectural history. It is the longest high level steel bridge in the world. The Yerba Buena Tunnel has a circumference of 58 feet and is the world's tallest bore. (And you though it was Al Gore.) The foundations of the Bay Bridge extend to the greatest depth of any bridge. The deeper of its two piers in excess of 200 feet required more concrete to build than did New York's Empire State Building. A replacement for the bridge's eastern span is under construction, as is retrofitting on the western span, more than a dozen years after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake which underscored their necessity. Though the busy Bay Bridge is closed to pedestrians, a nighttime drive from Oakland to the City over the bridge is a lovely one. If you stay in the right hand lane, riders in the passenger side will always feel like Superman flying into Metropolis as the lights high above the City sparkle in front of the scene.

Detail I
Detail II
Detail III
Detail IV
Detail V
Detail VI
Detail VII
Detail VIII
Detail IX
Detail X
Detail XI
Detail XII
Detail XIII: Eastern Span
Detail XIV: New on ramps
Detail XV: Freeway Revolt

Copyright 2001-2004 Hank Donat
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