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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Working Under Water

 
 
Working Under Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 3, 2021
1. Working Under Water Marker
Inscription.  One of the greatest construction challenges took place underwater. The south tower was located more than 1,100 feet (335 meters) from the San Francisco shore. To build the south tower structures, divers played a critical role descending up to 110 feet (33 meters) into the tumultuous waters of the Golden Gate Strait. They placed dynamite charges and removed loose material down to bedrock with high-pressure hoses. Later, they descended to guide the positioning of the forms and funnels used to place the concrete for the south tower fender.

Divers worked in water that was dark, murky and cold, and only when the tide changed and the usually strong currents lessened, which occurred four times in a day. Portable air tanks for diving had not yet been invented. A diver’s life depended on the continuous pumping of air through a long hose to the surface.

Captions (left to right):
• Divers in their heavy gear, prior to putting on helmets. San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
• If a diver surfaced too quickly, air bubbles could be released into the bloodstream, a condition
Working Under Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 3, 2021
2. Working Under Water Marker
Marker is third from the left.
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called "the bends." Decompression chambers were kept nearby just in case. San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
• Workers load explosive charges into a framework that is then lowered to the seafloor and positioned by divers. San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 37° 48.489′ N, 122° 28.55′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from Coastal Trail. Marker is in Battery Lancaster exhibit area of the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point South overlook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Bathtub for the South Tower (here, next to this marker); World's Tallest Bridge Towers (here, next to this marker); Engineering the Design (here, next to this marker); Spinning the Main Cables (here, next to this marker); Fort Point Arch (here, next to this marker); Making the Impossible, Possible: The Story of the Golden Gate Bridge (here, next to this marker); Hanging the Roadway Deck (here,
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next to this marker); Bridging the Gate — the Beginning (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker. (Photo credit for image of diver being lowered into the water): San Francisco Historical Society, Huggins Collection, CHS.Huggins.002
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 6, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Jan. 28, 2022