San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Bay Bridge
(photograph 1 and cross-section diagram of the Bay Bridge)
Yerba Buena island linked the two bridge crossings, as engineers tunneled through solid rock to create the world's largest diameter bore tunnel, excavating to a width of 65.5 feet and a height of 52.8 feet. The rock spoils helped to form Treasure Island, site of the 1939 World's Fair, and later the United States Navy base.
The bridge was designed to carry two levels of traffic, automobiles on the top level, and trucks and fast electric trains on the lower level. The trains carried passengers to cities throughout the East Bay and as far north as Chico, 128 miles away. But trains could not compete with the freeways, and last ran in 1958. The tracks were then removed to make room for more auto traffic.
Dubbed "Moran's Island," after Daniel Moran, expert on deep-water footing, the prodigious anchorage
At age 78, Wally Ortez remembers when he got his job working as a rigger, building the Bay Bridge in 1933. "Listen, I was so damn lucky to get a job with a paycheck and so proud to say I was building that bridge, that I had to do something. So at lunch I would run as fast as I could right down the middle of that cat walk - from where I was, up to the next tower and back again. It was like running on a hammock, but 540 feet over the bay. I was only 19, I had more guts than sense.
On November 12, 1936, as searchlights celebrated the opening of the Bay Bridge, no one would have believed that the great spans would break, But on October 18, 1989,
(on the back of the pylon)
Louis R. Knight, age 24, rigger, died November 25, 1933 • William H. Morotzke, carpenter, died December 8, 1933 • E.S. Hill, caulker, died December 10, 1933 • Lloyd H. Evans, diver, died December 14, 1933 • Harold Schwates, construction worker, died April 21, 1934 • George J. Weikert, bridgeman, died September 18, 1934 • Donald McEachern, bridgeman, died October 25, 1934 • Bernard Hauffman, electrician's helper, died November 12, 1934 • R.L. Poole, rigger, died December 5, 1934 • Adolph Silversen, carpenter, died January 21, 1935 • Christy Thompson, carpenter, died March 6, 1935 • Henry Dennington, bridgeman, died June 5, 1935 • Arthur Lamoreaux, bridgeman, died June 17, 1935 • Michael Edward Markey, bridgeman, died July 2, 1935 • Walter Vanderburg, bridgeman, died September 16, 1935 • Marion Tavares, concrete laborer, died November 6, 1935 • Ed Correll, foreman painter, died December
Erected by San Francisco Art Commission for the Waterfront Transportation Projects.
Location. 37° 47.137′ N, 122° 23.266′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on The Embarcadero near Beale Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 591 The Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Beale Street Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker); Beale Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Brannan Street (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Matson Line (about 400 feet away); Bryant Street (about 500 feet away); Waterfront Railroad (about 700 feet away); Fremont Street (about 700 feet away); Spear Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. The marker is on the San Francisco Bay Trail at the south end of Pier 30-32.
Also see . . .
1. Bay Bridge History Timeline - Bay Bridge Info. The self-proclaimed Emperor Norton was a celebrated and highly eccentric citizen of San Francisco and the first to decree that a suspension bridge be constructed to connect Oakland to San Francisco. On September 17, 1872 he decreed: "Whereas, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project; and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore, we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees.” Although his decree to build a bridge had widespread public and political appeal, the task was too much of an engineering and economic challenge at the time. (Submitted on March 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
2. San Francisco Bay Bridge LED Lights Project. Only in San Francisco. (Submitted on March 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Disasters •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 7, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 7, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. 5, 6. submitted on March 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.