The Golden Gate Bridge first opened to the public in 1937. Since then it’s become one of the most recognized bridges in the world. At GoCar Tours, we love the fun facts that can be learned on our storytelling tours, but today we wanted to share five fun facts about the Golden Gate Bridge to get you ready for your one-of-a-kind tour.

1. It took four years to build

Construction on the bridge began in January of 1933, right in the middle of the Great Depression. It finished under budget and ahead of schedule in 1937. Before it was completed, the only way to get from San Francisco to Marin County was via boat.

2. It was named after a strait

One of the fun facts about the Golden Gate Bridge that often surprises people is the fact that it was named after the Golden Gate Strait, which was the way to enter San Francisco Bay via the Pacific Ocean. Back in 1846, that strait got its name thanks to an American topographer who felt that it reminded him of a Byzantium harbor known as “Golden Horn.”

3. Building the bridge was a deadly proposition

Steps were taken to keep the workers safe, but nothing could prevent all accidents. There was a safety net that was suspended under the bridge to catch workers who fell. It saved 19 of them, but 11 men weren’t so lucky and lost their lives during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

4. The Golden Gate Bridge was once the longest suspension bridge in the world

When it was built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world with a total suspension span of 4,200 feet. In 1964, it was surpassed by a bridge in New York. Today it’s the ninth longest suspension bridge in the world.

5. The bridge was almost painted black and yellow

One of the reasons that the Golden Gate Bridge is so visible is because of its color. However, when plans were initially being made, the Navy wanted it painted black and yellow so that it would be easily visible for passing ships. Of course, the bridge was instead painted international orange, because it fits in better with the surroundings. It offers excellent visibility in San Francisco’s legendary fog.

Are you ready for more fun facts about the Golden Gate Bridge? Then reach out to GoCar Tours for more information about our storytelling tours.