I hope I look this good at 75


The Bay Bridge has no sag. No wrinkles. It does its job every day, and does it well. Not bad, after 75 years of getting pummeled by cars, trains, trucks and even earthquakes.

It cost $77 million and took three years, five months to build the 8-1/4 mile-long span. More than 8,300 men worked to build it, earning an average of $7.75/hour for the dangerous work. 28 men died.

Legendary steel worker Al Zampa, whose name graces the west span of the Carquinez Bridge, always said the Bay Bridge was his favorite of all:

“My favorite? Bay Bridge. Jesus, look at her. Two suspensions end to end, six different kinds of bridges, 8 ¼ miles long, deepest piers in the world. We lost 24 men; we dangled up there like monkey’s driving shot iron. No net. You fell, that was it. They thought we was all crazy.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

This Rose packs a punch

Previous article

Oregon runs all over Stanford again

Next article

You may also like

More in News