Probing the Golden Gate

by Mark A. Ketchum, Sr. Bridge Engr.; T. Y. Lin International, San Francisco, CA,
Al Heldermon, Proj. Engr.; T. Y. Lin International, San Francisco, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 6, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


The Golden Gate Bridge has just come through the most detailed analysis ever attempted in its 53-year-old history. This analysis was squeezed into a desktop computer that calculates twice as fast with 10 times the memory of the mainframe used a decade ago for a previous seismic study. Analyses under dead load, live load of highway, rail and pedestrian traffic, plus effects of wind and earthquake helped determine if the bridge could carry a rail transit deck. The study showed that the Golden Gate is a remarkable structure which has reserve strength for carrying additional vertical loads.

Subject Headings: Vertical loads | Dead loads | Live loads | Railroad bridges | Rail transportation | Bridge tests | Traffic analysis | Seismic loads

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