There are two big bridges in San Francisco, which sits on the north end of a peninsula with the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the mouth of San Francisco Bay and connects The City to the land to the north. The Bay Bridge links San Francisco to the land to the east where Oakland and Berkeley are located. Those two regions are called, respectively, the North Bay and the East Bay.
The official name of this bridge is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It's actually two bridges: a classic suspension bridge from SF out to Yerba Buena Island in the bay, and a self-anchored suspension bridge from Yerba Buena Island over to Oakland. This span is a new bridge that recently replaced an older cantilever bridge, a section of which had collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. (These are photos I took in January 1999.)
The new part of the Bay Bridge between the island and Oakland is said to be the widest bridge in the world. The whole bridge complex from SF to the shore of the East Bay is at least twice as long as the Golden Gate Bridge, which itself measures nearly 3 kilometers. Both bridges were built in the 1930s. The Bay Bridge carries U.S. Interstate 80, a transcontinental highway that links SF to New York, 4,000 kilometers to the east.
As I said in an earlier comment, I remember following on TV and recording what was happening in SF, and seeing the collapse of a section of that bridge was frightening. I trashed most of my tapes a while back. Most of them were Betamax!ReplyDelete
There is a lot of footage on Youtube about the SF 1989 quake.Delete
Many years ago when we visited SF, we took the subway to Noe Valley, not far from Congo Street. We thought we'd simply walk to the Castro and that because it was flat on the map, it would be flat in reality. Yeah, I know...crazy. That's when I first realized I was getting older. I love SF but I didn't like driving across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Heights + dark water = No bueno.ReplyDelete
You're just a kid, D. Remember that photo with your grandad?Delete
Much of San Francisco is made up of hard places to enjoy a leisurely stroll. The hills are too steep. Congo Street is very steep, and we lived at the very top of it. One time, a neighbor of ours who was about 65 years old and had lived there for nearly forty years had to go to Oakland because she was called for jury duty over there. She decided to walk down to the BART station and take the train to the East Bay. When she came back to SF that evening, she told me, she was almost crawling on all fours to get back up the hill to her house. We all had a good laugh about that.Delete
I remember your blog post(s?) about the earthquake, and how you didn't know where Walt was for a good while that day. Scary stuff to have bridges fall apart.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this info today, which I didn't really know--I've never been to SF.
I was 50 miles south of San Francisco, in Silicon Valley, chez des amis à Sunnyvale, when the earthquake happened. Walt, as far as I knew, was in Berkeley that afternoon. I left Sunnyvale at about 6 pm to drive to SF. Back in our SF apt., I had no electricity or phone service — no dial tone, no cell phone. About midnight, my phone rang. It was our friend Cheryl in Sunnyvale, somehow, calling to tell me that Walt couldn't get through to me but had succeeded in reaching her. He was in Berkeley and couldn't get back across the bay because the bridge was closed and BART trains weren't running. It was a strange situation. At least I knew he was okay. He got home the next afternoon by ferry and by walking a long way from the ferry terminal on the bay uphill across the center of the city. At 4 am the phone rang again, and it was my sister in NC calling to see if I had survived. I still had no dial tone. At noon the phone rang again, and it was a guy in Paris who was a professional contact. Walt got home a few hours later. The airport re-opened two days later and I flew off to France for a long-scheduled work commitment.Delete
France has always been your destiny. We flew out of ATL to a planned vacation in Colorado the first day it opened after 9/11.Delete
My sil lived and still lives on Gough St. across from the cathedral and we were all alarmed when we heard about this earthquake....And the summer of '78 we lived two months in Sunnyvale and one month in SF. I haven't been there since '96 and doubt I ever will again. My daughters visit Maria in SF, though.ReplyDelete
So good that your friend Cheryl was able to let you know about Walt.
We lived two or three blocks north of the cathedral on Gough for about four years, '87 to 91. And that's where we lived when the earthquake happened. And we lived in Sunnyvale for three years, a little more, before moving back to SF in 1995.Delete