“Presidio Approach Road – Eaton + Smith Contrs. View of High Viaduct looking east.
1934, Image:San Francisco Public Library
The number of projects constructed at the same time as the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing.
Here is a list of supporting elements built at the same time as the bridge:
- The Funston Approach brings traffic to/from the Southerly direction. Today we call it Park Presidio Blvd.
- The Funston Tunnel goes under the Presidio Golf Course. Today it is known as the MacArthur Tunnel.
- Doyle Drive connects the bridge to Lombard St., and to the Funston Tunnel via Hwy 1.
- Alexander Avenue brings visitors to/from Sausalito by following the Eastern edge of the Waldo Grade above the coastline.
- The Waldo Grade and the Waldo Tunnel bring traffic to/from the Northerly direction of Marin County.
Looking southward along the Funston-ave approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.
1940, Image: San Francisco Public Library
The Golden Gate Bridge was the crown jewel of this period of construction and dominated the media spotlight. Let us not overlook the contributions of the hundreds of workers who toiled in the shadows at the edge of that spotlight. Their hard work was every bit as essential to the success of the bridge as the workers who were building the bridge.
This weekend, the work of those visionary pioneers will be reduced to rubble and dust by the work of the Visionary Pioneers of Today. Time marches on, but with any luck the memories of the past will not disappear forever. I hope that these construction images will give you some idea of what it must have been like 75 years ago when people looked ahead.
Through the Presidio is being driven the Park-Presidio-blvd approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. A major feature is this cut-and-fill tunnel – a novel arrangement in which a moveable section of steel bracing is slid along a tunnel gouged in the Presidio golf course, the tunnel being built over it. When a tunnel section is complete the bracing slides into a new position and the process is repeated.
July 7, 1939, Image: San Francisco Public Library
Al’s Unabashed Plug: You can visit the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection in person on the sixth floor of the San Francisco Public Library (415/557-4567), 100 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102, or visit online at this link. There are a lot of wonderful photographs that will enable you to journey back in time.
“…and you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”
— The Eve of Destruction, 1965
written by P.F. Sloan, performed by Barry McGuire
Proposed Beach Street approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, Illustration by Chesley Bonestell, Source: Derleth Collection, Water Resources Center Archives.
It is official, Doyle Drive is coming down at the end of this month. From the beginning, Doyle Drive was a tough sell. The original path of the highway would have connected the Bridge traffic to Beach Street and that did not sit well with the residents of the Marina district, who feared traffic jams.
In 1932 protests from residents forced the City and County of San Francisco to pressure the Golden Gate Bridge & Highway District to instead connect Doyle Drive with Lombard Street/Highway 101. Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss at first resisted the City’s demand, but soon began promoting a plan to connect Doyle Drive both to Lombard Street and to Beach Street. Construction of the Low Viaduct began in 1934, the controversy over Doyle Drive’s street connections in the Marina District lasted for several years.