Exhibit Area 1
(Plaza area)
Welcome Sign [main directory]
How the Bridge Spans the Golden Gate
Bridge Aesthetics - Art Deco on a Grand Scale
Tall and Strong - The Bridge Towers
Steel, Fog, Salt, Rust, and Paint

Exhibit Area 2
(near flagpole)
How the Bridge Vibrates

Exhibit Area 3
(West side of Bridge near underpass)
Historic Preservation: Lattice Strut Retrofit
Historic Preservation: Isolator Seismic Retrofit

Exhibit Area 4
(inside Battery area)
History: Design and Construction of the Bridge
Suspension Cable Tension vs. Tower Height
Battery Lancaster - Defending the Golden Gate

Exhibit Area 5
(along bike path to lower parking lot)
Bridge Deck Aerodynamics
Bridge Deck Torsional Resistance Retrofit
Wind Speed and Wind Pressure

Exhibit Area 6
(near Pavillion)
LIFETILES: animated construction of the Bridge
Braille / Tactile Model of the Bridge

Project Partners

Golden Gate Bridge,
Highway and Transporation District


Consortium of Universities for Research
in Earthquake Engineering

Main Menu : Exhibit Area 3

Seismic Retrofits and Historic Preservation


Much has been learned about earthquake engineering since the Bridge was designed and built in the 1930s. Today, mathematical analysis techniques help calculate how a structure will perform when subjected to various levels of ground shaking. In addition, physical tests are run on specimens that represent portions of the structure. Comparing and validating mathematical analysis with test results is a standard engineering method.

To test the strength of an existing bridge piece called a lattice strut on the Golden Gate Bridge, a large replica was made and tested by the University of California at Berkeley Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. A piece of that bent and buckled test specimen is displayed here. With accurate figures for the strength of these pieces, decisions can be made to replace or strengthen particular portions of the Bridge to preserve it against damage in future earthquakes.

The original lattice struts have a crisscross pattern of many small pieces of steel riveted together. When one of these struts is replaced, the new, stronger, one-piece steel member has holes cut in it to preserve the historic appearance of the Bridge.

More Images

The U.C. Berkeley structural testing machine is three stories tall and can compress or push down on a specimen with a force of 4 million pounds (17.8 meganewtons).

credit: University of California at Berkeley

The replica of a steel lattice strut of the Bridge was tested in compression until it buckled, to measure its strength.

Photo by A. Astaneh-Asl (UC Berkeley)

All images property of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (unless otherwise indicated).

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Last updated: 01.02.13