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Projects : Golden Gate Bridge Exhibit

Golden Gate Bridge Outdoor Exhibition


Seismic Isolation

Approach spans to the Golden Gate Bridge have been retrofitted with seismic isolators. In an earthquake, the isolator deforms, resulting in the structure above the isolators experiencing a less violent level of shaking

STATUS: While not a part of the original list of proposed exhibits, this unique engineering exhibit is currently installed on the west side of the under-crossing of the Bridge.

[read more about this exhibit]

Locations for this exhibit were carefully considered to allow the visitor to also view the the actual isolator on the Bridge

Original mounting concept for isolator exhibit.

Drawing by Reitherman

These seismic isolators, provided by Dynamic Isolation Systems (DIS) were tested at the University of California, Berkeley, and show an entire isolator as well as its interior.
This cross-section allows visitors to see the layers of steel and rubber that conprise the interior of the seismic isolator.
Modified mounting stand for the interim exhibit on loan from UC Berkeley.

Note: This will eventually be replaced with a display version of an isolator being custom designed by Seismic Energy Products, using aluminum instead of steel to prevent rust.

The interim isolator cross-section exhibit now resides on the west side of the Bridge under-crossing.

Photo taken: 7/30/12

Funding for the project has been provided by the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings, National Science Foundation. Dr. Al DeSena is the NSF project officer for this award. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

All images are the property of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District and cannot be re-used without its permission. Contact Mary Currie, Public Affairs Director,

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Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
last updated 05.27.14