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Projects : Golden Gate Bridge Exhibit

Golden Gate Bridge Outdoor Exhibition


Tracking Daily Movements of the Bridge

In a normal day, the Bridge deck rises up a few feet at night when it gets colder and the steel in the cables shrinks and there is less traffic weight on it. It goes down in the daytime with rise in temperature and traffic load. It sways to the east when the wind comes off the ocean from the west. This exhibit displays actual measured movements of the bridge, which can be “played” forward and backward.

STATUS: This exhibit is currently at the Exploratorium.

The prototype for this exhibit is set-up on site to help gather visitor feedback.
A close-up of the prototype shows marking that record the movement of the midspan of the Bridge (shown here over the course of a day.)
A close-up view of the accompanying sign with explains the design and the movements of the Bridge.

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