281 - Walking the Bridge

Ela tem mais de 70 anos, e continua impressionando a todos que a vêem (e é a primeira coisa a ser visitada por todos que chegam a San Francisco). Atravessá-la a pé é a melhor opção, mas atenção: são 2.7 km e o vento não perdoa...
by Talitha Linehan.

The Golden Gate Bridge first opened for business in 1937. Today it is one of the world’s most recognisable symbols. And it has the advantage of being located in San Francisco, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Yet the weather in San Francisco isn’t always great. {yootooltip title=[It is alleged]} it is alleged: diz-se {/yootooltip} that Mark Twain once commented: “The coldest winter I ever saw was that summer I spent in San Francisco.” For this reason we asked Mary Currie, the Golden Gate Bridge’s {yootooltip title=[public affairs director]} public affairs director: diretora de relações públicas {/yootooltip}, for advice on when to visit:

Mary Currie
(Standard American accent)

Well, the Golden Gate Bridge is situated in San Francisco: the greatest challenge is the {yootooltip title=[summertime fog]} summertime fog: névoa de verão {/yootooltip}. Usually, from about May through August, September, it can be very foggy. There’ll be days when you don’t even see the bridge! I’ve been here for 19 years now and there have been {yootooltip title=[days on end]} days on end: dias a fio {/yootooltip} where you can hardly see the bridge because of the heavy summer fog. I recommend that people try to visit in the spring or the fall because then they’re avoiding the summer fog and the winter rain, but not everybody can come and I think some people arrive in the summer and are disappointed, but the fog is {yootooltip title=[a factor we have to deal with]} a factor we have to deal with: um fator com o qual precisamos lidar, levar em conta {/yootooltip}.

More than 112,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, but other forms of transport {yootooltip title=[are catching on]} are catching on: estão vingando {/yootooltip}:

Mary Currie

It’s interesting that in the last five years in particular bicycling has gotten very, very popular. In San Francisco, at Pier 39, there are bicycle rental shops. People rent bicycles, ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and go down to Sausalito, which is a {yootooltip title=[nearby]} nearby: próxima {/yootooltip}, small town that’s very highly visited as well, and then they take the ferry back to San Francisco. So bicycling is a very popular way to visit the Bridge.

But you can also visit on foot:

Mary Currie

Well, you know, everybody has their own style of how they want to experience the Golden Gate Bridge, but one of the very unique things about the Bridge is that it does have {yootooltip title=[sidewalks]} sidewalks: calçadas {/yootooltip} that are open, and you can walk out onto the Bridge and you can touch it, you can feel it moving in response to the traffic. It’s very noisy when you walk out onto the Bridge, in fact.
You can experience it from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which surrounds the Golden Gate Bridge and has incredibly fabulous viewpoints on both the north and the south side of the Bridge.

You can walk, cycle or drive across one of the most famous bridges in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge on the north side of the city of San Francisco in California {yootooltip title=[spans]} spans: estende-se {/yootooltip} 2.7 kilometres across the Golden Gate strait. It was the world’s longest suspension bridges when it was built in 1937. Today it is a famous landmark and {yootooltip title=[a matter of huge pride]} a matter of huge pride: motivo de grande orgulho {/yootooltip} to the people of the area.

The city of San Francisco had a one-week festival called the Golden Gate Bridge Fiesta to celebrate the opening of the bridge in 1937. The festivities began on May 27th when the bridge opened to foot traffic only. More than 200,000 people crossed the bridge that day, many of them competing to be the first person ever to run, roller skate, tap dance, ride a unicycle or {yootooltip title=[walk on stilts]} walk on stilts: andar em pernas de pau {/yootooltip} across the bridge.

Most of the festivities, including parades and {yootooltip title=[fireworks]} fireworks: fogos de artifício {/yootooltip}, took place in a nearby park called Crissy Field. The designer of the bridge, Joseph Strauss, even {yootooltip title=[turned up]} turned up: apresentou-se {/yootooltip} there on the first day to read a poem he’d written called ‘At last, {yootooltip title=[the mighty task is done]} the mighty task is done: a grande empreitada está completada {/yootooltip}”. On the second day, the bridge opened to motorists and the US president at the time, Franklin D Roosevelt, sent a telegraph from the White House telling the world the bridge was open at last.

{yootooltip title=[It was a big deal then]} it was a big deal then: era um coisa estupenda, grandiosa {/yootooltip} and it’s an even bigger deal now. The bridge costs millions of dollars to maintain and improve. Engineers are currently implementing a $392 million {yootooltip title=[retrofit program]} retrofit program: instalação de elementos novos, não previstos no projeto original {/yootooltip} {yootooltip title=[to prevent the bridge from collapsing in an earthquake]} to prevent the bridge from collapsing in an earthquake: para previnir a ponte de cair em caso de terremoto {/yootooltip}. More than 100,000 people cross over the bridge every day and about 200 people work to keep it safe and secure.

Many of the workers on the bridge, including the security guards, {yootooltip title=[ironworkers]} ironworkers: ferreiros {/yootooltip} and painters, are trained to identify suicidal people and prevent them from taking their own lives.
Sadly an estimated 1,500 people have killed themselves by jumping off the bridge, making it the world’s top suicide location.
Officials have installed telephones on the bridge that allow people to call for help. They are planning to install nets under the bridge in the near future to prevent more suicides there.

...2.7 kilometres long.
more than 804 million kg.
painted a colour called international orange.
now the world’s ninth longest suspension bridge.
The bridge has six traffic lanes 75 metres above the water.
two towers that are 227 metres above the water.
1.2 million rivets in the towers alone.
129,000 kilometres of wire in its main cables.
a walkway on one side and a cyclist lane on the other side.
{yootooltip title=[toll booths]} toll booths: cabines de pedágio {/yootooltip} on the south side that collect $85 million from motorists a year.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/galery/materias/ed281/golden] thumb=[polaroid]}

How much do you remember from San Francisco's Golden Gate: Walking the Bridge?