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This sturdy and serviceable cantilever and truss span has been rather unkindly likened to a bent coat hanger. For most of the 60,000 commuters who daily use this bridge the crossing is probably a purely utilitarian means to travel between Contra Costa and Marin Counties. But for anyone lucky enough to be heading west on vacation it provides an exciting approach to the splendors of Marin County, the Pacific Coast, and the Redwood Empire in the north.  

On completion in 1956, this 5.5-mile bridge was one of the world's longest. Construction was financed by the sale of $62 million in revenue bonds, topped by a loan of $4.68 million from the State School Land Fund. Nevertheless, the bridge was finished $4 million under budget.

Despite its vertical clearance of 185 feet, it has been struck by passing ships several times. However, it has never sustained sufficient damage for it to be closed, not even when bumped by a Navy radar vessel and a veteran World War II warship on the same day.

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Copyright © 1999 UC Berkeley Library
Data owner: R. Brandt
Updated 12/22/99