San Francisco residents want Golden Gate Bridge to be quiet, engineers work to reduce buzzing noise
Engineers are at work trying to fix a loud hum coming from the Golden Gate Bridge that has angered residents of San Francisco and surrounding communities.
The iconic bridge began to emit an eerie hum after a sidewalk safety railing was added last year on its west side, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday.
Crews replaced around 12,000 wide battens with narrower battens, to give the deck a slimmer profile and make it safer in strong winds.
But as security increased, so did the noise, as gusts passed through the new slats, according to The Chronicle. Commuters on the 83-year-old bridge have uploaded tapes of the din.
âIt’s really loud,â San Francisco resident Aneela Brister told The Chronicle. “Huge and encompassing. It worries you if the bridge crumbles.”
The noise can be heard as far away as Daly City – about 10 miles south of San Francisco.
âSome people found it to be meditative and angelic,â said bridge spokesperson Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, while quickly acknowledging that most people find it scary.
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Cosulich-Schwartz said engineers using full-size sections of the bridge railing inside a wind tunnel were working on a solution, but he couldn’t provide further details.
âWe will have more to say this summer,â said Cosulich-Schwartz. “It’s a delicate business. We want to be absolutely sure we’re doing it right. We will never sacrifice the structural integrity of the bridge, but we want to listen to our neighbors.”
Since opening in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has been closed three times – in 1951, 1982, and 1983 – due to high winds.
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The strongest wind gusts have been measured at around 75 mph, but bridge engineers want to be prepared for winds as high as 100 mph.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.