Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The Golden Gate Bridge Is Horrifying Now

Illustration for article titled The Golden Gate Bridge Is Horrifying Now
Photo: Ford

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge was recently renovated, but something the engineers failed to take into account was the terrifyingly eerie noise the new changes would project throughout the entire Bay area.

Advertisement

Videos taken from all over the San Francisco Bay region on social media show people responding to a creepy,high-pitched wailing or howling in the distance they hadn’t heard before.

Advertisement

It turns out the noise is made by new a new sidewalk railing installed on the bridge. When there’s high winds over the Bay, the air passing through the slats of the new rail design produces a high-pitched siren-like noise that carries very well over the water.

If you’re thinking, “Man, that’s kind of loud so far away. I can’t imagine how deafening it is on the bridge for the pedestrians the new railing is meant to protect,” well, it is very loud indeed.

The strange noise is actually a sign that the new railing is doing its job, though. While it’s meant to provide a barrier between the sidewalk and the road, of course, the new railing was specifically installed for improved wind resistance across the bridge. For some reason, the engineers did not care that all the air they were forcing through this new railing would make noise.

Advertisement

Is there a computer model for wind “sound” that architects and civil engineers use? I don’t know, that seems like a pretty obvious conclusion for very smart people to overlook. It’s possible the issue did come up in testing or the early models and it was determined we would all just have to live with the screaming, blood-red bridge for the rest of our lives.

Advertisement

The Golden Gate Bridge Sargent confirmed to the media that there are no current plans to stop the screaming. Honestly, same.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

ibelle42
Give Me Tacos or Give Me Death

If pedestrians cannot walk across the bridge for fear of going deaf, I'd say that pedestrian protection system is working better than could be hoped for.