The Singing Bridge

Engineers re-designed the handrails on the Western side of the Golden Gate Bridge, enabling it to handle wind gusts of up to 100 mph. A side effect is that it now sings and drones when the wind picks up, which can be heard from miles away.

It sounds really nice, very harmonic. I can imagine it driving you nuts if you lived next to it, or were a piano tuner in the vicinity.

Yeah, I like it too, it’s kind of mesmerizing. Some people were complaining about the noise, but it’s an inevitable side effect of the redesigned handrails which is only audible when there are high winds.

I used to live close to the Presidio. Whenever it was foggy (which is often in SF) you could hear the fog horn which is very distinctive. I loved the sound, very soothing.

Things like that definitely add nice character to places. That sounds like one tone for one leg and one for the other leg? I was talking to an old lighthouse keeper who said they are changing the lights and fog horns for electronic sensors over here. Bit of a shame, and not good when the next Carrington Event happens (which it will). But better being on a boat bobbing around near a cliff than a plane falling out of the sky I suppose.

Now you got me interested, so I did a little research. See the link below.

There are actually 5 horns, located as follows:

  • 3 at the mid span (middle of the bridge), 2 facing west, and one facing East.

  • 2 at the South Tower Pier, with the lower pitch, one directed East, one West.

If you listen to the sound and check the pitch, it sounds like an A minor chord. The root A blasting from the South Pier, and the third ( C ) and fifth (E) blasting from the mid span.

“Ship operators heading into the San Francisco Bay steer left of the south (San Francisco) tower pier foghorn and right of the mid-span horn. Outbound vessels stay to the right of the mid-span horn.”

Very interesting, I never thought about this stuff until now. So glad you asked. :slight_smile:

Ahh, the center point is a much more sensible system than having leg horns, thanks for sharing the info! :slight_smile:

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