This was a long and impressive viaduct that was highly significant not only for its impressive multi-span deck truss design, but also because it was a part of the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, the viaduct having been built as part of the same project that constructed the Golden Gate Bridge. Indeed, the viaduct and the contractor who built it is mentioned on the main plaque of the Golden Gate Bridge. The viaduct passed over a setting surrounding by numerous historic buildings. Although not structurally connected to the Golden Gate Bridge, it was part of the approach roadway leading up to the bridge and was designed with art deco details, particularly on the piers, and the deck truss superstructure matched the design of the deck truss approach spans of the Golden Gate Bridge. As such, the bridge was an integral part of the Golden Gate Bridge even if not directly attached to the bridge structure. Despite the fact that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous and beloved historic bridges in the world, this viaduct portion of the Golden Gate Bridge project has been demolished and replaced with a modern, ugly slab of concrete.
At the time of demolition, the bridge had excellent historic integrity and its trusses, piers, and original paneled concrete railings were all largely unaltered from their original design and materials.
When asked how long the Golden Gate Bridge would last, engineer Joseph Strauss said "Forever!" and "life without end." In contrast, the project website for the demolition of the historic Doyle Drive High Bridge stated that the bridge had reached the end of its useful life. This speaks to two different philosophies, one being that even if "forever" is a stretch, bridges can be maintained and rehabilitated to serve for a very long time, while the other philosophy is that bridges have a short, finite "service life" and so why bother maintaining and rehabilitating bridges? Instead, use them until they wear out and then spend a ton of money demolishing and replacing them. Clearly the latter philosophy was applied to determining the fate of the Doyle Drive Bridge. One can only hope that this philosophy is not extended to the Golden Gate Bridge, built at the same time and with similar construction techniques as the Doyle Drive Bridge. Hopefully the Golden Gate Bridge will not soon be condemned as reaching the end of its useful life alongside a proposal to demolish and replace it with a slab of concrete.
When HistoricBridges.org documented this bridge, demolition had already been started at the eastern end of the viaduct.
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Golden Gate Bridge in Relationship To The Viaduct
Full Motion Video
|This short video pans from the Golden Gate Bridge to the viaduct to help demonstrate where the two bridges were located in relationship to each other. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.|
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