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At the turn of the century, travelers to the Bay Area were faced with a tortuous
journey across the swift flowing water of the Carquinez Strait. First to Vallejo,
then by ferry to Martinez before tackling the Tunnel Road to Oakland.
Looking a bit like a bent coat hanger, the austere form of the Richmond-San
Rafael Bridge spans the north end of the San Francisco Bay.
When it was completed in 1956, the Richmond San-Rafael Bridge span was one
of the largest bridges in the world. Financing for the bridge was obtained
from the sale of $62 million in revenue bonds, supplemented by a loan of $
4.68 million from the State School Land Fund. The bridge was completed $4
million under budget.
The bridge has been struck by passing vessels on several occasions, including
a World War II vintage warship and a Navy radar ship twice in one day. None
of the collisions has caused sufficient damage to close the span.
For most of the 56,000 motorists that traverse it daily, the bridge is merely
a means to an end, unexciting and unremarkable. For the vacationers, it's
an exiting entrance to the magical county of Marin and the Redwood Empire
to the north.
Carquinez Bridge | East
Brother Light Station | Richmond Bridge | China
Camp State Park | Angel Island |
Golden Gate Bridge | Alcatraz
| Pier 39 | SF
Ferry Building | Treasure Island
| Bay Bridge