The navy suggested a black and yellow design that would have made the beautiful architure look like a crime scene. Finally, the designers arrived at their choice by accident. The color "international orange" was the color that the pieces of the bridge were painted to protect from corrosion. The designers took a look at this color and loved it - it would blend into the beautiful cliffs and hills of San Francisco and Marin county, and would pass the Navy's test of a color you could see through the fog.
The materials for the bridge were manufactured around the country and then shipped to the construciton site. The workers had to pour massive cement foundation pieces: so huge that the amount of cement used in the bridge construction could pave a five foot wide sidewalk from here to New York City. The two suspension cables that hold up the bridge are made of thousands of steel wires (80,000 miles worth!) that are bundled and compressed to make two steel cables three feet in diameter that span 7,650 feet.
There was also opposition from those who had originally not supported the bridge's construction. Many thought that it was not a necessary cost, and so should not be built during the difficult economic times. People had never seen a bridge like this one: could it support the load of traffic? would it fall into the Bay at the first sign of the frequent earthquakes around Northern California?
The next day the chains were cut and cars were allowed to cross the bridge. The original toll was $.50 each way (equivalent to $7 then). The $35 million loan (and liens on properties) plus the $39 million in finance charges were paid off by 1971. Now the toll is $6 only to southbound traffic.
In 1987 the Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 50th anniversary. 250,000 people came out to walk (or stand, as it turned out) on the bridge and give tribute to the brave men who designed and built this beautiful bridge. This was the largest load the bridge had borne to date, and it held perfectly.
1989 brought the Golden Gate Bridge its first real challenge. Since the bridge lies between the two major fault lines of Hayward and San Andreas, it's likelihood of being affected by an earthquake is certain. But the bridge survived the earthquake that brought so much devastation to the Bay Area and sustained no structural damage. But the earthquake woke San Francisco and the managers of the Golden Gate Bridge up to the fact that a strong earthquake was certain and the city needed to ensure the future of the bridge. New reinforcements were added to the structure of the bridge that should help it to endure an earthquake stronger than that of the 1906 quake that leveled San Francisco.