Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

Construction Contracts and Cost

Eleven of the nation’s leading bridge engineering firms submitted construction proposals. On August 11, 1930, the War Department issued its final permit for the construction of a 4,200-foot main span with a vertical clearance of 220 feet at mid-span. On August 27, 1930, Joseph Strauss submitted final plans to the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Board of Directors. In November 1932, contracts totaling $23,843,905 were awarded for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The authorized bond issue was for $35 million and the total construction cost came in at $35 million which included $27,125,000 for the construction of the structure, $2,050,000 for Engineering and Inspection, $423,000 for Administrative and Preliminary Expenses, $4,068,000 for Financing, and $1,334,000 in surplus. The $27 million for final construction of the span is higher than the $23 million for the initial construction bids as other items were included in the final cost such as the toll plaza ($450,000), toll collection equipment ($72,000), tower elevators ($60,000), miscellaneous equipment ($45,000), and Military replacements and improvements ($575,000).

On October 14, 1932, bids were received for the following:

  1. Contract I-A: Steel Superstructure to McClintic-Marshall Corporation, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, San Francisco, CA, in the amount of $10,494,000.
  2. Contract I-B: Steel Cables, Suspenders & Accessories to John A. Roebling's Sons Company, Trenton, NJ, in the amount of $5,855,000
  3. Contract II: San Francisco Tower Pier and Fender, Marin Tower Pier to Pacific Bridge Company in the amount of $2,935,000.
  4. Contract III: Anchorages and Piers of Approach Spans to Barrett & Hilp, San Francisco, CA, for $1,859,855.
  5. Contract IV: Steel Superstructure for San Francisco and Marin Approaches to J.H. Pomeroy & Company, Inc. and Raymond Concrete Pile Co. in the amount of $934,800.
  6. Contract V: Presidio Approach Road (later renamed Doyle Drive) to Eaton & Smith Construction Company, San Francisco, CA, in the amount of $996,000.
  7. Contract VI: Sausalito Approach Road in the amount of $59,780.
  8. Contract VII: Paving of Main Spans to Barrett & Hilp and Pacific Bridge Company in the amount of $555,000.
  9. Contract VIII: Electrical Work to Alta Electric& Mechanical Company, Inc. in the amount of $154,470.

The nine contracts totaled $23,843,905. In November 1932, contracts were awarded for contracts I-B, II, III, IV, V, and VIII. Contract VI, the Sausalito Lateral (Alexander Avenue today), was not awarded and was later built as a WPA project.

Primary Contractors for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge were:

  1. Marin and San Francisco Tower Piers: Pacific Bridge Company
  2. Anchorages and Approach Piers: Barrett & Hilp
  3. Structural Steel of Suspension Span and Towers: McClintic-Marshall Corporation, a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation
  4. Main Cables: John A. Roebling’s Sons Company
  5. Structural Steel of Approaches: J.H. Pomeroy & Company, and Raymond Concrete Pile Company
  6. Presidio Approach Road (Doyle Drive): Eaton & Smith Construction Company
  7. Pavement for Suspension Spans and Approaches: Pacific Bridge Company and Barrett & Hilp
  8. Electrical Work: Alta Electric & Mechanical Company

The last of the construction bonds was retired in 1971, with $35 million in principal and nearly $39 million in interest being paid entirely from Bridge tolls. With the exception of the Sausalito Lateral approach road (Alexander Avenue today) which was built as a federal WPA project, there was no state or federal funds involved in building the Golden Gate Bridge.