Bridge Deck Deflection


When a portion of a structure moves from its original position because of forces acting on it, engineers call it deflection. The roadway deck of the Golden Gate Bridge is hung or suspended by steel ropes from the curving main cables, which allows the deck to move flexibly in the wind.

Bridge Deck Deflection

When the wind blows strongly, the roadway deck is designed to move sideways (deflect) up to 27 feet 8 inches (8.4 m).

Golden Gate Bridge Deck Deflection

Exhibit designed by Jorge Lee (GGBHTD) and Robert Reitherman (CUREE).