Happy 75th Birthday to the Bay Bridge

Workers build the Bay Bridge in the 1930s. The original construction took three years and four months and employed thousands of men. Between 24 and 28 of them were killed during construction on a job one report called "inherently dangerous." Photo: The Chronicle

The Bay Bridge was opened 75 years and, today in our editorial partner the Chronicle, Carl Note writes about what was described at the time as “one of the greatest days in Bay Area history”. He also discusses the bridge’s construction — which took just three years, compared to the nine-plus it is taking to complete its new East Span today.

The Chronicle has also unearthed from its archives a set of stunning black-and-white photographs of the bridge when it was first built (including the one above). We encourage you to go to SFGate and read the full story.

A low-key ceremony with birthday cake was held yesterday on Yerba Buena island by CalTrans, and it is hoped the bridge will be transformed with an abstract light sculpture next year as part of an extended celebration.

A section of the new span of the Bay Bridge that will carry cables. Photo: Robert Trachtenberg

Meantime, construction on the new span continues. It is expected to be complete in 2013. See photos of the process from up close in two Berkeleyside stories:

View from the water: New span of the Bay Bridge takes shape [10.05.11]
Sneak peek: Up close on the new Bay Bridge span [02.14.11]

For updated news on the Bay Bridge, including construction cams, visit BayBridgeInfo.org.

Update, 11.14.11: After a request on Twitter for your Bay Bridge photos, beckcowles uploaded the image below to our Flickr pool. It was shot on February 20, 2011:

Update, 11.14.11, 10:35pm: D.H. Parks uploaded the image below to our Flickr pool. It was shot on January 14th, 2011:

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