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How to Bridge the Bay
 

<= Spanning the Bay

An Engineering and Construction Marvel =>


Fanciful dreams of constructing a structure over the waters of San Francisco Bay began as early as the 1850s. The most famous 19th century promoter of a bridge was the eccentric Emperor Norton, who in 1869 issued a proclamation ordering construction of a bridge from Oakland to San Francisco to Sausalito and onto the Farallon Islands. By the twentieth century, driven by the development of automobiles, the dream of building a bridge to connect Oakland and San Francisco had become a financial and technical possibility. Proposals for bridge designs were called for in 1921 and 1926, but these were to be built by private enterprises. After 1926, the emphasis shifted to public construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The joint state-federal commission, known as the Hoover-Young Commission, in 1930 issued a report that recommended the current location and design for the bridge, which the State effectively accepted when it began building the bridge in 1933.

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Senate Journal,  March 18, 1856. In 1856, legislation was introduced that would grant a  right-of-way over the Bay.  The  legislation failed, however, when legislators  discovered it was merely a scheme to bilk investors in the project.

Senate Journal, March 18, 1856. In 1856, legislation was introduced that would grant a  right-of-way over the Bay.  The  legislation failed, however, when legislators  discovered it was merely a scheme to bilk investors in the project.

An 1856 Bridge?

In 1856, legislation was introduced that would grant a right-of-way over the Bay. The legislation failed, however, when legislators discovered it was merely a scheme to bilk investors in the project.

Senate Journal, March 18, 1856
Original Bill Files
California State Archives
Sacramento, California


Hoover-Young  Commission Report. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover and California Governor  C.C. Young established a commission to look at federal-state cooperation on  California public works.  Their  recommendation for the bridge, which was eventually adopted, was for a  state-constructed, federally–underwritten toll bridge.

Hoover-Young Commission Report

In 1929, President Herbert Hoover and California Governor C.C. Young established a commission to look at federal-state cooperation on California public works. Their recommendation for the bridge, which was eventually adopted, was for a state-constructed, federally–underwritten toll bridge.

Public Works, 1930
F2517:559
California State Archives
Sacramento, California


Proposed Bridge  Designs. These designs were  submitted to the Department of Public Works in 1929.  The final design for the bridge was developed from the numerous studies and suggestions that had been previously proposed for the bridge.

Proposed Bridge  Designs. These designs were  submitted to the Department of Public Works in 1929.  The final design for the bridge was developed from the numerous studies and suggestions that had been previously proposed for the bridge.

Proposed Bridge Designs

These designs were submitted to the Department of Public Works in 1929. The final design for the bridge was developed from the numerous studies and suggestions that had been previously proposed for the bridge.

Department of Public Works, 1929
F2517:47
California State Archives
Sacramento, California



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