Golden Gate Bridge cables to be renovated

February 23, 2011 12:30:21 PM PST
A major renovation project is underway on the Golden Gate Bridge. The massive undertaking will take years, and could have quite an impact on cyclists. The main cables be renovated for the first time since the span opened in 1937.

The scaffolding was delivered to the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the night and traffic lanes were shut down due to the massive the shipment. The delivery kicks off a huge undertaking.

"We are now renovating the main cables of the Golden Gate Bridge. The two massive main cables that go up and over the towers and hold the roadway are being repainted," Golden Gate Bridge Spokesperson Mary Currie said.

There will be a tent on Westside midway across the bridge where workers will be chipping the old paint off, vacuuming the chips and repainting the cables. This is quite an operation compared to the usual touch-up paint jobs.

"The main cables of the Golden Gate Bridge can't be replaced, they have to be periodically painted and cared for exterior paint is really what protects the 80,000 miles of wire inside the cables from corroding," Currie said.

It could get crowded during the project, since bicyclists use sidewalk in the afternoon and on the weekends, but workers have to narrow it down to three feet.

"If it's too much confusion for people passing and it's a safety hazard, we may ask them to walk. We don't know yet," Currie said.

"It's a fantastic experience. I wouldn't come here if I couldn't ride my bike," bicyclist Cory Roay said.

"There are two sides to the bridge, so it seems like they could come up with a solution. During 9/11, they actually had a van bring bikes across and that was also kind of a hassle," bicyclist David Toczyski said.

Bikers aren't very thrilled with the project, but right now it's a work in progress. Bridge officials are working with the Bicycle Coalition to make this as pain free as possible.

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