History on Bay Bridge, Yebra Island, Oakland Bridge and Treasure Island Bay bridge

Historyon Bay Bridge, Yebra Island, Oakland Bridge and Treasure Island

Baybridge

TheSan Francisco-OaklandBay Bridge, alsocommonlyreferredto as theBay Bridge, is unquestionablytheworld’slargestbridgein termsof scaleof itsconstruction.TheSan Francisco baywasfirstdescribedby European explorersin 1769 whenthepartyof Don Portola reachedwhattheybelievedto be an insurmountablewaterbarrier,at thenorthernendof theSan Francisco peninsula(Robinson 7).

Beforetheconstructionof thebaybridge,there existedregularferrycrossingbetween Oakland andSan Francisco formorethan eight decades. Thewaterway wasusedas a roadby earlyshipforferryingautomobilesandpassengers.In fact,Robinson addsthatannually,theautomobilesferriedtotaledupto 5 million andmorethan sixtimesthatnumberforfootpassengers.Later,there wasa publicdemandforan evenbetterservicethan whatthebaysteamershadto offer.However,thedemandwasnot becausetheferrieswereunsafe,tooexpensiveof inefficientas researchshowedthatferrieswereincrediblysafe.

SanFrancisco-OaklandBay is one of thegreatestnaturalharborsin theWest coast.Theneedforthebridgebaywasfirstenvisioned as earlyas 1869 by a localcrankEmperor Norton. Althoughmanythoughthewasdelusional, Emperor Norton issuedan imperialscriptto buildsuchas bridgebutitremainedan ideafora while. Subsequently,hethenissueda decreecommandingtheCentral Pacific Railroad to builda bridgefrom Oakland to Yerba Buena to Sausalito, andeventuallyto terminateon Farallon islands.

Theneedforthebridgewasthenrecognizedin theearly1900s, whentheautomobileswerecatchingupandsoontheneedforhighwaybridgesbecauseOakland andSan Francisco hadgrownlargeenoughto establishpotentialrevenues.In the1920s, thefirstgenerationof bridgesacross thebaywasconceived.In 1924 thatthegovernmentengineersinvestigatedthepossibilityof buildingtheBay Bridge anddeterminedthatitwould be impracticaldueto earthquakesfaultsanddifficultiesof findingbottom solidencourage.However,President Herbert Hoover, alsoan engineer,expressedhisinterestin theideain 1929, with California Governor C.C. Young, andjointlyappointeda commissionto makepreliminarystudiesandrecommendations.

In1930, thecommissionappointedby Hoover andYoung issuesa reportrecommendingthecurrentbridgelocation,from Rincon Hill in Francisco via Yerba Buena Island to San Antonioestuaryon theOakland shore.Someof themajorconsiderationsmadewhenchoosingthisroutewereeconomics,feasibilityandadequacyof soilin which thefoundationwould bebuilt.In addition,thecommissionmadeotherrecommendationsregardingthedesignandcarryingcapacity.Theserecommendationswereeffectivelyadoptedthrough enactmentof Chapter 9, Statutes of 1933, which authorizedthedepartmentof Public Works to constructa bridgeacross theSan Francisco Bay. Theconstructionstartedin 1933 andwenton to 1936 whenthebridgewasfirstopened.

Thebridgeis one of theengineeringmarvelsof our time.Uponthecompletionof theSan Francisco – Oakland baybridge,itgainedrecognitionas one of thegreatestthebridgesin theworldbecauseof its length,depth,amountof steelandconcreteused,as wellas, versatility of engineers.Accordingto Richards (302),thetotalcostof buildingthebridgewas$77 million, a phenomenalsumin thedepression-ridden periodin 1930s. TheBay Bridge stretchesover four milesof landandwaterandlinksthecitywith thepopulousEast Bay counties.Theexceptionalbeautyof thebridgethat spanstheGolden Gate has madeitafavorite.Furthermore,theexistenceof thebridgeis itselfa mixedblessingas itbroughtisolationin San Francisco to an end.Today,morethan hundred of thousand automobilescrosstheGolden Gate Bridge everyday,bringingcommutersandvisitorsinto thecity.Althoughthecityof San Francisco has lostisolation,itis evidentthatithas lostnone of itstraditionof nonconformity.YerbaBuena

YerbaBuena Island wasinitiallyknownas Alcatraz in theearly1800s. Itwasthenas theGoat Island in themid1800s becausethegoatsweregrazedthere.Laterin 1931, theislandwasofficiallynamedafter thesweetsmellingnativeplant,which theSpanish called“yerba buena.&quotWhilestillknownas Alcatraz, thesmallsandstone islandin San Francisco Bay, gaineditspopularityforbidjailandnotoriousprisonsin theUnited States. Someof theAmerican’s mostnotoriousandinfamouscriminalsservedtheirprisonsentenceon theIsland. On theotherhand,Alcatraz washomeforaround 300 civilianswhoshoppedin smallmalls,attendedeventsin socialhalls,andreceivedmailat thepostoffice.

Thefirstdocumentation of theislandandtheSpanish discoveryof thebaysoonto becomeAlcatraz wasby a bandof soldiersin 1769. At thattime,thelargebodyof waterwasbelievedto be landlocked until thediscoveryof theGolden Gate in the1770s. Five yearslater,anotherrecordedSpanish ship,wasfirstto exploretheSan Francisco Bay, wherebytheydiscoveredan islandcoveredwith largeamountsof pelicans. Thisislandwould becomeknownas “La Isla de los Alcatraces” orislandof pelicans orlargebirds.Thistranslationeventuallyevolvedinto Alcatraz. Forthenext46 years,Spain remainedin controlof California andSan Francisco bayuntil Mexican independencein 1821.

TheGold Rush madeYerba Buena Island importantas itmarkeda vastdemographic changewith theinfluxof thousands of peoplesettingout to findtheirfortunein theWest. Thisalsomarkeda changeforCalifornia as itbecamemorestrategically andeconomically importantto thefederalgovernmentgoldworthmillions of dollarswereminedin thegoldfields.Asa result,Yerba Buena, along with otherstrategicpointsin San Francisco Bay, waschosento becomethefrontline of defensein caseof attackon California via San Francisco Bay. Theconstructionof amilitaryinstallationon theislandwhich begunby 1853. Theislandwould standas one of themainlinesof defenseagainst shipscomingthrough thegolden gate.Theislandcontinuedto actas a fortressuntil 1907 whentheislandwasdeemedobsoleteas a defensiveposition,simplybecominga prisonforthewesternmilitary(Drew et al., 110). Thislasteduntil 1933, whentheadministrationof theislandwastransferredto thefederalBureau of prisons.

Today,Yerba Buena is one of themostfascinatingplacesto visit.Thebridgehas gainmuchfameas one of themostfamousSan Francisco Bay’s popularfortouristattraction,especiallyafter openingto thepublicin 1970s as partof theGolden Gate National Recreation Area. ForthosevisitingSan Francisco not is Yerba Buena Island a historytourlesson,butitalsoofferstouristsa chanceto geton a boatandjourneyinto thescenicSan Francisco Bay, East Bay, andGolden Gate Bridge, which are breathtaking.Furthermore,a largenumberof touristsassociateditwith Hollywood moviessuchas “The Rock”, which romanticized thesettingandcreateda senseof heritage.

TreasureIsland

TreasureIsland, a manmade fillin San Francisco Bay, locatedon thenorthwest of Yerba Buena Island. Thisman-madeislandwasformedin the1920s by hydraulically placingsandover youngbaymuddepositsthat wereunderwaterat thetime.Theconstructionof theIsland begunin February 1936 andwascompletedin January 1939. Morethan 30 million cubic yardsof sandandgravelwasdredged from theBay andtheSacramento River delta to createthe400-acre island,andnearly260,000 tonsof rockwasusedto createa seawall that keptitalltogether.Thename‘Treasure island’resultedfrom thedirtthat wasusedto createitas itwasloadedwith goldthat hadwashedinto thebayfrom thesierra mountain.

TheNew Deal – WPA, which in chargeof theconstructionof theIsland, constructeditforthepurposeof celebratingtheconstructionof theSan Francisco-OaklandBay andGolden Gate Bridge. Subsequently,itwasalsothesiteof an internationalGolden Gate Exposition. After themarvelousdisplayin theWorld’s Fair in 1939 -1940 exhibition,theNavy purposedto usedtheislandas an airportafter theysteppedin.

BeforeWorld War II begun,plansinvolvingtheislandwerechangedas theUS Navy tookover from theSan Francisco andmadeita navalschoolingarea.ThisartificialIsland becamehomefornumerousfunctionsincludingservinglargelyas electronicsandradiocommunicationstrainingschool,harborpatrolunits,minepatrolforces,coastwatchers,as wellas, in-shore andoff-shore patrolespeciallyforactivesailordepartingin thepacifictheatre of thewar.Towardstheendof WW II in1945, theTreasure Island, which wasa Navy station,continuedto serveas a vitalU.S. Navy base.

In1954, Treasure Island wasopento thepublicforthefirsttimesince theexpo endedfora much-celebrated openhousethatfeatured shipandbasetours,as wellas, a Golden Gate International Expo reunion.Allthrough the1950s and1960s, theNaval Station Treasure Island (NSTI) continuedto serveas a receivingstation,homeport forvariouswarshipsandtrainingbase.In 1997, theNSTI lowereditsflagforthelasttimeandgavecontrolbackto theSan Francisco in September thesameyear.

Today,theTreasure Island continuesto advancethrough initiativesandprojectsmeantforredevelopment.TheUnited States has shownthatdevelopmentin thecommunityis readyto tryinnovative andtransformational projects.Theredevelopment of Treasure Island includeshousingforten thousand people,andnewbuses,electricgophers, andferrytransportationterminalsforTreasureIslandresidents.Thisis an opportunityto createa muchmoreself-sufficientcommunitywith densityandmix of useswheremostservicescan beprovidedlocally.Evenbefore thisconstructionhas begun,theprocessof envisioning Treasure Island has createdchange.However,thisartificialIsland is vulnerableto soilliquefaction in theearthquake-proneSan Francisco.

Workcited

Richards,Rand. HistoricSan Francisco: a concise history and guide.San Francisco: Heritage House Publishers, 2007. Print.

Robinson,John V.. AlZampa and the Bay Area bridges.Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2005. Print.

Varney,Philip, John Drew, and Susan Drew. Ghosttowns of Northern California: your guide to ghost towns and historicmining camps.Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 2001. Print.