Golden Gate Bridge Getting First Full Paint Job in 75 Years

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    If only we all looked so good 75 years between paint jobs.

    The grand old span connecting San Francisco to Marin County is receiving its first full paint job in 75 years, as work crews swarm over the Golden Gate Bridge, applying paint to the cables that hold the suspension bridge up 220 feet above San Francisco Bay, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

    This work is not easy: the wet, windy summer has meant workers haven't been able to apply a coat of paint for nearly two weeks. But it's very necessary work, as it's the paint that keeps the bridge protected from the salt air and the rust that inevitably follows. That means the bridge stays up, which is where we need it.

    The cables consist of 27,572 "pencil-sized" wires that are spun together and bound together with paint, the newspaper reported. They've held up well over 75 years, but the 18 crew members assigned to the bridge are necessary to ensure the Golden Gate can hold up for another 75.

    The crews apply several coats of paint to the wires to make them appear their signature "international orange" color. First the cables are washed and the old paint removed. Then the cables are lightly sanded before two coats of elastic paint are applied. Finally an acrylic coat is painted on.

    Painting the bridge is a full-time job and a long one: this paint job is expected to take four years. And why not? It's 10,000 gallons of paint, applied on 1.7 miles of cable, the newspaper reported.