San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge was recently renovated, but something the engineers failed to take into account was the terrifyingly eerie noise the new changes would project throughout the entire Bay area.
— Alberto Martinez A (@betogilardino) June 5, 2020
Videos taken from all over the San Francisco Bay region on social media show people responding to a creepy,high-pitched wailing or howling in the distance they hadn’t heard before.
It turns out the noise is made by new a new footpath railing installed on the bridge. When there’s high winds over the Bay, the air passing through the slats of the new rail design produces a high-pitched siren-like noise that carries very well over the water.
The Golden Gate Bridge now makes music. You can hear this whistle all over the city pic.twitter.com/W1V9Dw4sXb
— Raemond (@RaemondBW) June 6, 2020
If you’re thinking, “Man, that’s kind of loud so far away. I can’t imagine how deafening it is on the bridge for the pedestrians the new railing is meant to protect,” well, it is very loud indeed.
The strange noise is actually a sign that the new railing is doing its job, though. While it’s meant to provide a barrier between the footpath and the road, of course, the new railing was specifically installed for improved wind resistance across the bridge. For some reason, the engineers did not care that all the air they were forcing through this new railing would make noise.
“Engineers designed new sides for the sidewalk to help with wind resistance but didn’t take into account the EXTREME sound it creates when wind passes through it. The bridge sings crazy songs now it’s so trippy. It hurts the ears and unbearable it’s that loud.” pic.twitter.com/GWdVia1GNS
— Mark Krueger (@markkrueg) June 6, 2020
Is there a computer model for wind “sound” that architects and civil engineers use? I don’t know, that seems like a pretty obvious conclusion for very smart people to overlook. It’s possible the issue did come up in testing or the early models and it was determined we would all just have to live with the screaming, blood-red bridge for the rest of our lives.
The Golden Gate Bridge Sargent confirmed to the media that there are no current plans to stop the screaming. Honestly, same.