Golden Gate Bridge District gets $400 million to complete seismic retrofit

Golden Gate Bridge on a somewhat foggy day
Mark Prado

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has been awarded a $400 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to complete the final phase of the span's seismic retrofit.

The grant — announced last week — is provided through the FHWA’s Bridge Investment Program, which received $12.5 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

“The Golden Gate Bridge is an international icon and key transportation link for the Bay Area that serves tens of millions of residents and visitors every year,” said Denis Mulligan, the district's general manager. “This vital funding allows us to finish strengthening the Bridge against disasters. Thanks to Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, the Biden administration, and the entire Bay Area congressional delegation, the Golden Gate Bridge will be protected for generations to come.”

The Golden Gate Bridge seismic retrofit will strengthen the span against major earthquakes and disasters. Due to the scale of the project, the seismic retrofit has been broken up into four phases, three of which have already been completed. The final phase of the project, called Phase 3B, includes strengthening the main span of the bridge, two side spans, both towers, the south tower pier, and the underside of the toll plaza.

The construction budget is $879 million, with the remaining funding expected to come from a combination of state grants and district capital reserves. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024 and finish in 2029.

The first three phases of the seismic retrofit were completed between 2002 and 2014. With the earlier phases of the retrofit complete, the Bridge can safely withstand an earthquake over 7.0 in magnitude, but it may experience damage that requires closure after a major seismic event. Completion of the final phase of the retrofit will further harden the Bridge against damage from an earthquake or other disasters.

More information about the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit is available on the project webpage. The MTC and Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District are transportation partners.

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