The Golden Gate Bridge Bolt

In 1937, the city of San Francisco was busy preparing for the upcoming 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition when it was was approached by an engineer from Connecticut, Joseph Bazzeghin, who had an unusual proposal. He wanted to use the recently completed Golden Gate Bridge as a structure upon which to build the ultimate roller coaster, which he would call the Golden Gate Bridge Bolt. He envisioned this coaster being the centerpiece of the exposition, in the same way that the Eiffel Tower was the centerpiece of the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Image source: CA State Archives Newsletter

His plan involved attaching tracks to the cables of the bridge. These tracks would rise 300 feet above the first tower, and then drop 750 feet to the deck level of the center span — during which plunge the coaster would reach a speed of 190 mph. But then it would rise up again, 300 feet over the second tower, only to plunge 1000 feet toward the water and speed through a viaduct into Marin County.

During the second plunge riders would reach 220 mph, at which speed the force of the wind would make it impossible for them to breathe. So Bazzeghin planned to provide them with paper masks to protect their eyes, nose, and mouth.

His scheme was rejected, partially because the city was worried about drivers on the bridge being distracted by the sight of the roller coaster. But also because it would have been incredibly expensive, and possibly impossible, to build.

More info: CBS SF BayArea, SF Chronicle
     Posted By: Alex - Tue May 18, 2021
     Category: Architecture | Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts | 1930s

As a California Native I'd never heard that story. I'd pay for a ride if it had been built. Those are dragster speeds.
Posted by KDP on 05/18/21 at 04:33 PM
I see a thrill in being able to whiz by the unwashed masses moving at a crawl on the bridge during rush hour. Too bad you would be frozen in place by the g-force and paper mask, so you couldn't stick your tongue out at them.

Looks like the Bay Bridge has a tunnel you go thru at 200 mph.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 05/19/21 at 09:15 AM
But also because it would have been incredibly expensive, and possibly impossible, to build... killing all participants would, of course, barely have been an issue.
Posted by Richard Bos on 05/22/21 at 11:03 AM
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