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December 8, 2016

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California State Archives Releases “Spanning the Bay: Celebrating the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge” the Latest Digitized Exhibit Available Online 


SACRAMENTO –80 years after the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge first opened to traffic, the California State Archives is providing a rare look at the construction of this California icon. The exhibit “Spanning the Bay” tells the story of one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious public works projects. This is the Archives’ latest digital exhibit hosted by the Google Cultural Institute

“When the Bay Bridge first opened to traffic on November 12, 1936 it became one of the major engineering feats of the 20th Century,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “Thousands risked life and limb—braving the wind, rain, and fog—to construct the Bay Bridge. Their work changed commerce and life in the Bay Area forever. Thanks to the hard work of State Archives staff, and our partnership with Google, rare photos and personal accounts from some of those who worked on the Bay Bridge can finally be shared widely.” 

Click here to view the “Spanning the Bay” exhibit 

From master divers who plunged the depths of the Bay to secure the underpinnings of the bridge, to construction workers precariously suspended hundreds of feet in the air to complete the main towers, to the excavation of Yerba Buena Island, “Spanning the Bay” provides a look at the monumental effort needed to complete the Bay Bridge. 

“Spanning the Bay” is the latest exhibit released in partnership with Google. To view all of the State Archives’ exhibits available via the Google Cultural Institute visit: 

As part of this partnership, the State Archives will continue to digitize exhibits for inclusion on the Google Cultural Institute website. 


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