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Archival Photography Tells Story Of Bay Bridge Construction Feat


"Spanning The Bay" is a digital photography exhibit capturing highlights of the Bay Bridge's construction between 1933 and 1936.

Archivists with the California State Archives digitized a selection of 1930s photographs as part of a partnership with Google.

Archivist Jessica Herrick says there are thousands of photographs taken by employees of the Department of Public Works while construction was underway.

Herrick sifted through the collection to curate this exhibit. She points to the bridge as a feat of modern engineering that had a huge impact on the region's economy.

"Looking at these photos in the past you get a sense of how much effort went into the construction and just how massive the project was," says Herrick.

She adds that looking at these photos today "gives us a sense of 'Look what they accomplished then' and 'What can we accomplish in the future?'"

It took 8,000 workers three years to build the Bay Bridge. State archive researchers estimate the cost of the Bay Bridge at $72 million. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

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