Golden Gate Bridge, in ‘fair’ shape, gets $400 million to brace against earthquakes

A string of car lights are seen on an orange bridge at twilight.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is seen at twilight on Dec. 28, 2019.
(Josh Edelson / For The Times)

The Golden Gate Bridge is set to receive $400 million from the multibillion-dollar infrastructure bill signed last year by President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday.

For the record:

5:48 p.m. Jan. 1, 2023An earlier version of this story said the amount allocated for Golden Gate Bridge improvements was $400 billion. It is $400 million.

The $400 million will go toward retrofitting the iconic span for earthquakes.

The Federal Highway Administration “found that the Golden Gate Bridge is currently in ‘fair condition’ but noted that continued deterioration would result in a ‘poor’ rating within the next three years,” Pelosi’s office said Thursday in a news release. “The newly announced federal funding will allow this remaining section to undergo vital seismic upgrades and ensure the bridge’s continued structural integrity.”

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Parts of the north and south ends of the bridge were retrofitted in 2013, but the main span still requires upgrading.


Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the investment would help ensure that the landmark “continues to safely and reliably serve our region for many years to come.”

The funds come from the $550-billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which earmarked more than $12 billion for the nation’s aging bridges.

The seismic retrofitting is not the only upgrade for the 85-year-old bridge; installation of a suicide prevention net along the span is underway.

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That project, however, has hit multiple roadblocks since work began in 2018.

The net project, whose original price was estimated at about $80 million, could cost as much as $400 million, according to a lawsuit brought by construction firms in charge of the installation against the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which manages the bridge.

The construction firms claim that crews have encountered “extensive bridge deterioration,” leading to delays and cost overruns.

The transportation district said it had been “transparent” with the companies regarding the bridge’s condition and was “deeply frustrated” with the slow progress.


The suicide prevention net is tentatively expected to be completed next year.