San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge 1936

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge 1936

© Thomas Hawk

The Bridge

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a 13km crossing from San Francisco to Oakland. The western section is two double-decked suspension bridges, each of 704m main span, connected to a central anchorage. These were designed and overseen by the engineer, Charles Purcell, in the 1930s.

The crossing then enters a tunnel at Yerba Buena Island before the eastern section, a single-anchored suspension bridge with a long viaduct, reaches Oakland. This section is a new replacement bridge that opened in 2013. It is 10 lanes wide on a single-deck across the shallower waters to the Oakland shore.

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (West)

The 'Bay Bridge' connects San Francisco and Oakland

Key Facts

Two-suspension bridges, connecting San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island

A viaduct completes the crossing to Oakland


California, USA

Across San Francisco Bay

Consulting Engineers

Charles H. Purcell


Suspension bridge

2 x 704m main spans

2,822m total length

Main contractors

American Bridge Company


Began 8 July 1933

Opened 12 November 1936

Other long-span bridges