World famous bridge celebrates 75th

05:03, May 29 2012
Golden Gate Bridge
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is 75 years old.

Thousands of people gathered along San Francisco's waterfront on Sunday, in boats and on foot as the city celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco resident Daniel Sutphin and his family were among those in the crowd enjoying the day and the views of the bridge.

"It's such an iconic structure, depending on the day or the hour, it just looks like it changes continuously," Sutphin said.

Since it opened in 1937, more than two billion vehicles have crossed the 2.7km long bridge named after the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance of water to San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.

Its construction was championed by engineer Joseph Strauss in the 1920s.

In a stark contrast to the thousands of celebrants, members of the group the Bridge Rail Foundation, an organisation dedicated to stopping suicide jumps from the bridge, also gathered.

They erected a display of 1558 pairs of shoes, representing the number of people who died in leaps from the bridge since it opened in 1937.

"It's a symbol of how deep and serious this problem has been," said Paul Muller, a spokesman for the group.

"We're still losing 30 to 35 a people a year off the bridge," he said.