Golden Gate Bridge Now ‘Sings’ a Wind Song, Humming Away

June 7, 2020

By: Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO– Recent windy weather has amplified a new sonic feature of the Golden Gate Bridge when unusually high winds blast into San Francisco Bay, across the iconic span, generating a loud, humming noise that can be heard for miles around.

Friday was the first day the bridge started “singing,” at a volume that could be heard across the city, the side effect of a handrail retrofit designed to make the span more aerodynamic on gusty days.

The Golden Gate Bridge District says ‘this was to be expected’. During design, the district conducted wind tunnel tests on a scale model of the bridge under high winds.

Friday’s very strong winds cranked up the volume, extending the distance the sound carried. People heard it all over San Francisco; some even said they could hear it in Berkeley.

“We had heard it as well in lower wind environments,” says Cosulich Schwartz. “It was a low-level hum, couldn’t really be heard outside of the bridge. Then, yesterday is when we experienced the exceptionally high winds where we knew there would be an audible, humming noise.”

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