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The Paintings of Carl Rakeman

1939 - A Highway Masterpiece

Image:Vehicles travel over a giant suspension bridge.

For nearly a century San Francisco's leaders had dreamed of a great bridge speeding communications with the prosperous cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda. By the mid-1800's, proposals for bay crossings included those for both road and railway bridges.

In 1921, the San Francisco Car Dealers Association financed an engineering study to determine the feasibility of a combined tube and concrete causeway crossing. Within seven years, 35 proposals to build such a connection had been submitted by corporate and individual bidders. A Toll Bridge Authority was established by the California Legislature in 1929 to secure funding. The U.S. Congress approval a $73 million loan from the Federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932.

Finally, ground was broken for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in on July 9, 1933. The structure was completed forty months later. During its first year of operation, 25,000 vehicles traversed the bridge daily.


The Paintings of Carl Rakeman