bridge thermometer

bridge overlook

A calibrated spotting scope, mounted on an Upper Fort Mason trail and trained on the Golden Gate Bridge, allows visitors to see how much the span moves up and down as the structure contracts and expands in response to temperature. Engineered to rise and fall by as much as 16 feet, the span’s daily fluctuations illustrate the power of the subtle forces impinging on the Bridge—and the dynamic nature of monumental structures we normally think of as static.


This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0104478. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.