Monday, December 5

There is now a solution to the haunting buzz of the Golden Gate

The eerie buzz of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge may soon be over. The sound has been compared to the “chant of monks” and a “hissing kazoo”, A musical instrument, but locals also define it as an” unbearable “noise.

Local authorities just approved the fix for the noise that echoes through San Francisco neighborhoods on especially windy days since last year and annoys neighbors. The department in charge of the Golden Gate Bridge estimates a budget of 450,000 dollars (398,000 euros) for the project to install aluminum clips to reduce the sound of the wind against the bridge handrail.

“After an extensive study of the phenomenon we have determined that the sound comes from the new aerodynamic handrail that we installed on the west sidewalk,” Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, a spokesman for the bridge, told The Guardian in June. “The handrail was part of a retrofit designed to protect the bridge for future generations, allowing it to withstand constant winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.”


On days when the wind blows from certain directions – slightly north or south – the bridge emits a strange song that some residents have described as relaxing and others as “the noise you would imagine jailers using to torture prisoners” . On windy days, locals report, sounds can be heard miles away.

“We can hear this in our house more than five kilometers away from the bridge. It’s maddening, ”one of them said.

The authorities discovered that the sound usually corresponds to the pitch of the musical note La.

The plan developed by bridge engineers and aerodynamic and acoustic experts calls for placing clips containing a rubber boot on each of the 12,000 vertical slats of the west side handrail, and this is estimated to reduce sounds by 75%. The project should be finished by the end of 2022.

Translation by Ignacio Rial-Schies.