• Gretchen Lang

Golden Gate hum vexes Tiburon Peninsula residents


Golden Gate Bridge officials and engineers say they’re working on a solution for the high-frequency hum during high winds. (Elliot Karlan archive / For The Ark)

Residents on the Tiburon Peninsula and around the greater Bay Area are being kept awake on windy nights, bedeviled by a weird humming sound emanating from the Golden Gate Bridge. Officials say they have received hundreds of complaints over the past year since completing a wind resistance retrofit of the suspension bridge.


The sound, a bridge-district spokesman said, stems from a new west sidewalk bridge railing, part of a $12-million retrofit designed to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge in high winds. Engineers replaced the old walkway railing with one using thinner vertical slats designed to allow more air to flow through it. It soon became apparent, however, that when the wind blows from the northwest through the slats at a certain angle and speed the bridge “sings.”


A possible solution is still being tested to determine whether it’s suitable for the harsh weather conditions, but officials offered no further details about the solution, its likely cost or when it will be installed, saying only that more information will be forthcoming in the fall.


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