San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is making eerie new sounds.
If you visit or live near the Golden Gate Bridge, you might notice new, unusual sounds coming from the San Francisco landmark. While it’s fun to think that the famous Bay Area bridge is haunted, with ghostly communications coming through loud and clear, the real reason for the weird sounds is rather mundane.
Apparently, the city recently installed new sidewalk railing slats to better handle wind resistance on the bridge. But no one anticipated that the wind passing through the slats would also make significant noise not just on the bridge, but also miles away.
“Can someone explain me why is this eerie sound has been going on for an hour in San Francisco,” one person tweeted from the Presidio.
When residents living near the bridge tweeted about hearing the unusual sounds, San Francisco 311, the city’s official information and customer service center, posted an explanation.
“The Golden Gate Bridge Sargent reports the low humming noise is related to high winds blowing through the newly installed railing slats along the bike path on the bridge,” San Francisco 311 tweeted on Friday.
Sorry this is happening. The Golden Gate Bridge Sargent reports the low humming noise is related to high winds blowing through the newly installed railing slats along the bike path on the bridge. ^JB
— SF311 (@SF311) June 6, 2020
“The Golden Gate Bridge has started to sing,” Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, said in a statement on Saturday. “The new musical tones coming from the bridge are a known and inevitable phenomenon that stem from our wind retrofit during very high winds.”
Basically, when the wind passes through the new sidewalk slats, it turns the bridge into a giant reed instrument.
“As part of the design process, the District did extensive studies on the impacts of the project, including wind tunnel testing of a scale model of the Golden Gate Bridge under high winds,” Cosulich-Schwartz added. The new wind retrofit was “necessary to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the bridge.”
Officials say there are no planned fixes for the humming issue, according to a news report from SFGate on Friday. Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
I’m not sure what the plan is to fix the issue. You may contact the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District directly at 415-921-5858 M-F 7a-7p. Sat. & Sun. 8a-6p. ^JB
— SF311 (@SF311) June 6, 2020
While some people enjoy the creepy concert whenever the wind picks up, not everyone shares the sentiment about Golden Gate Bridge’s new musical offerings.
“This is going to seriously cause people to lose their minds. Possibly me,” one person tweeted.
“Kinda beautiful…. as long as you’re just visiting and not living within earshot. That would drive me nuts!” another person tweeted.
Here are a few tweets from people who captured videos of the eerie bridge sounds.
I would also mention that up close and with no people around, the sound was both surreal and peaceful, as if someone’s playing a very sad meditation song on surround sound. P.S. you really can’t hear it much ON the Golden Gate Bridge itself #GoldenGateBridge #SanFrancisco #2020 pic.twitter.com/dPX5KXgDwv
— Shirin (@Shirin_Jnk) June 6, 2020
This guy might beg to differ I hope the link works- it’s from a guy who drove down the bike lane of the bridge while it was howling–and I mean HOWLING–it was EARSPLITTING): https://t.co/DjX1se1YPL
— Mortal Wombat (@ProgressiVAlien) June 6, 2020