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Engineers are working to fix a buzz from the Golden Gate Bridge that angered San Francisco residents and the surrounding communities.
The iconic bridge emitted an eerie buzz after a sidewalk safety railing was added on the west side last year, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday.
FILE: A small group of people walks in front of the Golden Gate Bridge on Baker Beach in San Francisco. (AP)
The crews replaced approximately 12,000 wide slats with narrower ones to give the bridge a slimmer profile and make it safer in strong winds.
But as security increased, so did the noise as gusts lashed through the new slats, according to The Chronicle. Commuters on the 83-year-old bridge have posted records of the noise online.
“It’s really loud,” San Francisco-based Aneela Brister told The Chronicle. “Huge and all-encompassing. It worries you when the bridge falls apart.”
The noise can be heard as far as Daly City – about 10 miles south of San Francisco.
“Some people have found it meditative and angelic,” said bridge spokesman Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, quickly admitting that most people find it depressing.
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According to Cosulich-Schwartz, engineers using full-size sections of the bridge railing in a wind tunnel are working on a solution but have not been able to provide additional details.
“We’ll have more to say this summer,” said Cosulich-Schwartz. “It’s a tricky business. We want to be absolutely sure that we’re doing it right. We’ll never sacrifice the structural integrity of the bridge, but we want to respond to our neighbors.”
Since it opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has closed three times – 1951, 1982, and 1983 – due to high winds.
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The strongest gusts of wind have been measured around 75 mph, but bridge engineers want to be prepared for winds up to 100 mph.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.