Emperor Norton Bay Bridge
WHEREAS historical precedent clearly indicates the span between San Francisco and Oakland should be named after Emperor Norton I; by the powers vested in me, I hereby declare both the eastern and western segments to be named “The Emperor Norton Bay Bridge”.
and WHEREAS whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter any other abominable name with obviously no historic or other warrant THEREFORE shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of one hundred dollars.
(as illustrated by @darth)
Historical update — looks like Emperor Norton first proposed the bridge in January 1872:
(This being the internet, there is of course a collection of all of Emperor Norton’s proclamations available.)
@lukasb raises a good point on the short form:
I suggest “The Emperor” — “Traffic approaching the Emperor is backed up past the Maze.”
Here’s the first crossing video I’ve seen (sped up 4x).
and an upward looking fisheye video I made:
Some will miss the old cantilever more than others.
Psychologically, I liked the cantilever better. It was the only Bay Area bridge left that your kid could build with an erector set, and there was something calming about that. The view will be better on the new bridge, but I felt contained on the cantilever. If that epic gust of wind ever came up while I was driving a U-Haul, I would bounce off one of the girders and continue my journey.
My blood pressure won’t drop on the eastern span any more. Darth Vader’s theme is what comes to mind. I will always look at that blocky white tower the same way I look at 747s. “How is that @#$%ing thing keeping us from all falling into the bay?”
I wasn’t surprised to learn that engineers designing the old span in 1932 knew that the cantilever design was ugly.
“We have made several layouts in an effort to develop a structure more pleasing in appearance than a conventional cantilever.”
They considered several other designs, including—wait for it—a self-anchored span. But it was considered too expensive. The cantilever design was chosen not just for cost, but because the pilings couldn’t reach bedrock.
This and many other fascinating details in this historic engineering record…
Bay Bridge design history. “What more could a bridge ask? Except to be loved, like the Golden Gate Bridge.” historicbridges.org/california/bay… (p.141)—
Burrito Justice (@burritojustice) August 30, 2013
And don’t forget those who put it together, including the 28 known fatalities (p. 199).
And here’s the first wave of traffic passing over the Emperor:
(I cheated a bit on both photos — the top part is from a construction webcam snapshot taken earlier in the week, while the bottom parts were from the same webcam the night The Emperor opened.)