Five years ago the face of the California was forever changed when the "Big One", an earthquake that registered 9 on the Richter scale, destroyed countless lives. Landmarks such as the Golden Gate bridge was obliterated and the state struggled with the titanic task of reconstruction.
Now, after years of tireless rebuilding and billions of dollars in federal funding, the city of San Francisco is set once again to build a bridge that is seemingly impossible.
"It isn’t a matter of ignoring our priorities but life has to go on and the Golden Gate Bridge would be a testament to that," Mayor Dan Wescott said on response to pundits criticizing the city’s budget on the bridge. "This bridge is as much a symbol of this state as the Statue of Liberty is or the Freedom Tower." Fighting words from the man many hailed as a hero during the chaotic years of reconstruction. But there is truth in the opposition views.
For a city that is still trying to find enough jobs for its million of displaced citizens, the 1.4 billion budget on the Golden Gate bridge has raised enough eyebrows from this state to the east coast. "It’s an unnecessary and costly expression of vanity.
There is absolutely no reason for this triviality. The mayor should be focusing on feeding the orphans and addressing the city’s spiraling crime rate," Reverend John Deere one of the Mayor’s staunchest critics said on his daily radio show, A Good Day. Even the President a Democrat ally has cautioned Wescott on this project.
Yet from the overwhelming support of the people of San Francisco has for this project there is little that the Mayor has to fear. Industrialist and billionaire John Galt has promised to fund part of the project and famous architect Howard Roark has already begun plans on the bridge.
Even the homeless on San Francisco park has professed their support. "Yeah the Mayor has got some good ideas on him. We need this bridge you know it’s a part of our city," said Eva Wisemore an old woman living in one of the city’s teeming tenement houses.
And the debate doesn’t end there. This early there are already those who are protesting how the bridge would look like. Roark hasn’t released any comments about the bridge’s general design but there are those who would like it to remain the same while others are expecting an innovative design from the unpredictable architect.
Even the San Francisco Journal of Architecture is hesitant about the Mayor’s choice for architect. "We have the utmost respect for Howard Roark but his work is hardly at par with our best members," Dorian Black the head of the Architect and Engineering Society said.
Regardless of the turmoil within this city has about it golden bridge the barren landscape south of the city is as jarring as New York was without the Twin Towers. For a city that has continued to defy the fates and rebuild after every tragedy the Golden Gate Bridge would be a testament to San Francisco’s unfailing ability to survive.