Up until 2015, the narrow six lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge were protected by flimsy tubes sitting in the middle to direct traffic north and south. During the rush hours when people are entering and exiting San Francisco, workers would brace themselves to move the cone a lane over, providing an extra lane to the impatient commuters.
It was a dangerous practice. One that took too much time and effort. That is, until, they brought in the Golden Gate Zipper.
A big steel and concrete barrier was installed in the middle of the six lane bridge in 2015 and brought with it the Zipper – a massive yellow truck that quickly moves the barrier from one lane to the other. It easily, and safely, opened up an extra lane of traffic for the commuters and became a sight to behold for onlookers.
Watch the beautiful machine in action:
Now you can’t tell me that isn’t a beautiful sight to behold. That is a $1.4 million zipper moving around lanes like it’s nothing.
If you want to geek out even further, check out this behind the scenes footage from inside the zipper:
Now, it’s pretty cool to watch in action, but it’s also a great safety vehicle. From 1971 to 2007, 16 people died from head-on collisions on the bridge. And how many have died since the new barrier went in? None.
Now that’s one efficient zipper.