Halfway to Hell Club

Halfway to Hell Club

Date: 10/08/2015 
One of the most famous attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. While this world-famous bridge was named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, few people know the story of the brave men who were involved in its construction and also known as the Halfway to Hell Club.
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Friends, are you afraid of heights? If so you might want to look away right now. One of the most famous attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. While this world-famous bridge was named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, few people know the story of the brave men who were involved in its construction and also known as the Halfway to Hell Club.

Designed by a group of visionary engineers at 4,200 feet from end to end, the Golden Gate Bridge was at one time the longest suspension bridge in the world. During its construction from 1933 to 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge had one of the best safety construction records of any project during that time. Keep in mind, they would factor in and calculate that one man would die for every million dollars that was spent. With a budget of $35 million, they knew that loss of life would be unacceptable. This is why the chief engineer Joseph B. Strauss was absolutely adamant about using the most rigorous safety precautions that had ever been used in bridge building.

He had a local manufacturer of safety equipment design special headgear that he insisted be worn on every job. This became the prototype for the modern hard hat worn for the first time ever, but the safety precautions went even farther. Strauss provided a special hand and face cream to protect the skin from the cold biting wind and glare-free goggles to protect their eyes. In addition, they also ate a special diet to help ward off dizziness when they were working at those epic heights. But the most conspicuous safety precaution was a gigantic myth that was suspended from end to end under the entire construction area of the Golden Gate Bridge.

In fact, during construction, this net saved the lives of 19 men who later became known as the Halfway to Hell Club. Now you need to keep in mind, these were some of the most dangerous construction conditions you can imagine. The wind was constantly blowing. They were walking around on iron that sometimes had ice from the freezing fog in places they were over 700 feet above the icy waters. Yet the men coming from all walks of life were willing to take these risks because it was during the Great Depression, and they would get paid up to $11 a day which was a fortune back then.

One of the other benefits of the net was they discovered that the men were much more courageous even though they were walking high on those slippery services, because they knew there was a mechanism to protect them if they should fall. This gave them the confidence and the courage to press on and get the bridge built in record time.

You know friends, as Christians we have a great work to do. The Bible tells us that we get to participate with Jesus in building a bridge that connects heaven and earth and there are dangers along the way. The devil would like to paralyze us with fear that we might fall or make a mistake, but we know that Jesus has provided a safety net for us and we don't have to be afraid. We can press on with confidence, because it promises in the book of Jude verse 24, He is able to keep us from falling, but sometimes we make mistakes. Still, don't be discouraged friends. If you read in 1st John 2:1 the Bible says, "If we fall, if we sin, we have an advocate with the father Jesus Christ." Let's press on together and build that bridge with Christ.

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