Called the ‘Car Tangled Spanner’ by locals, this bridge once had a suicide lane. You see, it was built with three lanes, the middle one being a passing lane—for cars driving in both directions!
Today the 60,000 daily commuters who cross the Lion’s Gate have been saved this particularly ghoulish Russian Roulette, and we now have a counterflow system. That is, traffic lights in the middle lane face both directions and are adjusted to smooth the flow of traffic, especially during rush hours.
As for how the Lion’s Gate Bridge got built, for that we can thank the Guinness family of Ireland, of beer and Book of World Records fame. They put up about $6 million to build our bridge. After charging a twenty-five cent toll to drivers for a number of years, they made back their original $6 million dollar investment. And then sold the bridge to the city for another $6 million—doubling their money! The luck of the Irish indeed.