Engineers rappel down Golden Gate Bridge for inspections in dramatic fashion

Engineers from Nebraska-based HDR Inc. are inspecting the Golden Gate Bridge's towers this week to assess the condition of the steel that may need repair, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

HDR teams are descending by rope from the top of the towers down to the sidewalks beginning with the west legs of the tower before inspecting the east legs, bridge district spokeswoman Priya Clemens said.

Workers will never be directly over traffic, and scaffolds were installed last week on the sidewalks around the towers to protect people passing below, Clemens said.

Bicyclists should dismount and walk their bikes around the towers. The inspection work is expected to be completed within a week and scaffolding will be removed by May 11.

"Our salty marine environment does its best to corrode the steel," district engineer Ewa Bauer said in a statement. "The inspection teams will look carefully at every rivet and seam to determine what work we need to do to keep this beautiful structure standing."