Whether it’s a troll, a demon, a gremlin, or a boggart, the malevolent steel figure welded to the underside of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge has supposedly been keeping the span safe since its construction.
Built over three nights by a local artist, the Bay Bridge Troll was fastened to a discreet girder under the bridge by the steelworkers who were repairing the bridge, which had been damaged by an earthquake. Once authorities discovered the 18-inch trickster, it was too late and it was grudgingly left to work on the one bolt it was fastened to. Locals talk of how the gargoyle protected the bridge and its travelers from further harm as no other catastrophe befell the bridge.
Recently the troll’s portion of the bridge had to be rebuilt and the original figure has reportedly been removed. The new troll was placed under the bridge near the eastern end of the suspended section at tower E2. It is visible from the pedestrian and bicycle pathway. The Bay Bridge might change, but the troll remains constant.
In November 2013, it was announced that the original bridge troll would be displayed at the Oakland Museum of California through February, and hopefully find a permanent home in a soon-to-be developed spot called Gateway Park, located at the touchdown of the eastern span.