COOL VIDEO: Crews rappel down San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge towers for inspections

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you drive on the Golden Gate Bridge Monday and see crews dangling from ropes, don't be alarmed because they are conducting inspections to check for rust and other defects.

You may have to do a double take, but yes there are men dangling from the Golden Gate Bridge and officials are asking people not to linger. "We encourage you to take a look, but keep moving because you don't want to be the cause of congestion," bridge district spokesperson Priya Clemens said.

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Security is being stepped up at the Golden Gate Bridge after an alarming video of two Wisconsin teens climbing to the top of the north tower.

It's hard not to stare as this is a historical moment. For the first time, Golden Gate Bridge officials have hired a team to inspect every seam and rivet of the towers. For crews, that means being strapped into ropes and pulleys to rappel down the tower while they look for rust and areas where steel is thinning.

They have inspected the bridge before from afar with binoculars. This extra step was motivated by new federal regulations that require areas known as fracture critical be inspected at arms length. "The towers are not fracture critical and not covered under new regulations, but as responsible bridge operations we decided to add it to our scope," Clemens said.

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The inspections will take about a week and will help officials understand where their painters and iron workers need to focus.

They plan to conduct these inspections every two years.

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