"The Origional Galloping Gertie" Top 5 Page for this destination Tacoma Travelogue by coneyislandgreen
Tacoma Travel Guide: 205 reviews and 623 photos
The original Tacoma Narrow Bridge, at all stages of its short life, was very active in the wind. Its nickname of Galloping Gertie was earned from its vertical motions in even very modest winds. Its collapse on November 7, 1940 attracted wide attention at the time and ever since, due in part to its capture on film.
Motorists crossing the 2,800-foot center span sometimes felt as though they were traveling on a giant roller coaster, watching the cars ahead disappear completely for a few moments as if they had been dropped into the trough of a large wave.
The original bridge was a suspended plate girder type that caught the wind, rather than allowing it to pass through. As the wind's intensity increased, so did Gertie's rolling, cork-screwing motion -- until it finally tore the bridge apart.
The world's third largest suspension bridge, the latest and most advanced in its sleek design, was a twisted tangle of steel and broken concrete.
The sunken remains of "Galloping Gertie" were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 to protect her from salvagers.
The science of bridge aerodynamics was born after the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed
For the next 10 years, Tacoma and Gig Harbor/the Olympic Peninsula were once again unconnected by bridge. Then after 29 months of construction, a new, much safer Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on Oct. 14, 1950.
Currently a second bridge is being built next to the 2nd due to a large increase in urban population all along the Puget Sound area. For the past few years as you drive over the Narrows you can see the progress in motion. This causes constant traffic due to all the rubber necking. Just recently the first platform was installed, an important mark for the soon to be completed expanse.
"Just as I drove past the towers, the bridge began to sway violently from side to side. Before I realized it, the tilt became so violent that I lost control of the car... I jammed on the brakes and got out, only to be thrown onto my face against the curb.
"Around me I could hear concrete cracking. I started to get my dog Tubby, but was thrown again before I could reach the car. The car itself began to slide from side to side of the roadway.
"On hands and knees most of the time, I crawled 500 yards or more to the towers... My breath was coming in gasps; my knees were raw and bleeding, my hands bruised and swollen from gripping the concrete curb... Toward the last, I risked rising to my feet and running a few yards at a time... Safely back at the toll plaza, I saw the bridge in its final collapse and saw my car plunge into the Narrows."
The poor dog "Tubby" was the only casualty to the bridge disaster.
I was a kid in New York City. My Dad loved to watch a show on the History Channel called "A Year in History" and because I loved everything my Dad loved, so did I. Each episode was from a different year in US history and everything that happend in the news, society, science, the cost of living at the time and so on. I was amazed to see the camera footage and news reals of the disaster and the episode of 1940 became my favorite in the series.
I forgot what city this occured in and was fascinated in the fact that I live and cross over that very place now.
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