Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another Bridge Across the Narrows

The present Narrows Bridge (opened in 1950) is so packed with vehicles, that there is a new one being built.  The towers are up and they are working on the suspension cables at this time.  These are the main cables that will eventually support the span's 40 million pound bridge deck.  The bridge builder will fabricate the cables strand by strand, since a cable that beefy would be impossible to lift into place.  This whole process has been fun to watch, there are crews working, usually 24 hours a day and the work initially began in October 2002.  I believe it is scheduled for completion in 2007.  The present bridge (4 lanes) will have traffic going in one direction and the new bridge will carry traffic in the other direction.  Right now, traffic is down to a slow crawl  in the morning, heading into the big city and in the afternoon another slow crawl heading out of the big city. They say that approximately 85,000 to 90,000 vehicles cross this bridge each day.

The existing bridge is actually the second Narrows Bridge.  The first one collapsed in a wind storm in 1940.  The only casulties were a couple cars and a dog, that was too terrified to get out of the car it was riding in.  It is affectionally referred to as "Gallopin Gertie."  It actually was moving up and down and sideways before it crumbled and fell into the deep waters of Puget (Pew-jet) Sound, hundreds of feet below. I can remember as a child going to visit family members in Bremerton, we took a car ferry across the Narrows until the new (present) bridge was completed in 1950.

Here is a link to a website, if you'd like more information about our bridge(s).

http://tacoma-narrows-bridge.ask.dyndns.dk/

1 comment:

jeanno43 said...

Very interesting, must be great to watch it being built.