Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7, 1940 "Galloping Gertie"

This event did take place about 14 months before I was born. About 11 o'clock in the morning of November 7, 1940, the bridge collapsed due to wind induced vibrations. Having just opened on July 1, 1940 the way it was constructed there was no allowance for the strong winds that blow thru this area. The wind literally twisted the concrete road bed which cause it to break up and fall into Puget Sound below. There were several cars on the bridge at the time, the people driving the cars managed to run to safety but the cars and a little dog were lost as the bridge collapsed. Growing up, I heard my parents relate the details many times. I also remember that when we went to Bremerton, WA to visit my cousins we had to take a ferry across the Tacoma Narrows because the bridge had collapsed. A replacement bridge opened up in 1950, It was four lanes...two in each direction. Over the years the traffic back ups, especially during rush hour were unbearable. Finally in July of 2007 a new 4 lane bridge, right next to the 1950 version opened up to eastbound traffic. What a relief for commuters who travel to and from work every day. The old bridge remains at the bottom of Puget Sound as a reef and a great place for divers to explore.




6 comments:

Julie said...

I have seen this video several times and it never fails to give me hills.

That corgi :) said...

that was absolutely amazing, Linda, to see the road weave around like that! I thought it looked like some thing from an earthquake. Those must be pretty strong winds that blow through the area! funny how they didn't take that into consideration when they built the bridge about the winds.....I'm sure they did when they built the present bridge

betty

garnett109 said...

never knew that was in your state

Joann said...

WOW!!! HOW SCARY that would have been!!

In the Northridge earthquake of '94, a bridge on the 10 frwy. collapsed in Los Angeles, just about two blocks from where we were living at the time.... SCARY!!!

Marie said...

How terrifying for those caught on the bridge at the time!! Glad that none of them were hurt, but sad for the little doggie.

ADB said...

That video was shown to me in highschool to explain the phenomenon of harmonics, would you believe.