Sunday, August 05, 2007

Galloping Gertie

I recently saw for the first time ever this video footage of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing. It was built in 1940 for a cost of US$8 million, and collapsed four months later under a relatively mild 40 mile per hour wind. I drive across the new bridge occasionally, as it's relatively close to where we live and a useful way to get over to the kitsap peninsula.

Here's the current bridge.

I haven't actually driven over the brank spanking new eastbound span, which opened last month, and charges a $3 toll.

To me, the most fascinating thing about some of the footage of the collapse found on youtube is that it shows groups of people walking in the foreground and completely ignoring the crazy twisting and motion of the bridge in the background. It seems it was normal to them, and they paid it no mind. That is totally fascinating.

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