Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do the Collapse

68 years ago this Friday Galloping Gertie galloped its last, taking a dramatic tumble into the Puget Sound, a failure since unrivaled, except perhaps by John McCain's campaign. The bridge was a victim of aeroelastic flutter, something that I, too, often suffer from after Mexican food. Oh, the humanity. Rumors the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was knocked off by a conspiracy between the Bay Bridge and the Whitestone, both hoping to move up the list of longest suspension bridges, is a joke too far. As you know if you've seen the famous film (some of which is below), it's merely a two-lane bridge, despite being 2800 feet long (if it had stood, it's nickname might have been Olive Oyl). It's a shame it couldn't withstand its "dancing," for at some point a second bridge would have been built (as did happen with Gertie's replacement, Unbudging Bernice) to permit traffic. (Of course in SB, extra lanes would never have been built and the bridge would have had a stoplight mid-span.) Imagine how cool it might have been to see two bridges hip check each other. Ah, for the days when major structures could collapse and it could all seem like innocent fun.

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