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The Tacoma Narrows Bridgem, Tacoma, Washington, USA

August 29th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a pair of mile-long (1600 meter) suspension bridges with main spans of 2800 feet (850 m), they carry Washington State Route 16 across the Tacoma Narrows of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula, USA. The first bridge, nicknamed Galloping Gertie, was opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and became famous four months later for a dramatic wind-induced structural collapse that was caught on motion picture film. The first replacement bridge opened in 1950, and a parallel bridge opened in 2007.

The current westbound bridge was designed and rebuilt with open trusses and stiffening struts and openings in the roadway to let wind through. It opened on October 14, 1950, and is 5,979 feet (1822 m) long — 40 feet (12 m) longer than "Galloping Gertie", the first bridge. It and its parallel eastbound bridge are currently the fifth-longest suspension bridges in the United States. Local residents nicknamed the new bridge "Sturdy Gertie", as the oscillations that plagued the previous design had been eliminated.

When built, the westbound bridge was the third-largest suspension bridge in the world. Like other modern suspension bridges, the westbound bridge was built with steel plates that feature sharp entry edges rather than the flat plate sides used in the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge (see the suspension bridge article for an example).

The bridge was designed to handle 60,000 vehicles a day. It carried both westbound and eastbound traffic until the eastbound bridge opened on July 15, 2007.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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