Galloping Gertie...

November 8, 2017

Imagine 30 to 35 mph winds swaying, buckling or toppling the Sunshine Bridge. Experts at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development monitor the condition of bridges in our area.  On this date in 1940, residents of Tacoma, WA  were shocked at the ribbon-cutting of their new bridge.  On November 7, 30 to 35 mph winds caused the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, WA, to vibrate excessively. Moments later, it collapsed into the water. The collapsed span was called "Galloping Gertie" and  was placed in the Engineering Hall of Shame. It was the start of the meteorological field of wind engineering. Now, meteorologists specializing in atmospheric winds collaborate with structural and civil engineers in the construction of high-rise buildings, sports stadiums, bridges and other large structures. "Wind-proofing" of coastal residences continues to save billions of dollars when storms hit.

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