Pacific Northwest - Day 1 - Point Defiance Park - Tacoma Narrows Bridge(s)

Tacoma Travel Blog

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This cute raccoon in Point Defiance Park is watching me carefully

If you took physics in high school and you do not know the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, also known as "Galloping Gertie", then you should file a complaint with your school or physics teacher. Galloping Gertie is no more. The, at that time, third longest suspension bridge in the US tragically collapsed a few months after she was opened. On a windy day in November the winds made the driveway deck start swaying and swaying and swaying until it finally collapsed. Some great movie shots of this, including the collapse can be seen here, more detailed information here.

No human lives were lost due to the event, the only fatality concerned a cocker spaniel which was left in a car on the bridge and bit a hero who tried to save him.

The twin Tacoma Narrows bridges even closer up, the one on the right is the 1950 replacement of Gertie
The accident had a huge impact on bridge construction worldwide and in New York City. The Bronx Whitestone Bridge, one of the eight big suspension bridges in New York City, was constructed in a similar way and measures were immediately taken to prevent another bridge drama.

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was rebuilt in 1950 and it got a "twin" in 2007. The movie of Galloping Gertie made a huge impression on me in high school, so I just wanted to see the bridge. Especially since we drove almost on it on our way to our hotel. So I dragged the poor jet lagging Stephan with me to Point Defiance Park. This very nice 2.84 km² (702-acre) park located on a peninsula near Tacoma offers great views over the Tacomoa Narrows, including the bridges. Apart from a bridge view we also got our first wildlife sighting. Several raccoons roamed the area and were busy blocking roads and trying to drink beer from a can.

More pictures below.

alyssa_ob says:
I forgot all about Galloping Gertie. I was fascinated by it when I first heard about it. I didn't realize this was the location!
Posted on: Mar 03, 2015
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This cute raccoon in Point Defianc…
This cute raccoon in Point Defian…
The twin Tacoma Narrows bridges ev…
The twin Tacoma Narrows bridges e…
View on Tacoma Narrows from Point …
View on Tacoma Narrows from Point…
View on the twin Tacoma Narrows br…
View on the twin Tacoma Narrows b…
The collapse of Gertie on November…
The collapse of Gertie on Novembe…
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photo by: Adrian_Liston