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Galloping Gertie for the 21st Century
May 31, 2007 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Galloping Gertie for the 21st Century. A friend sent me a link to this photo set. Quite something. Let's hope this doesn't happen again.
posted by humboldt32 (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I don't get it.
posted by pombe at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2007


A handsome set of construction photos, but why do you assume it'll go down like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge rather than stay up like any of the hundreds of suspension bridges that don't self-destruct?
posted by ardgedee at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2007


but why do you assume it'll go down like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge rather than stay up like any of the hundreds of suspension bridges that don't self-destruct?

... I don't. Just looking to share some krazy pictures and provide a touch of context.

I'm glad responses to my first FFP are in typical MF snarky fashion.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2007


I youtubed looking for some more footage (besides the wikipedia link). Here's some color footage of the bridge buckling here.
posted by MissNefertiti at 9:54 AM on May 31, 2007


Perhaps it's unclear from my post that bridge under construction in the photos is Bridge #3 at the Tacoma Narrows.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2007


Sorry, I'm still lost. There's currently one bridge over the Tacoma Narrows. Are they currently building a second link over the narrows? And the fallen bridge would make three?
posted by Keith Talent at 10:09 AM on May 31, 2007


Poor Tubby. R.I.P.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2007


Pffffffttt
posted by prostyle at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2007


"I'm glad responses to my first FFP are in typical MF snarky fashion."

FFP?

n00b. lol
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:14 AM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


"There's currently one bridge over the Tacoma Narrows. Are they currently building a second link over the narrows? And the fallen bridge would make three?"

Correct. And this time, it's a toll bridge.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:16 AM on May 31, 2007


And this time, it's a toll bridge.

So this time, it'll be the toll booths, not the bridge, shaking you down.
posted by eriko at 10:19 AM on May 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


In Russia the bridges cross you.

(What? My comment makes as much sense as the FPP.)
posted by oddman at 10:23 AM on May 31, 2007


Sorry, I'm still lost. There's currently one bridge over the Tacoma Narrows. Are they currently building a second link over the narrows? And the fallen bridge would make three?

It looks to be that way. Also, according to the Wiki link, the new span will be for eastbound traffic and will require a toll whereas the current bridge is toll-free and will be for westbound traffic.


I'm glad responses to my first FFP are in typical MF snarky fashion.


And you're kinda reacting to them in typical first-time-FPPer fashion (like I, having no FPPs, can talk).
posted by katillathehun at 10:24 AM on May 31, 2007


Those are great pics of the construction of the new span, especially the couple with all the fog, where you see only the very tops of the bridges. I don't think I could do that job, no matter how many safety harnesses I was strapped into, or nets were below me. I'm glad those guys can, though.

Also, I remember first seeing the film of Gertie's collapse, blowing my mind in 9th grade science class.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:25 AM on May 31, 2007


What, no YouTube links?
posted by MtDewd at 10:27 AM on May 31, 2007


You'd you end up with such a low user number and barely any activity?
posted by puke & cry at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007


Crap, I see the link now. Even previewed.
posted by MtDewd at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007


that should be "How did you end up with such a low user number and barely any activity?"
posted by puke & cry at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007


Perhaps it's unclear from my post that bridge under construction in the photos is Bridge #3 at the Tacoma Narrows.

It's about as clear as the cup of coffee I'm currently drinking.

Which is so thick and black it's totally opaque. You couldn't shine a laser through it.

Damn your scurvy hide. You goddamn tease! I wanted engineering disaster porn. New engineering disaster porn. I've seen the Galloping Gertie footage a thousand times.

The video resides on my hard drive in a folder of similar videos. Said folder is labeled "Shit Blowing Up". It's like 50 tons of concentrated badass in a 5 ton truck.
posted by loquacious at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Paraphrased From the Wikipedia link:

Just as I clicked on the FPP, the Blue began to sway violently from side to side. Before I realized it, the tilt became so violent that I lost control of the browser... I hit the escape key and leapt from my Herman Miller, only to be thrown onto my face against the 22" LCD... Around me I could hear MeFites sniping... The FPP itself began to slide from side to side of the screen.

On hands and knees most of the time, I crawled 3 yards [2.85 m] or more to the wall jack... My breath was coming in gasps; my knees were raw and bleeding, my hands bruised and swollen from gripping the ethernet cable... Toward the last, I risked grasping my mouse and clicking [Back] a few times... Safely back at the homepage, I saw the FPP in its final collapse and saw my posted comment plunge into the deletion folder

posted by CynicalKnight at 10:30 AM on May 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


posted by loquacious The video resides on my hard drive in a folder of similar videos. Said folder is labeled "Shit Blowing Up". It's like 50 tons of concentrated badass in a 5 ton truck.

I must have a copy of this collection. Please contact me immediately.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007


he new span will be for eastbound traffic and will require a toll whereas the current bridge is toll-free and will be for westbound traffic.

They think people are going to pay to get into Tacoma? They should have oriented the tolls to leave. Dumbasses.

I kid, I kid. But Tacoma is one fire away from my not kidding. Anything happens to The Museum of Glass and suddenly they're paying you to cross the bridge.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007


It looks to be that way. Also, according to the Wiki link, the new span will be for eastbound traffic and will require a toll whereas the current bridge is toll-free and will be for westbound traffic.

Free to enter, but gotta pay to leave?
posted by yesster at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007


"How did you end up with such a low user number and barely any activity?"

There is no tracked statistic that indicates the amount of pleasure I receive from reading MetaFilter regularly for almost a decade.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2007


Went to college in Tacoma back in the '80's, so I appreciated the photos, although you could have fleshed out the FPP with a bit more info on the new bridge - Wikipedia is sort of the low hanging fruit of fact gathering, and not the best primary source when other sources exist.

Hard for me to imagine there being enough traffic to warrant another bridge across the Narrows, but this is based on my 20 year old memory of the area, which has obviously changed *significantly* since I lived there. When I lived there, Galloping Gertie was well known locally and not as well known nationally, but in the years since its infamy seems to have grown considerably.

Here's hoping the new bridge opens on time and uneventfully.
posted by mosk at 10:44 AM on May 31, 2007


Correct. And this time, it's a toll bridge.

Actually, the current Narrows bridge was, once upon a time, a toll bridge. As was 520.
posted by dw at 10:46 AM on May 31, 2007


Hard for me to imagine there being enough traffic to warrant another bridge across the Narrows, but this is based on my 20 year old memory of the area, which has obviously changed *significantly* since I lived there.

Traffic is regularly dead-stopped for miles in both directions during rush hour. And by "rush hour," I actually mean "for about six hours in the morning and six hours in the evening."

And many of the people making the trip are not actually stopping in Tacoma.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:52 AM on May 31, 2007


Hey, Tacoma's not so bad. They even have the smell almost under control.

A lot of the large bridges in the area (I'm thinking of the Hwy 520 bridge) had tolls for a while to pay off construction costs, and then went free once that was done.
posted by hattifattener at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2007


Actually, the current Narrows bridge was, once upon a time, a toll bridge. As was 520.

And it looks like 520 will be again, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2007


This always reminds me of XKCD's take on the situation.
posted by The Giant Squid at 10:55 AM on May 31, 2007


this bridge, it vibrates?

also, plenty of people have made first time fpps that did not receive any sort of automatic mefi snark. they were just better fpps than this.
posted by shmegegge at 10:57 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


posted by yesster Free to enter, but gotta pay to leave?

With the exception of the Carquinez Bridge, all the bridges here in the Bay Area are toll to get on the San Francisco peninsula, but it's free to leave.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:01 AM on May 31, 2007


And many of the people making the trip are not actually stopping in Tacoma.

With Seattle rapidly turning into a highly gentrified condo-filled version of San Francisco, more and more of the blue collar jobs that used to be in SoDo or around Lake Union are moving to the Kent Valley and Fife. And that's both driving the lower-middle class into the south King County suburbs and moving jobs closer to the South Kitsap area. Thus, a lot more Gig Harbor commuters than ever crossing the bridge and heading north on I-5.

When I was driving through earlier this month, I was surprised to see how Tacoma to Olympia is almost solid development now. Only a matter of time before Chehalis and Centralia are pulled in.
posted by dw at 11:03 AM on May 31, 2007


There is no tracked statistic that indicates the amount of pleasure I receive from reading MetaFilter regularly for almost a decade.

That's what you think.

Dear Diary: after 7 years of carefully tracking every action of humboldt32, today SOMETHING AMAZING happened...
posted by nanojath at 12:27 PM on May 31, 2007


Oh, and there wasn't anything wrong with this post, except that it wasn't clear that the photoset was of a new Tacoma Narrows bridge, which made the bridge disaster link seem random. Nice pictures of a suspension bridge under construction.
posted by nanojath at 12:29 PM on May 31, 2007


Here's something falling down. For those disappointed by the lack of disaster in the original post.
posted by bitmage at 1:52 PM on May 31, 2007


Nice, bitmage. I feel better now.
posted by brundlefly at 3:25 PM on May 31, 2007


Maybe it collapsed on its own?
posted by furtive at 6:08 PM on May 31, 2007


Free to enter, but gotta pay to leave?

Not directed at you, yesster, but surely people realize that it's cheaper to operate one toll in one direction charging twice as much as two tolls in both directions charging half as much, since toll collectors cost money and so do toll booths.

It's also easier on drivers.

As for TNB, the thing that amazes me watching that footage is that anyone was allowed anywhere near the bridge. Although apparently the last guy had the chaotic motion come upon him suddenly, it's clear how little understanding of the engineering situation even the experts had. In this long footage you have people near or on the bridge even as the approaches are hanging like bunting.

If someone has a pointer to a version of the footage that's narrated by a civil engineer, that would be great.

Anyway, humboldt32, thanks for the great gallery. Just think over your FPP wording a little more next time. You made it sound like there was supposed to be something wrong with the new bridge.
posted by dhartung at 10:15 PM on May 31, 2007


The story of the Millennium Bridge in London is similar, in a way. Forces that weren't previously understood caused the bridge, which by standard engineering principles ought to have been steady as a rock, to sway.

This constant need to be progressive, it will kill us all.
posted by vbfg at 3:21 AM on June 1, 2007


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