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Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Wiki ~ The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a pair of twin suspension bridges in the U.S. state of Washington, which carry State Route 16 (known as Primary State Highway 14 until 1964) across the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. Historically, the name "Tacoma Narrows Bridge" has applied to the original bridge nicknamed "Galloping Gertie" which opened in July 1940 and collapsed four months later, as well as the replacement of the original bridge which opened in 1950 and still stands today as the westbound lanes of the present-day twin bridge complex.

 

The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on July 1, 1940. It received its nickname "Galloping Gertie" due to the vertical movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy conditions. The bridge collapsed into Puget Sound the morning of November 7, 1940, under high wind conditions. Engineering issues as well as the United States' involvement in World War II postponed plans to replace the bridge for several years until the replacement bridge was opened on October 14, 1950.

 

By 1990, population growth and development on the Kitsap Peninsula caused traffic on the bridge to exceed its design capacity; as a result, in 1998 Washington voters approved a measure to support building a parallel bridge. After a series of protests and court battles, construction began in 2002 and the new bridge opened to carry eastbound traffic on July 15, 2007, while the 1950 bridge was reconfigured to carry westbound traffic.

 

At the time of their construction, both the 1940 and 1950 bridges were the third-longest suspension bridges in the world in terms of main span length, behind the Golden Gate Bridge and George Washington Bridge. The 1950 and 2007 bridges are now the fifth-longest suspension bridge spans in the United States, and the 31st-longest in the world.

 

Tolls were charged on the bridge for the entire four-month service life of the original span, as well as the first 15 years of the 1950 bridge. In 1965, the bridge's construction bonds plus interest were paid off, and the state ceased toll collection on the bridge. Over 40 years later, tolls were reinstated as part of the financing of the twin span, and are presently collected only from vehicles traveling eastbound

 

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Taken on August 19, 2011