Once upon a time there was a bridge, and her name came to be "Galloping Gertie" because gallop she did. Built in 1940 the first Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Washington was not built stout enough to handle the tough winds she would encounter in the area. Spanning the Narrows of Puget Sound, only 4 months after she was built she collapsed.
On the windy day of her demise, she was violently tossed and twisted as she succumbed to the prevailing 42 mph winds, and finally collapsed into the Narrows. Due to improper engineering the bridge did not allow the winds to pass through it so it swayed, buckled and galloped in heavy winds. As cars crossed the bridges span the drivers would see the cars in front of them disappear as they would drive down into a hill or trough in the bridge created by gusts of wind twisting the bridge like spaghetti. Obviously the bridge was improperly engineered, and ten years passed before a new Narrows Bridge was completed in 1950.
The engineering company who designed the bridge surely cost the city a large amount of cash when she went down. To make matters worse, the insurance agent who wrote the insurance policy on the bridge committed fraud, and he therefore never submitted the premium funds to the insurance company, leaving the bridge uninsured!
Thankfully today technology is far better and bridges are built without a galloping problem. In fact, due to an increase in population there is a second Narrows Bridge being built today, right next to the Narrows Bridge built in 1950.
There are also more options available for funding such an endeavor, so before we close our story we would like to share a quick word from one of our sponsors:
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If you plan to build a bridge, make sure the engineering is top-notch, you have enough funds, and make sure the insurance company has issued the contract before anyone drives across your new creation. Hopefully there will never be another Galloping Gertie!