The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a pair of twin suspension bridges that span the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound in Pierce County, Washington. The bridges connect the city of Tacoma with the Kitsap Peninsula and carry State Route 16 (known as Primary State Highway 14 until 1964) over the strait. Historically, the name “Tacoma Narrows Bridge” has applied to the original bridge nicknamed “Galloping Gertie”, which opened in July 1940 but collapsed because of aeroelastic flutter 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” because of the vertical movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy conditions. The bridge became known for its pitching deck, and 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; 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 38th-longest in the world.
It’s an impressive bridge.
Location: Tacoma, Gig Harbor
Bodies of water: Puget Sound, Tacoma Narrow
Total length 5,400 ft (1,645.92 m)
Longest span 2,800 ft (853.44 m)
Clearance below 187.5 ft (57.15 m)
Opened October 14, 1950 (westbound)
July 15, 2007 (eastbound)
I’d never been to the Narrows Park. Today was a very foggy day and the water for the most part was still, the only movement from the ducks and gulls breaking the surface. I walked about a mile on the beach, passing only two fishermen. The solitary time was wonderful and I was happy to spend my time soaking in the environment around me with nary an interruption.
“For unto us a child is born.” Isaiah 9:6
Peninsula Baptist Church, 4902 Gustafson Drive, Gig Harbor.
This is the first time I have ever been to a living nativity village. It was easily the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. I am not a practicing christian but it was so neat to see a christian community come together to create such a very interactive, vivid representation. There were sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks…markets full of grains and shekels and candles and traditional clothing. There were guards and shopkeepers and shepherds in full garb, and little children welcoming with “Shalom! Welcome to Bethlehem” as I was invited to go into the stores to browse and sample their goods.
It was very apparent the amount of planning, work and detail that had been put into recreating old village Bethlehem. Kudos to the Discovery Baptist Church for creating a real, authentic place for us moderners to experience. If ALL christian churches made the effort to bring in sheep and donkeys to their programs I’d be more inclined to be interested.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” ~Corinthians 12:4-8
The angels watched their flocks by night.