Tacoma narrows bridge Essay

This essay has a total of 467 words and 2 pages.

tacoma narrows bridge

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

A lot of things can go wrong when building or designing a major building, plane, bridge,
or even a road. Engineers face the challenges to overcome these flaws or problems everyday
when they are trying to design structures. The primary causes of engineering disasters are
usually: Human factors, design flaws, material failures, extreme conditions or
environments, and combinations of these reasons put together. There are many things an
engineer has to look for when designing a major structure such as the Tacoma Narrows
Bridge.

On July 1, 1940 the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was open to traffic and was the third longest
suspension bridge in the united state during the 1940's. It had a span of 5939 feet
measuring the approaches. It had two towers of 425 feet tall that were connected to the
bridge. During the design they picked that it should be a suspension bridge because it was
only supporting cars which were much lighter then trains. Due to only have cars on the
bridge they used shallow plate girders instead of trusses because they didn't cost as much
and the bridge didn't need to hold as weight up. The plate girders however did not allow
the wind to pass through as the trusses did so it moved a lot and got the nickname of
"Galloping Gertie." The bridge collapsed on November 7, 1940 due to winds plus a broken
cable in the middle of the bridge which made it unbalanced. The wind would come up and
under the bridge and get it in a motion where it turned one way and then bounced back and
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