Galloping GertieThere is one thing more painful than learning from mistakes (our own or somebody else's):  Not learning from them. - Barbara Johnson
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The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse

Watch a video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or Galloping Gertie, collapsing, just four months after it was completed.

Galloping Gertie

The old Tacoma Narrows Bridge, built between Tacoma and Gig Harbor, Washington in 1940, vibrated so much that it was nicknamed "Galloping Gertie." In November of 1940, just four months after it was completed, it literally whipped itself apart.

 

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Video

The natural frequency of the bridge setup a resonant standing wave oscillation in the structure. Unfortunately, the resonant quality or Q of the bridge was too high, meaning that it was unable to dampen the oscillations enough to avoid collapse.

 


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