Pat Shingleton: "The Swing and The Sway..."
On this date in 1940, 35 mph winds caused a bridge collapse. The city was Tacoma, WA and the structure was the Narrows Bridge. After its official opening, excessive vibration put the bridge into the water. The collapsed span was called "Galloping Gertie," and due its design and lack of environmental considerations, it was permanently placed into the Engineering Hall of Shame. This example launched the start of the meteorological field of wind engineering. Currently, meteorologists, specializing in atmospheric winds, collaborate with structural and civil engineers in the construction of high-rise buildings, sports stadiums, bridges and other large structures. "Wind-proofing" of coastal residences saves billions of dollars when storms strike.
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