99% Invisible: Galloping Gertie

Aug 21, 2013

When you think of suspension bridges, the first two that come to mind may be right here: the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But after this next story, there's another that may stay with you -- a suspension bridge in the state of Washington called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Roman Mars relates this bridge in this edition of 99% Invisible.

ROMAN MARS: I know this sounds crazy, but even during its construction the deck of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge would go up and down by several feet with the slightest breeze. Construction workers on the span  chewed on lemon wedges to stop motion sickness. But construction continued because the bridge had been designed specifically to withstand winds up to 120 miles per hour. So everyone thought everything would be fine.

Click the audio player above to listen to the story.