Just a Head’s Up Russia, You Might Have Another Gallopin’ Gertie in Volgograd

Scary! Massive waves on huge road bridge send Volgograd drivers asphalt surfing

May 21, 2010 — Motorists using a bridge in the southern Russian city of Volgograd were given the ride of a lifetime by a powerful gust of wind. The new river crossing started shaking violently and a massive downpour at the same time made conditions worse. Drivers say their cars were literally thrown into the air, many thinking it was an unexpected earthquake. The shaking was so severe it caused vehicles to career into the opposite lane creating chaos. Local authorities claim the shaking of the bridge was possibly caused by an earthquake. Seismologists, however, say this is highly unlikely. Meanwhile, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into the bridge’s safety and construction history.

The bridge across Volga river is 1260 meters long and 32 meters wide. It was opened less than a year ago in October 2009.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse “Gallopin’ Gertie”

Watch the amazing “Gallopin’ Gertie” November 7, 1940 film clip.
1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Slender, elegant and graceful, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge stretched like a steel ribbon across Puget Sound in 1940. The third longest suspension span in the world opened on July 1st. Only four months later, the great span’s short life ended in disaster. “Galloping Gertie,” collapsed in a windstorm on November 7,1940.

The bridge became famous as “the most dramatic failure in bridge engineering history.” Now, it’s also “one of the world’s largest man-made reefs.” The sunken remains of Galloping Gertie were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 to protect her from salvagers.

A dramatic tale of failure and success
The story of the failure of the 1940 Narrows Bridge and the success of the Current Narrows Bridge is a great American saga. When Galloping Gertie splashed into Puget Sound, it created ripple effects across the nation and around the world. The event changed forever how engineers design suspension bridges. Gertie’s failure led to the safer suspension spans we use today.

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