Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)


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Here are a few circa-2006 photos of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Washington. I was rummaging around in the, uh, archives (i.e. iPhoto) recently and realized I hadn't posted these, and there was obviously a bridge post (as well as a non-Portland post) to be had here.

The second bridge (under construction in these photos) has has been open for several years now, but I haven't been back to Tacoma since I took these, so these are all the photos I have. As you might imagine, I don't have any photos from walking across either the old or new bridge, since I hadn't yet dreamed up this silly bridge project at the time. Hell, this humble blog was in its infancy at the time and I was still trying to figure out what it might be useful for. Some would argue I still haven't figured that out, but that's neither here nor there.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)

I can't very well do a post about the current bridges without mentioning the ill-fated original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which opened in 1940 and collapsed just a few months later. Thanks to the magic of the interwebs, here's the video of the collapse, which is just jaw-dropping no matter how many times you watch it:



I like to believe that, if I'd been around in 1940 and blogs existed outside of pulp SF magazines (they probably didn't exist there either, come to think of it), I would have dropped by and taken a bunch of digital photos and filmed an exciting video clip of the bridge flapping around using my phone, and maybe live-tweeted it if it was really exciting, and then fled before the G-men could show up up and confiscate my futuristic space-man gadgets, thus altering the timeline with untold consequences.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)

If that happened, most likely the Manhattan Project wouldn't be necessary, therefore families wouldn't move from the Midwest to work at Hanford, and one thing wouldn't lead to another, and my parents would never meet, causing a classic time loop similar to those you've seen in a million cheesy Star Trek: Voyager episodes. Except in real life this probably destroys the universe or something, and remodulating the phase inverters with a new particle the writers just invented doesn't do bupkis to stop it.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)

Which brings us to the obligatory "not dying" angle: Don't go back in time and blog about the original bridge instead of the current one. As it turns out, having the bridge collapse beneath your feet may be the least of your worries.

Puget Sound near Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)

Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2006)

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