Triking the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

* Introduction * Wheels in the Garden * Wheels Outside the Garden *

* Point Defiance Five Mile Drive * Tacoma Waterfront (Ruston Way) *

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a spectacular ride, suspended nearly 200 feet above the water for well over a mile. The towers go up another three hundred feet from here.

And this is what you see from the middle.

The bridge was not always so inviting.

The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge exhibited a wave motion during construction, on opening day, and every day that the wind blow. Construction workers gave the bridge the nickname "Galloping Gertie."

Four months after opening, a sustained wind of only 40 miles per hour set up a wave motion that grew too large for the structure to handle.

The towers and caables remained intact, but a large section of the roadbed dropped into the water. It remains today as an artificial reef.

Ten years later, a second bridge was built in the same spot. The new span became known as "Sturdy Gertie."

To accommodate increased volume, a third bridge was built beside the second, eliminating the dangerous two-way traffic on a single span. The third bridge also included a ten foot wide bike path, separated from motor vehicles by a four foot concrete barrier.

Workers walk one of the main cables prior to installation of the roadway.

Cranes, cable trolleys, and platforms are all necessary to finish the cabling and prepare for the decking.