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Quotes of the Day for 7 November 2003 – Bridges

It was on this day in 1940 that "Galloping Gertie" went down. The bridge, properly referred to as the Tacoma Narrows Bridge near Tacoma, Washington, was a 5,000-foot suspension bridge that had gone into service on 1 July of the same year. Because even very light winds often setup oscillations of several feet in the bridge deck, traffic was three times the level forecast as folks drove from near and far to experience driving across a deck that shimmied and swayed in a unique way. On its last day, winds of 25 to 46 miles per hour swept down the Narrows and bridge deck twisted back and forth, the deck surface angling up 45 degrees on one side, then the other. After a half hour the first piece of decking plunged into the water 195 feet below, within an hour the entire center section of the bridge was gone, and both 1100-foot approach spans had dropped 30 feet. Films of the collapse have been entertaining engineering students ever since.

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The quotes:

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
     - Alan Alexander Milne, 1882 - 1956

You are permitted in time of great danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge.
     - Bulgarian proverb

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
     - David Russell

I demolish my bridges behind me ... then there is no choice but forward.
     - Firdtjorf Nansen

The bridges you cross before you come to them are over rivers that aren't there.
     - Gene Brown

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river.
     - Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, 1894 - 1971


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