Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

As you can tell from my first image of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge I wasn't really in favor of building a new bridge right next to the existing one but the construction of the bridge has presented some great opportunities in photography.
In June of 2007 I was given the chance to take a tour of both the construction of the new bridge and go under and to the top of the west tower of the old bridge. What a thrill to be standing 600+ feet above the water looking down at the cars passing beneath me; the views were breath-taking. But I do have to admit there were some nervous moments. To get from the Tacoma side of the bridge to the west tower we took a tram that is suspended under the bridge deck. When we first got on the tram the engine wouldn't start--with a couple of comments from our guide and a swift kick it finally started and off we went. On reaching the west tower, he went to turn off the engine and found that it wouldn't shut down--so he left it running.

Now the fun part. We climbed up through the bridge deck and entered the tower which contained a hoist (about the size of a MRI tube) that would take us to the top of the tower. On entering the hoist the first thing I saw was a plaque noting that the travel of the hoist was 623 feet! My first thought was that I hope the hoist works better than the tram--and it did, we all got safely to the top. The views were great, not the best for photography but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Take a look at the Narrows Bridge album for more images of the old and new Tacoma Narrows bridge.

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