This one and half minute silent video shows the phenomenon of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge located in Washington state. The bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940 and collapsed only four months later on November 7, 1940.
This phenomenon could stimulate the following driving questions as an introduction to an elementary unit on bridge design, waves and natural hazards.
- What caused the movement in the bridge?
- Show me with your hands how the bridge moved. Why did that cause the bridge to fall?
- What could have caused this bridge to bend and twist?
- What caused the 'waves' and how could an engineer minimize wave action on a bridge?
- How does this bridge design compare to a similar bridge you have seen?
- How do engineers use this video to rebuild and improve a new bridge?
- What does normal flexibility look like for a suspension bridge of this size?
- Was there prior evidence of this impending collapse?