The day the Golden Gate Bridge flattened
By Stephen Tung
Picture this: Hundreds of thousands of people are crammed shoulder to shoulder on the Golden Gate Bridge when suddenly the bridge's gentle arch begins to flatten out. A metal groan then echoes across San Francisco Bay as the majestic towers begin tilting toward each other.
As the towers hit their breaking point, the 3-foot-thick main suspension cables slacken and the roadway splits open, dropping waves of pedestrians more than 200 feet to their deaths.
That almost happened 25 years ago today, at least according to urban legend.
On May 24, 1987, 300,000 people were stuck in human gridlock for hours while getting a rare chance to cross the 1.7-mile bridge en masse on foot to celebrate the bridge's golden anniversary. Officials quickly closed the bridge, so a half-million other people waiting to cross never got the chance. Still, the enormous, unprecedented weight caused the middle of the bridge to sag 7 feet.
"I'm grateful because if the others had gotten out there, maybe the bridge would have fallen down," Gary Giacomini, then president of the bridge district's board, told The Associated Press at the time.
I beat you by one post!
I was there; not on the bridge, but about a mile away to stay away form the crowds.
I would love to hear from an engineer that knows,but I think the situation that day was very serious.
“That almost happened 25 years ago today, at least according to urban legend.”
I’m not sure how much legend that was. I think reality is a better word. It was close. As I read it, one of the engineers that runs the bridge was looking at it out of his window and noticed that the deck had flattened. He was like Holy Excrement, and put an end to that stunt.