Seven of the Worst Bridge Disasters in World History

Eitaibashi Bridge, Japan, 1807. The late 17th-century wooden Eitaibashi Bridge over the Sumidagawa River in Edo (now Tokyo) was about 330 feet upstream of the steel bridge with the same name.

Ponte das Barcas, Portugal, 1809 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Porto on March 29, 1809. Locals panicked and tried to escape across the Ponte das Barcas, a pontoon bridge built in 1806 from 20 boats joined by steel cables.

Illinois Dixon Bridge Disaster, 1873 After many wooden bridges on Illinois' Rock River collapsed, people eagerly welcomed plans for an iron bridge. Dixon City Council approved Lucius E. Truesdell's design in 1868, despite the city engineer's warnings.

Canadian Quebec Bridge, 1907–1916 The Quebec Bridge in Canada collapsed twice before opening to the public. In 1900, construction began on the world's longest cantilever bridge.  

Washington's 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge The four-month-old Tacoma Narrows Bridge, known as “Galloping Gertie” for its tendency to “bounce” vertically on windy days, fell on November 7, 1940.

West Virginia-Ohio Silver Bridge, 1967 The deadliest bridge collapse in history prompted major safety reforms in the US. This move was spurred by a 1928 Ohio River bridge between West Virginia and Ohio.

Florida Sunshine Skyway Bridge, 1980 Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida is the tragedy most similar to the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The M.V. Summit Venture freighter hit a bridge support beam during a strong thunderstorm on May 9, 1980, dropping a 1,200-foot portion of the roadway into Tampa Bay.

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