8. The Design of the Whitestone Bridge Came at a Cost
Although the design of the Whitestone Bridge was aesthetically sound, it was structurally and fundamentally flawed. The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington, which utilized the same general blueprint (reinforced by I-beam girders), collapsed into the Puget Sound in 1940.
Questions surrounding the safety of the Whitestone Bridge began surfacing shortly after its opening, and upon closer examination, it was found to be unstable during high winds. To reinforce the structure, steel trusses and eight stay cables – two per tower on each side – were installed in the 1940s. In mid-to-late 2003, those stabilizing components were removed and new lightweight fiberglass fairings were installed along the existing plate-girder deck, bringing the structure closer to its original, seamless design.