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Tacoma Narrows Bridges appear melted in new Web maps

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Date:  Thursday, September 20, 2012

Contact: Jeremy Bertrand, WSDOT communications, 360-705-7872 (Olympia)

Popular, humorous tweet reassures drivers that the bridges are still standing

Even The New York Times today paid attention to a tweet from the Washington State Department of Transportation when the agency assured people the iconic Tacoma Narrows Bridges have not melted.

Noting that a new operating system to iPhones, known as iOS 6, was displaying distorted images of the heavily traveled bridges, as well as other bridges and highway structures, @WSDOT sent the following tweet:

“Although #ios6 may say differently, we can assure you that the Tacoma Narrows Bridges have not melted:”

After seeing the image, WSDOT sent the tweet to reassure drivers that the bridges were, indeed, still standing.

“The image definitely caught me by surprise,” said Jeremy Bertrand, WSDOT Web editor and the person behind the tweet. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I just had to ask others if they were seeing the same thing. And, sure enough, they were.”

People have come to depend on mobile devices to make travel decisions, said Bertrand. This is a great example of why travelers are encouraged to check several sources before making a decision.

“Thousands of people use our social media services via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube and Blogger, so we constantly use what’s available to send out traveler information,” said Steve Pierce, WSDOT communications director. “In the case of this tweet today, many of our 27,000-plus followers appreciated the humor and retweeted it to friends.”

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, the tweet had been retweeted more than 250 times, received numerous responses, and generated a number of stories on tech-related blogs.

WSDOT offers a plethora of travel information to help travelers make informed decisions:

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