A newly expanded cut of the documentary about the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge on Nov. 7, 1940, will get a wide release July 27 on several popular streaming platforms.

The documentary “700 Feet Down” will stream on iTunes/AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play/YouTube, FandangoNow, Vudu and Xbox.

A shorter cut of the locally made documentary had been shown in educational settings last year. The longer cut has an additional 20 minutes of footage. The collapse of the bridge, and video of the bridge contorting helplessly in the wind and crashing into the water, is notorious.  

The documentary is the project of director Peter Bortel, a diver who has been going under the Narrows Bridge for years and always wanted to make a film about the structure’s history.

“It is a great statement about how worthwhile the movie is to watch for Washington, Oregon, and anyone who has heard about this bridge fall,” Bortel said. “Just that we can share it in this VOD format, it says something about the quality of the movie.”

The film won the award for Best Cinematography at the 2021 Oregon Documentary Film Festival.


Producer Carly Vester said the team has extended the scope of the project and will dive into even more topics.

“It covers a much wider span of topics surrounding the bridge, such as the myth of the giant octopus that lives under the bridge and the car that fell off the bridge when it collapsed and what happened to the dog inside the car,” Vester said. “We cover a much wider span of things and take a look at the ecological side of things under the bridge. We look at marine life and how it has changed. There is a lot of beautiful footage from the shallows area around the bridge.”

In addition to streaming, the film will be shown at the West Sound Film Festival in Bremerton on Aug. 7, as well as at the Gig Harbor Film Festival, which is Sept. 23-27.

“We have spent almost two years now pouring our hearts into this film and the concept and being able to tell the full story of ‘Galloping Gertie’ from the eyewitnesses to historians to those who understand engineering to the diver side of it,” Vester said. “To have this come to fruition and to actually be able to share it with people and hear their stories in person, I think is really exciting.”