She was taking part in the annual 5K charity breast cancer walk.
As she walked over the railroad bridge, which is not for pedestrians, it rose to let boats pass and she was stuck in the air.
Walking over the bridge was not part of the 5K walk, witnesses claim they are still unsure why she was on that path.
It took about 20 minutes before firefighters were able to get McGowan down safely.
As she hung on to the bridge, she never let go of her bright pink handbag.