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Synthesis of Aerodynamic Results from Prior Wind Tunnel Bridge Investigations Conducted in North America

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
End Date: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Design
TRT Terms: 
Aerodynamics; Long Span Bridges; Wind Tunnel; Aerodynamic Stability; Wind; Infrastructure; Bridges; Research
FHWA Discipline: 
Structures, Design, Environment
TRB Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Design, Environment

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3122
Email Address: 
Bridge Engineering Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

An aerodynamic assessment, usually involving one or several wind tunnel tests, is almost always conducted on any design proposed for long-span bridges. Over the years, since the dramatic collapse of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, hundreds of such studies have been performed in North America. These studies have largely been performed in one of three laboratories in Canada or the Federal Highway Administration Aerodynamics Laboratory at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center; a few others have been conducted in select U.S. labs. The results of these investigations represent a wealth of technical information that could significantly advance our understanding and serve as an aid for design of future bridges. Unfortunately, much of the results and details of this work remain in the hands of the laboratories conducting the work and in possession of the design consultants who commissioned the work. The results that are published are not complete and are scattered about in the literature. There is a need to catalog the results of these studies so that all researchers and designers can benefit from this information.


The objective of the study is to work with other laboratories in North America to gain access to their archives so that we may collect, catalog, and synthesize valuable information from their bridge aerodynamic investigations.


Deliverable Name: 
Research Report
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
The results will be compiled into a comprehensive document suitable for use by researchers, designers, and owners.