Wind, Suspension Bridges, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Description: Themes: Elastic and deflection theory in long-span suspension bridges; Lessons of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure; Historical perspective in designing new works of structural engineering.

Learning Objectives: Students should be able to: Examine the effects of wind on long span suspension bridges; Explain how do suspension bridges fall/stand; Describe the historical context that led to the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows; Recall the scientific, social and symbolic aspects of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge; Trace the evolution of suspension bridge design with respect to wind resistance from Roebling's bridges up to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure; Outline the role of deflection theory in bridge design and how it led to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure; Describe the retrofits that Ammann introduced to the Bronx-Whitestone bridge to account for the effect of wind; Demonstrate the phenomenon of aero-elastic flutter and explain its role in the Tacoma Narrows Bridge failure; Relate the form of a suspension bridge to the forces acting on its components.

Keywords steel, Ammann, Moissieff, Ellis, Strauss, suspension bridge, aerodynamic flutter, wind load, stays, torsion, deck stiffness, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Bronx Whitestone Bridge

Categories: Structural EngineeringPrinceton University, Bridges

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