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

Teaching Materials


Additional Resources

* You must be logged in to the Google Drive account you registered with to download files. Please fill out the registration form if you have not yet registered.