Wind Tunnel Aeroelastic Model Study of the Baytown Bridge (Steel Alternative)

by T. A. Reinhold, Applied Research Engineering, Services Inc, Raleigh, NC, USA,
S. L. Stroh, Applied Research Engineering, Services Inc, Raleigh, NC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Bridges and Transmission Line Structures


Analytical and full bridge aeroelastic model studies performed to assess the aerodynamic stability of the steel alternative Baytown Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel are described. The Baytown Bridge is a unique structure, having its suspended twin 1250 foot main spans and 482 foot side spans separated by a 15 foot open median, but sharing a common double-diamond shaped tower and common anchor piers. This arrangement imparts important characteristics from both structural and aerodynamic viewpoints, that were explored in the studies. The studies described include analytical modeling of the structure for three dimensional natural frequencies and vibrational modes, model construction details, model vibrational testing for comparison with analytical model results, testing in smooth and turbulent flows, and implications of the model testing results for the structural design of the bridge.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Bridge tests | Three-dimensional models | Wind tunnel | Structural models | Bridge design | Infrastructure construction | Texas | United States

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