In the past, the design of bridges over increasing distances was limited by construction techniques and, as always, by economics. As technological advances have turned possible cable-supported bridges of incredible spans, a new challenge has been added to the equation: that of withstanding the action of winds without developing undesirable dynamic responses. In this chapter, the several aerodynamic phenomena of relevance to long-span bridges are classified and discussed. This will interest both experts and non-experts in the field, thanks to the overview that is given. For certain cases, codes of practice recommend wind tunnel tests. The reader is introduced to these, as well as to numerical simulations, which are currently gaining increasing importance. Next, measures for attenuating susceptibility for undesirable dynamic responses are reviewed. The chapter ends with a discussion of the Vila Real Bridge deck section, based on wind tunnel tests and numerical simulations carried out by the authors: the aerodynamics was effectively improved with geometrically subtle modifications that were proposed and adopted still in the design phase.
Part of the book: Bridge Engineering