Learning Lab

Engineering Pedestrian Bridges

Engineering Pedestrian Bridges

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Guy Larose
Senior Technical Director | Principal
+1.613.730.7608 x2509
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December 12, 2019
12:00 PM, San Francisco Time (GMT-8)
60 min


Pedestrian bridges are often unique architectural designs and as a result, many of these bridges are light and relatively flexible enabling them to be susceptible to dynamic forcing input. Two of the most significant sources of dynamic forcing are wind and the pedestrians themselves. Despite their shorter spans, pedestrian bridges are technically challenging, and the following aspects have to be carefully considered at the design stage:

  • Aerodynamic stability of the structure (deck section, arches, slender towers) and cross-section optimization.
  • Fatigue and wind-induced vibrations of the cables and hangers.
  • Pedestrian and equestrian induced vibrations as well as potential mitigation measured to improve comfort of the occupants.

This presentation addresses the predictions and control of vibration from all sources and the factors involved in maintaining occupant comfort. Various analytical and experimental modeling techniques are described as well.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand vibration effects on pedestrian bridges, which are generally caused by wind and pedestrian traffic.
  • Understand how to model the sources of vibrations and to predict the bridge responses numerically.
  • Understand how to mitigate theses of vibrations using shape modifications or external devices.
  • Understand the advantages of wind tunnel testing to prevent undesired responses of the structure.
  • Understand a new and advanced way of analyzing pedestrian and equestrian-induced vibrations.

Affiliated Associations

  • AIA
  • RIBA Providers Network