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Re: Wind Tunnel Testing

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These Calatrava bridges look like they will be challenging design projects.
Remember that performance standards and construction practices in Spain are
not necessarily compatible with those in the U.S. 

Cutting straight to your questions:

1. Wind tunnel testing is most likely appropriate and necessary. I would
definitely engage a specialist wind consultant, who should then make a
recommendation of wind engineering program. The necessary extent of the
program may not be evident without some study of the drawings, etc. I'd
guess that construction stages might be critical.

2. Dr. Jon Raggett, S.E. operates West Wind Laboratory in Marina,
California (near Monterrey). He provided wind studies and wind tunnel
testing for me on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Third Carquinez Bridge (a new
728m span suspension bridge in California that is now out to bid), and
several other projects. He is also testing the proposed East Bay Crossing
design, and did the Baytown Bridge (Houston?), Kap Shui Mun (Hong Kong),
etc. etc. Tel 831-883-1533

3. Cost depends on Scope. Scope depends on flexibility of the structure,
etc. Characterization of wind environment, section model tests, full bridge
modeling, flutter, and buffetting analysis are not cheap. If this were one
bridge, I'd budget the full kit at $100 - $200 K, then hope it could be
done more economically.

Mark Ketchum <mark(--nospam--at)>
San Francisco & Berkeley, California

Stan Caldwell <scaldwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
>In the very near future, Halff Associates expects to begin designing a
>series of "signature" bridges in concert with Santiago Calatrava of Zurich,
>Switzerland.  These bridges are envisioned to be steel arch and cable
>structures, with concrete decks spanning from 800 feet to 2000 feet.  If a
>picture is worth a thousand words, the bridge model photographs at
> "What's New?" 
>should be worth several paragraphs.  The first bridge will probably be an
>eight-lane divided structure with twin arches, each spanning about 800 feet.
>Several questions have been raised concerning wind tunnel testing of this
>structure.  Since I do not have first-hand experience with wind tunnel
>testing, I request your collective wisdom in answering these questions:
>1.	Is wind tunnel testing appropriate and necessary for this type of
>2.	Where in North America could these tests best be conducted?
>3.	What would be the approximate (order of magnitude) cost for this
>Thank you in advance for your thoughts on this matter.
>Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE
>Vice President, Structures