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Quieting a Bridge

Published on March 21, 2023

The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, carrying State Route 520 over Lake Washington, seen from the north side bicycle and pedestrian trail from the west high-rise.
Image Credit: SounderBruce (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Like many bridges around the world, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (SR 520 bridge) has expansion joints that allow it to expand or contract to adapt to environmental changes, such as changes in water level, without causing structural damage. However, expansion joints can create noise problems. When the new SR 520 bridge opened in 2016, the constant sound of vehicles driving over the bridge’s expansion joints became a nuisance for homeowners in the surrounding area.

Researchers in the ME department designed, tested and recommended strategies that successfully reduced the noise caused by the bridge.

Continue reading at UW Mechanical Engineering.

Originally written by Lyra Fontaine for UW Mechanical Engineering.
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