Dynamic Evaluation of Stay-Cables – East Huntington Bridge


The East Huntington Bridge, also known as the Frank Gatski Memorial Bridge, was built in 1985 to connect WV 106 over the Ohio River, linking Huntington, West Virginia, and Proctorville, Ohio. The bridge features stay-cables arranged in a fan formation, comprising two planes, each with 31 cables, stretching from a central pylon to the edges of the north and south spans.

Shortly after its construction, the bridge’s stay-cables were found to experience undesirable vibrations under specific wind and rain conditions. To address this issue and ensure public safety and confidence while prolonging the bridge’s service life, linear hydraulic dampers were installed on 54 of the 62 stay-cables in 2000.

Since 2011, CTLGroup has served as the specialty engineering consultant for dynamic evaluation of the bridge’s stay-cables to study damper performance. While stay-cable investigations may seem routine, capturing high fidelity vibration measurements on an in-service structure, processing the real-world data, and interpreting the results demands expertise in monitoring techniques, random data analysis, structural dynamics, and engineering judgment honed through experience.

Over the course of several field deployments, CTLGroup has continuously refined methodologies to improve data collection efficiency and enhance data fidelity. Since the start of the team’s regular dynamic testing, CTLGroup’s analyses identified certain dampers exhibiting decreased performance over time. Between the 2018 and 2022 inspections, based on CTLGroup’s assessments, 30 out of the 54 external dampers were replaced, thus averting excessive cable vibrations, and helping to minimize long-term operation and maintenance costs of the bridge.

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