China Has Launched An Investigation Into The Case Of A Vibrating 16-Kilometer Bridge
The authorities of the Chinese city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province in the South-East of China have launched an investigation into the case of the Humen vibrating sea bridge, according to the Chinese newspaper Global Times.
The bridge began to vibrate in a strange way on Tuesday, May 5, which worried many residents who decided that the structure could collapse, the newspaper notes. GE Yaojun, the President of the International Association of bridges and building structures, who is involved in the investigation of the incident, suggested that the bridge most likely began to vibrate since plastic emergency barriers with a height of 1.2 meters were installed on it during the repair.
These barriers changed the aerodynamic structure of the bridge and caused the structure to vibrate when the wind reaches a certain speed, the expert suggested.
On the same day, may 5, the emergency barriers were removed from the bridge, but the next day it continued to vibrate, although with less force. An engineer from the Humen bridge management company, Zhang Xinmin, said that the bridge continues to shake due to inertia and that this will gradually stop, as the emergency barriers that changed its aerodynamic structure have been removed.
A Beijing bridge expert told the Global Times that these vibrations will not affect the safety and service life of the structure in Guangzhou. According to him, wind-induced vibrations can occur if the bridge is longer than a kilometer and if its aerodynamic design has been changed.
As reported by the newspaper "people's daily" with reference to the police of Guangdong province, the bridge in Guangzhou was temporarily closed due to abnormally strong vibrations.
The Humen bridge is almost 16 km long. It was opened in 1999. The bridge connects Guangzhou and Dongguan city (an important industrial center in Guangdong).