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Update on the Seismic Instrumentation of the Bill E. Emerson Memorial Bridge

  Dr. Celebi explains the proposed seismic instrumentation plan.

The Bill E. Emerson Memorial Bridge is a cable-stayed signature bridge that crosses the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, two hours south of St. Louis. MCEER is working with the US Geological Survey (USGS) on the design and acquisition of seismic instrumentation for the bridge under its Highway Project research program, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The bridge is owned jointly by the states of Missouri and Illinois, and construction is scheduled to be complete by October 2003. It will be opened to traffic immediately afterwards. This article is the next installment in a series about the project (see Vol. 15, Nos. 3 and 4, Vol. 13, No. 3).

On October 2-3, 2002, a project planning meeting was held to discuss the final plan for seismic instrumentation of the Bill E. Emerson Memorial Bridge. Held in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, twenty-two members of the project team met to review progress and identify remaining outstanding issues.

The meeting began with an introduction by Peter Clogston, FHWA MO Division. Next, Dr. Mehmet Celebi, USGS, presented the proposed instrumentation plan, which has evolved over the course of six years through previous meetings and discussions with the proposed vendor (Kinemetrics) and future users. Details of the instrumentation system include the following:

Participants discussed the possibility of adding wind monitoring equipment to the instrumentation package. The FHWA is investigating alternatives to see if integrating the two systems is the most cost effective way to provide for wind instrumentation. FHWA also plans to conduct tests to obtain data on the dynamic properties of the cables.

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