Canal Wave Oscillations from the I-84 Bridge Expansion in Boise, Idaho

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Conference Paper

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Recent improvements and the widening of the I-84 Bridge crossing of the New York Canal in Boise, Idaho, have increased the number of bridge columns from 28 to 60. The resulting structure has two parallel rows of columns that extend across the width of the bridge longitudinally within the canal. After the widening of the bridge and addition of the bridge columns, the canal began experiencing an oscillating wave phenomenon that originated from the bridge columns and caused erosion of upstream and downstream canal banks and bridge abutments. A physical model study was conducted to investigate the wave phenomenon and determine what modifications to the columns or canal would be necessary to prevent the wave oscillations. The physical model was successful in simulating the wave phenomenon, and four different modifications for resolving the wave problem were tested in the model. A unique solution was found that used precast nose cones attached to selected columns. The nose cones have been installed in the prototype bridge crossing, and no wave oscillations have occurred since installation. This paper discusses the study to simulate the wave phenomenon and the four modifications that were evaluated to reduce or prevent wave oscillations.

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