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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-21-074    Date:  August 2021
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-21-074
Date: August 2021


Wind-Tunnel Investigations of the Aerodynamics of Bridge Stay Cable Cross-Sectional Shapes

PDF Version (11.7 MB)


Cable-stayed bridge configurations have become more common over the past several decades for bridges in the medium- to long-span range. In some cases, serviceability problems involving large amplitude vibrations of stay cables under certain wind and wind-rain conditions have been observed. This study was conducted in response to State transportation departments' interest in developing improved design guidance for mitigation of excessive cable vibrations on cable-stayed bridges. The study included wind tunnel testing of bridge cable models having various cross-sectional shapes to evaluate the influence of cable roundness on cable aerodynamic behavior. The results of this study will be made available to the Post-Tensioning Institute's DC-45 Cable-Stayed Bridge Committee for consideration during their periodic updates of its publication, Recommendations for Stay Cable Design, Testing and Installation.

This report will be of interest to bridge engineers, wind engineers, and consultants involved in the design of cable-stayed bridges. It is the sixth in a series of reports addressing the subject of aerodynamic stability of bridge stay cables.

Cheryl Allen Richter, P.E., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development


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