Being able to accurately predict water flow conditions and their impact on proposed bridge designs is vital to ensuring that a new bridge will be strong and long lasting. It is also vital to assessing the current and future condition of existing bridges. Dr. Jerry Richardson has been contracted by Water Resources Solutions to build a physical model of the water flow experienced by the existing 63rd street bridge over Brush Creek in Mission Hills to assess current flow conditions and to evaluate up to three proposed replacement bridges for this site. If you stop by the Fluid Mechanics lab, you likely find civil engineering senior Amanda Leipard working, under the supervision of Dr. Richardson, to create a rigid bed distorted Froud scale model of the current 63rd Street bridge. The horizontal scale is 1:73 and the vertical scale and 1:24.
Because the hydraulics of the current bridge is poor, with areas of high turbulence resulting in areas where erosion causes large scour and bank instability, numerical models are unable to adequately predict the flow conditions at the site. Thus physical modeling of the existing and proposed bridges will allow for designing and building the replacement bridge that improves the flow and reduces scour potential. The project is scheduled for completion during the fall semester of 2013.