Case Studies

Vancouver’s Golden Ears Bridge

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Owner/Operators: TransLink

The Golden Ears Bridge is a six-lane extradosed bridge in Metro Vancouver, It spans the Fraser River, connecting Langley on the south side with Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge on the north side. The bridge opened to traffic in June 2009. Almost immediately residents in nearby neighborhoods complained about an annoying “croaking” noise emanating from the bridge. TransLink, Vancouver’s transportation authority, investigated the mechanism causing the intermittent noise, determined that the obtrusive sound was produced by vehicles crossing over the bridge’s expansion joints. In 2012, after testing a variety of materials, a geotextile material covered by neoprene strips was installed in between the beams of the expansion joints as the selected noise mitigation measure.

HGC Engineering was contracted to determine, from a technical perspective, if the mitigation which was selected and installed is effective and founded on accepted acoustical engineering principals, or if sinus plates or an alternate joint material would be preferable. We met with key stakeholders and reviewed all existing documents, reports and studies, as well as related published research. We also inspected the bridge and conducted acoustic measurements. We concluded that TransLink had followed a reasonable acoustic mitigation strategy to deal with the expansion joint noise. Our review of the data provided by indicated that the mitigation has been effective, although regular inspections and maintenance.

Acoustical Engineering Services Included:

  • Acoustic Measurements
  • Noise Investigation


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