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Project Experience: Arizona State University Vibration Analysis, Phoenix, Arizona

The Challenge

The Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Project (Valley Connections) needed a detailed vibration study to determine the effect of light rail operations on vibration-sensitive equipment located at Arizona State University. The proposed light rail alignment was located near several research facilities on the campus, and ASU faculty were concerned that train vibration could disrupt experiments performed at these sites.

The Strategy

Working with ASU’s consultants, HMMH conducted detailed vibration propagation tests at multiple locations on the ASU campus to determine site-specific vibration transmission characteristics of the ground and buildings. These data were used to project train vibration inside specific buildings and building types. Our services included:

  • Comparing projected interior vibration levels with industry standard “VC” criteria for sensitive equipment to determine the need for mitigation
  • Establishing a “compatibility zone” adjacent to the LRT right-of-way to identify areas where research buildings may be adversely affected by LRT operations
  • Performing a detailed statistical analysis of the measured data and projected future levels to give a quantitative assessment of the accuracy of the compatibility zone