Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

College of Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Recent and Past Projects
NSEL Reports Series

Analysis of Light Pole Vibration in Illinois


Sponsor: Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

Research Coordinator: Prof. Nicholas P. Jones

Research Associate: Luca Caracoglia

The Illinois Department of Transportation experienced failures in light pole structures in serviceability and collapse. The root cause of each is uncertain, though it was clear in both cases that dynamic considerations were important. In the first case (western Illinois pole failures), the amplitude of oscillation induced in a wind storm was sufficient to fail the poles. In the second case (I-80 Bridge light pole lamp failures), that oscillation was sufficient to cause the light bulbs to fail (on a regular basis).

An experimental campaign was designed and developed in NSEL to study the dynamic response and characteristics of these systems. The testing involved different pole configurations and both free and forced vibrations.

If you are interested in this project or if you have any questions, please contact Greg Banas at

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