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A Sensor Network System for the Health Monitoring of the Parkview Bridge Deck
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A Sensor Network System for the Health Monitoring of the Parkview Bridge Deck
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    Final report; 2005-2010.
  • Abstract:
    Bridges are a critical component of the transportation infrastructure. There are approximately 600,000 bridges in the United State according to the Federal Highway Administration. Four billion vehicles traverse these bridges daily. Regular inspection and maintenance are essential components of any bridge management program to ensure structural integrity and user safety. Even though intensive bridge inspection and maintenance are being performed nationwide, the outcomes are not necessarily impressive. It has been reported that of the 600,000 bridges, 12% have been deemed structurally deficient, and another 13% have been declared functionally obsolete. Consequently, 25% of the nations’ bridges require immediate attention or repair and may present safety challenges. This suggests a need for effective, continuous monitoring systems so that problems can be identified at early stages and economic measures can be taken to avoid costly replacement and/or bridge failures. Therefore, there is a need for bridge health monitoring technologies and systems to enable continuous monitoring and real time data collection. A sensor-based bridge health monitoring system was developed and deployed for the newly constructed Parkview Bridge in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This system adopted rapid bridge construction techniques using precast concrete technology. Today, these sensor networks, also known as health monitoring systems (SHM), can be used to develop models to determine how a structure is behaving internally. Sensors were installed at strategic locations and connected to a remote computer workstation via telephone lines. Continuous bridge condition data are being collected in real time, archived in the laboratory computer workstation, and analyzed to assess the structural performance and integrity. This continuous information can greatly increase bridge safety for its users by providing early warning signs before a failure occurs. Furthermore, a methodology for assessing the savings in time and cost associated with adopting Rapid Bridge Construction (RBC) techniques was developed and used in this research project. A comparison study was carried out to assess the performance of RBC technique at the Parkview Bridge. The RBC technique was found to save bridge construction time and consequently realize savings in extra travel time. This travel time saving is significant enough that it justifies the relatively high initial cost of the RBC technique.
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