Bridge Health Monitoring and Inspections - A Survey of Methods


Andrew Gastineau, Tyler Johnson, Arturo Schultz

September 2009

Report no. Mn/DOT 2009-29

Since the collapse of the I-35W bridge in August 2007, bridge health monitoring has become an area of intense interest. This report defines terminology related to bridge health monitoring and provides a general glossary of available monitoring systems. The glossary is meant to help readers make an informed decision by understanding how different systems function and their strengths and weakness. The authors developed a questionnaire to send to commercial companies offering monitoring systems. Of the 72 questionnaires that were sent to commercial companies, 38 companies responded and are included in this report. From information provided with these questionnaires, available commercial systems are briefly summarized. Criteria for system evaluation were developed to help the bridge owner narrow down company choices for bridge application. After the owner answers a set of questions pertaining to a particular bridge, a program developed in Microsoft EXCEL helps the bridge owner decide the best system for a particular situation. An example is provided for program clarity. Once company choice is narrowed down, additional criteria were developed to aid in final product choice.

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