Displacement Monitoring of I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge with Current Vibration-Based System


Riley Brown, Karl Gaebler, Carol Shield, Lauren Linderman

January 2019

Report no. MnDOT 2019-05

Since the opening of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge in 2008, over 500 sensors have been collecting data to better understand the behavior of post-tensioned concrete box girder structures. Recent research in the accelerometers installed on the bridge indicates they can be effectively used in a vibration-based structural health monitoring system, but previous studies have shown that natural frequency alone may not be sufficient to determine the performance of the structure. Vertical displacements were believed to be a simpler performance measure as direct comparisons can be made with design calculations and maintenance guidelines. To avoid the shortcomings of conventional displacement measurement options, this study focuses on using the currently installed accelerometers to estimate the vertical displacements of the southbound bridge. The proposed technique utilizes up-to-date modal parameters within a dual Kalman filter to estimate the vertical displacements of the structure from noisy acceleration measurements. When applied to the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, it was found that the dual Kalman filter approach captures only dynamic displacements due to relatively slow loading (e.g., traffic loading and thermal loading) and the corresponding low-frequency static displacements are likely too small for GPS measurements due to the high stiffness of the structure.

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