U.S. Corp of Army Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory Bridge Health Monitoring

Principal Investigator(s):

Carol Shield, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

The United States Army has over two hundred steel bridges in its inventory; virtually every Army Installation has at least one steel bridge. Bridge failures are typically prevented through regular inspection of the structure, however standard bridge inspection techniques may not detect some defects that are likely to compromise bridge integrity, and could instead focus attention on conditions that, while readily detectable, may be harmless relative to the overall structural health of the bridge. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has incorporated state-of-the-art and emerging sensor technology into an integrated, remotely-accessible structural health and corrosion degradation monitoring system for military steel bridges. The system is currently being demonstrated on a large steel truss bridge, the Government Bridge at Rock Island Arsenal. The system incorporates state-of-the-art fiber Bragg grating sensors for strain, acceleration, and tilt, along with electrical resistance corrosion sensors and acoustic monitoring installed by Chandler Enterprises. In this project, the University of Minnesota will work in conjunction with the University of Illinois to develop a method for determining structural health indices based on the readings from these sensors. Research has shown that sectional losses on bridge members can be identified and located by measuring response with an array of sensors.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2011105
  • Start date: 07/2009
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Bridge design and sensing