Research Reports

Development of an Advanced Structural Monitoring System

Principal Investigator:

Arturo E Schultz, David Thompson

November 2010

Report no. MnDOT 2010-39

Projects: Development of an Advanced Structural Monitoring System for Fracture Critical Steel Bridges

Topics: Bridge design and sensing

With bridge infrastructure in Minnesota aging, advancing techniques for ensuring the safety of bridges and motorists is a fundamental goal of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT). As such, developing health monitoring systems for fracture critical bridges is an essential objective in meeting the stated goal. This report applies the methodology and uses the information of a previous Mn/DOT report to investigate, select, and design a bridge health monitoring system for the Cedar Avenue Bridge which is a fracture critical tied arch bridge in Burnsville, Minnesota. An investigation of monitoring needs for the Cedar Avenue Bridge was undertaken. In addition, the authors reviewed literature with the goal of determining the most applicable monitoring technology that is commercially available and which fulfills the required bridge monitoring needs. Once a monitoring technology was selected, the authors selected a vendor, using a computer-based program developed in the aforementioned Mn/DOT report, to select a suggested system of monitoring equipment for Mn/DOT to purchase. Finally, the report describes multiple alternatives for monitoring scales, scopes, locations, and capabilities, with global monitoring of the most critical members and connections of the bridge as the authors? recommendation. A procedure for installation of the suggested bridge health monitoring system follows the authors? recommendations and is applicable to any of the monitoring alternatives presented in this report.

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