Smart Monitoring and Inspection of Bridges Infrastructure
There are approximately 80,904 bridges in the UK (Local road bridges: 71,000, Large Bridges: 389, Highway Bridges: 9,515) continuously subjected to destructive effects of material aging, deterioration, widespread corrosion in concrete/metal structures, increasing traffic volume and overloading. These factors combined with defects in design and construction and accidental damage, prompt the deterioration of bridges and result in the loss of load carrying capacity of bridges. The condition of heavily used urban bridges is even worse: one in three is classified as aging or unable to accommodate modern vehicle weights and traffic volume. In the UK more than 67% of bridges are more than 30 years of age and 8% are above 40 years old. Therefore, a significant number of these structures need strengthening, rehabilitation, or replacement. According to an RAC foundation study, more than 2,300 road bridge structures in Britain are inadequate. Bridges can suffer structural deterioration due to aging, misuse or lack of proper maintenance. Among many factors, which have led to the unsatisfactory condition of bridge structures, one factor that has been neglected is the unsatisfactory inspection and monitoring of existing structures.
The SmartBridge platform will allow bridge operators to do lifecycle and behaviour analysis of a bridges degradation considering the application of structural health monitoring(SHM) systems to perform a controlled lifetime extension of the bridges with known problems has greatly increased in recent years. SmartBridge will continuously forecast and update information on health, condition, reliability and remaining life of infrastructures/ bridges enabling new and enhanced levels of safety and reliability without overdesigning infrastructure. SmartBridge will enhance competitiveness and productivity of partners involved by generating in 5 years post commercialisation; £81million in revenue, £36 million in gross profits and 367 skilled jobs.
Revolutionising the monitoring and maintenance of bridge infrastructure by developing an innovative knowledge-based digital platform that will enable the visualisation of bridges’ condition and degradation.
This project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.