Integration of Structural Health Monitoring into Mulitlayer Statewide Bridge Maintenance and Management Practices

Research Project


Integration of Structural Health Monitoring into Mulitlayer Statewide Bridge Maintenance and Management Practices


Principal investigators: Brent Phares, 515-294-5879, (project list), Iowa State University

Project status

In progress

Start date: 09/01/14
End date: 10/31/17


Sponsor(s): Iowa Department of Transportation
Midwest Transportation Center

About the research

Research objective:

Because bridges represent the most expensive, by square foot, assets on the transportation system, they require sophisticated maintenance and management schemes. To improve and maintain the structural performance of highway bridges in a more efficient, holistic, and reliable manner, bridge maintenance and management is slowly moving toward the integration of structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques, which can measure, evaluate, and predict bridge integrity.

Unfortunately, no current bridge management systems have the ability to integrate SHM data. As part of advancing their maintenance strategies for highway bridges in Iowa, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has focused recent research efforts on the development of SHM systems with new algorithms that estimate bridge health by making on-site, quantitative measurements (e.g., strain, acceleration, etc.). These efforts have led to the creation of a series of Iowa DOT projects that have made great strides in the development of data processing and interpretation algorithms (for damage detection, load rating estimation, etc.).

The objective of this project is to develop/conceptualize a bridge asset management framework capable of integrating SHM data with other processes including traditional inspection processes, information technology, and geographic information systems to improve overall bridge management. This project not only helps in understanding the similarities and dissimilarities in structural health conditions between bridges under the same ambient traffic and environmental conditions (e.g., for improving current deterioration predictions) but also aids decision makers with quantitative statewide bridge management.

2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, Iowa 50010-8664
Phone: 515-294-9501 ~ Fax: 515-294-0467
The Bridge Engineering Center is administered by Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation.

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