Structural Monitoring: Making Bridges Safer Across the United States
High-Speed Wireless Networks are Helping State and Local Departments of Transportation Remotely Monitor Highway Bridges to Increase Safety While Keeping Traffic Moving Smoothly. Bridge structures are key elements of the U.S. roadway system and vital assets for the nation's economy and security. Their functioning is critical, but opportunities for failure are many, including deteriorating materials, underlying construction issues and improper load ratings. At any given point in time, bridges may also be threatened by natural disaster, man-made events, and defective materials or simply by long-term "Wear and Tear." Today, continuous structural health monitoring solutions that combine embedded sensor systems with wireless communications networks are helping to identify potentially dangerous structures, and to pinpoint conditions that can be repaired well before a bridge fails.