Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BRIDGEMON — Result In Brief

Project ID: 315629
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Slovenia

New tools to improve safety assessment of road and rail bridges

An improvement in current bridge weigh-in-motion (WIM) techniques and algorithms to monitor bridge traffic loading and resistance could result in more efficient monitoring and more seamless land transport.
New tools to improve safety assessment of road and rail bridges
Evaluating bridge safety requires in-depth knowledge of traffic loads, as well as bridge resistance to that load. It is crucial to assess the safety particularly of ageing bridges that are close to the end of their life cycle and need replacing. However, this requires the proper tools to help bridge owners and managers decide on the best remedial measures and distribute their maintenance budget.

The EU-funded BRIDGEMON (Bridge safety monitoring) project developed tools that obtain more detailed information on the loading and resistance of a bridge. It worked on improving current bridge WIM technology, which calculates bridge loads from trucks crossing the bridge with highway speed. The project also developed a virtual monitoring technique to estimate the remaining fatigue life of steel bridges.

To achieve its aims, the project conducted field tests to validate the new bridge WIM algorithms, showing significant improvements in accurately estimating axle loads of heavy vehicles. Furthermore, it tested the new-improved virtual monitoring technique on a major steel bridge in the Netherlands, offering a more powerful tool to calculate fatigue damage.

The bridge WIM technology was then tailored to suit railway bridges as well, accurately calculating the weight of trains that passed over the bridges. This involved developing specific algorithms that could correctly pinpoint damage and fatigue in railway bridges.

Overall, BRIDGEMON was successful in achieving its aims, offering the project partners new ways to enhance their product and improve their competitiveness in the field of bridge monitoring. Most importantly, this stands to enhance bridge assessment and safety in Europe for both road transport and rail, pre-empting transport disruption and likely saving lives.

Related information


Road and rail, bridges, weigh-in-motion, loading and resistance, bridge safety, railway bridges
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