Title: Fact Based Bridge Performance Management in the Age of the Internet of Things
Bridge owners and managers are innovating in their approach to bridge management through performance based life-cycle management. Opportunities exist to create the 150-year bridge using performance monitoring, and life cycle analytics combined with selective maintenance and bridge rehabilitation. This new approach allows for much more productive management of the costly bridge asset a bridge manager is responsible to maintain. At the recent TRB Meeting: Rehabilitation and Maintenance Working Group on SHM (January 2017). The members stated that “There is a growing consensus on the need to transition to data driven objective decision making in the realm of managing highway infrastructures.”
Achieving this will require the use of sensing, monitoring, simulation and information technologies to obtain, visualize and interpret quantitative performance data from bridges. The new technologies provided by the Internet of Things including low cost accurate sensors, RF and cellular communication and cloud computing provide a new information technology that enables the innovation of fact based decision making. The technology combined with proper policy and strategy, allows for a magnitude change in bridge performance and productivity.
Manitoba Infrastructure awarded a contract to incorporate Intelligent Structures Bridge Performance Management System (BPMS) IntelliStruct and to monitor a fleet of over 20 bridges starting in fiscal 2017. IntelliStruct is a BPMS platform incorporating an IoT architecture running in the cloud for the most productive and cost-effective solution to managing a fleet of bridges. Manitoba Infrastructure’s goal is to extend the life cycle of their bridges using real-time monitoring, targeted rehabilitation and bridge asset management optimization and decision support from 50 years to 100 years.
THE ECONOMICS OF INTEGRATING INNOVATIVE MONITORING TECHNOLOGIES INTO BRIDGE MANAGEMENT POLICY
Presumed structurally deficient bridges may deserve a second chance. In this study, three management policies incorporating innovative monitoring schemes were investigated using an exploratory economic model. The model focused on decisions regarding bridges that were diagnosed as structurally deficient through visual inspections (VI). Three policies were considered: Policy I was to rebuild the bridge, while Policies II and III used various testing and monitoring schemes to determine if the bridge is actually structurally deficient and in need of replacement. Load rating tests (LRT) and structural health monitoring (SHM) were incorporated into Policy II. Policy III supplemented LRT and SHM with an additional low-cost testing method referred to as the digital signature (DS), which measures the deflection profile of the bridge. The results of this exploratory economic model show that for a fleet of 100 bridges, there is a major economic benefit if Policy II is used over Policy I. The results showed further savings using Policy III if DS testing is at least 50% accurate. DS testing is relatively inexpensive and can therefore reduce the overall costs by adding another layer of testing between VI and monitoring. Policy III allows bridge managers to have a truly hybrid approach to bridge asset management. Overall, the economic benefits provide an impetus for monitoring bridge networks to confirm and supplement inspection results.