New technology to remotely monitor bridges in Vic
The government of Victoria forms a joint venture with the American company Xerox to develop technology for monitoring bridges, facilitating traffic and trains.
The technology will be implemented on projects like the new level crossing removal project in Preston, Melbourne, where four level crossings will be removed, 2 km of elevated rail will be built as well as new stations at Bell and Preston.
In Preston, the railway line will be elevated on four routes on the Mernda Line, providing new open space under the 2 km rail bridge, providing smoother and safer journeys for the 82,000 vehicles that cross these crossings every day.
The technology is the result of testing carried out as part of a partnership between VicTrack and Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which has developed sensors that can be used to monitor the structural health of bridges.
Following the successful trials, the Victorian government will invest $ 50 million to deploy the new technology on priority bridges across the state, through a new trading company called Eloque.
Eloque will grow rapidly to help customers around the world, using its tiny fiber optic connected sensors attached to the bridge to accurately measure and estimate structural strain, thermal response, bending, loads, vibration and corrosion, which are all measures of structural health.
The technology analyzes data collected from the sensors using advanced analytics to deliver information directly to remote bridge owners and operators via an interactive dashboard. Data can be viewed in real time so the bridge manager can monitor whether a bridge has structural issues, has been damaged, or needs to be repaired.
It can detect any issues that are not visible to the naked eye or may not appear during manual inspections. This means that problems can be caught early before they potentially cause delays for motorists or passengers or are expensive enough.
It also allows for better prioritization of maintenance budgets and targeting them on the bridges that need them the most, making maintenance more efficient and less time consuming.
Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said: “This technology deployed on priority bridges enables real-time remote monitoring – meaning a small problem could be identified before it becomes a big one. costly problem causing unnecessary delays for the Victorians. “
“This will help spot problems earlier, reduce delays caused by road closures for manual inspections and repairs, and find problems faster and more accurately in the event of bridge collisions or other unforeseen events.
Although the technology is currently used on bridges, it has the potential to be used on any structure requiring maintenance – including roads, multi-story parking lots, tunnels and ports.
Victoria Treasurer Tim Pallas said: “We will continue to look for ways to move Victorians, create local jobs and support our economic recovery.”
The technology will be gradually deployed on priority bridges, especially those that regularly handle heavy loads and are most at risk of deterioration.