Developed by Heggies , the BridgeAlert-F Bearing Loss Early Warning System provides real-time structural integrity monitoring of the finger plate expansion joints used commonly in bridges and suspended roadways.
Segments of finger joints in bridges and suspended roadways often come loose in service, which can result in structural damage to the bridge. These loose or detached joint segments can also become a collision hazard for motorists, which can result in closure of transport arteries, major traffic disruptions, and in the worst case scenario, loss of human life.
Until the development of BridgeAlert-F Bearing Loss Early Warning System, the only way to check finger plate expansion joints was with visual inspection, which requires lane closures and night work. The innovative BridgeAlert-F structural integrity monitoring system however detects loose or damaged joint segments by analysing the sounds produced when the wheels of the passing traffic cross the joint.
The digitised outputs from this sound recording is analysed using specially developed algorithms to detect changes in the spectral power density and absolute level of the signals. These changes provide the indication that a segment of the finger joint is about to dislodge or has already dislodged.
The early detection of loose finger plate expansion joints allows bridge maintenance and repairs to be scheduled with minimal disruption to traffic flow, and at minimum cost.
BridgeAlert-F Bearing Loss Early Warning Systems are a highly cost effective extremely cost effective structural integrity monitoring solution, as they:
- eliminate the possibility of structural damage occurring and maximise fatigue life
- gives prompt warning of impending problems so remedial action can be scheduled
- dramatically reduce the possibility of litigation as the result of an accident to the general public
- eliminates the need for lane closures and night inspections and associated risk to inspection personnel
- have a pay-back period of less than two years, compared to standard bridge inspection alternatives.