Analysis of structural health monitoring data from Hammersmith Flyover

Graham Webb, Paul J Vardanega*, Paul Fidler, Campbell Middleton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
943 Downloads (Pure)


There has recently been considerable research published on the applicability of monitoring systems for improving civil infrastructure management decisions. Less research has been published on the challenges in interpreting the collected data to provide useful information for engineering decision makers. This paper describes some installed monitoring systems on the Hammersmith Flyover, a major bridge located in central London (United Kingdom). The original goals of the deployments were to evaluate the performance of systems for monitoring prestressing tendon wire breaks and to assess the performance of the bearings supporting the bridge piers because visual inspections had indicated evidence of deterioration in both. This paper aims to show that value can be derived from detailed analysis of measurements from a number of different sensors, including acoustic emission monitors, strain, temperature and displacement gauges. Two structural monitoring systems are described, a wired system installed by a commercial contractor on behalf of the client and a research wireless deployment installed by the University of Cambridge. Careful interpretation of the displacement and temperature gauge data enabled bearings that were not functioning as designed to be identified. The acoustic emission monitoring indicated locations at which rapid deterioration was likely to be occurring; however, it was not possible to verify these results using any of the other sensors installed and hence the only method for confirming these results was by visual inspection. Recommendations for future bridge monitoring projects are made in light of the lessons learned from this monitoring case study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05014003
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date28 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Structural health monitoring
  • Data interpretation
  • Prestressed concrete
  • Bridge condition monitoring
  • Hammersmith Flyover


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