Assessing the potential value of bridge monitoring systems

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

*Corresponding author for this work

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

15 Citations (Scopus)
408 Downloads (Pure)


On-going developments in smart technologies such as wireless sensor networks, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), computer vision, fibre optics and advanced data interpretation techniques may revolutionise structural health monitoring (SHM). Dedicated SHM of bridge assets has the potential to produce valuable data-sets and provide owners and managers with information to aid with key questions such as: current performance, margins of safety, actual loading, stress history and risk of fatigue, extent of deterioration and residual life. However, the parameters measured and value of the data obtained will differ when viewed from the perspectives of different stakeholders such as asset owners, designers, contractors and researchers. In this paper the purposes of monitoring are reviewed. A methodology is proposed to facilitate formal discussions between the key stakeholders before any deployment is specified and to ensure that scarce resources are not wasted in the pursuit of data as opposed to information. This approach can be used to determine if there is a prima facie case for the specification of SHM on a project and assess the potential value of any information that may be obtained. The developed methodology has been trialled with five historical monitoring case studies on bridges with which the authors are familiar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-138
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Bridge Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date23 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Bridges
  • Field testing & monitoring
  • Management


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