Bridges facilitate riverine connectivity by enabling movement of people, ideas, cultures, as well as goods and utilities over rivers. Here, we focus on river-bridges, specifically those associated with transport such as road and rail networks. While river-bridges facilitate human movement and connectivity, these structures are also vulnerable to changing conditions and can negatively impact riverine ecosystems by limiting movement of materials and species. Currently data to inform and guide pro-active management of these infrastructure are limited and often held by different agencies and groups. We require better data on locations and attributes of river-bridges, as well as collaborations, at spatial scales that are hydrologically, ecologically, and socio-economically meaningful. Here, we outline known data gaps and needs for river-bridges, and highlight opportunities to use new tools while working across sectors (e.g. academia, environmental agencies, transport, water supply, emergency services). Our vision is an integrated data system of river-bridges that progresses research and knowledge across sectors to support more cost-effective, less-invasive, and more robust structure designs.
|Publication status||Submitted - 15 Jul 2020|