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Wild Bird for Real-Time Assessment of Hydro-Hazards at Bridge Structures

Author(s): Panagiotis Michalis; Paul Cahill; Igor Kerin; Hrvoje Solman; Damir Bekic; Vikram Pakrashi; Eamon Mckeogh

Linked Author(s): Panagiotis Michalis

Keywords: Flood risk; Bridges; Scour; Water hazards; Infrastructure; Structural health monitoring; Environmental monitoring

Abstract: Transportation assets represent a critical component of society’s infrastructure systems. Flood-related hazards are considered one of the main climate change impacts on highway and railway infrastructure, threatening the functionality of transportation systems. Of such hazards, flood-induced scour is a primarily cause of bridge collapses worldwide and one of the most complex and challenging water flow and erosion phenomena, leading to structural instability and ultimately catastrophic failures. Evaluation of scour risk under severe flood events is a particularly challenging issue considering that depth of foundations is very difficult to evaluate in hydro-environment. Continual inspection, assessment and maintenance of bridges and other hydraulic structures under extreme flood events requires a multidisciplinary approach, including knowledge and appreciation of hydraulics, hydrology, structural engineering, geotechnics and infrastructure management. The large number of bridges under a single management unit also highlight the need for efficient management, information sharing and self-informing system for reliable and cost-effective flood and scour risk management. BRIDGE SMS EU/FP7 project couples state-of-the art scientific expertise in multidisciplinary engineering sectors with industrial knowledge in infrastructure management. The project aims to deliver an intelligent decision support tool to efficiently manage and prevent flood-related structural failures. One of the project outcomes is the development of realtime monitoring platforms to remotely assess and mitigate impacts on civil infrastructure, focusing on flood and scour hazards. The developed instrumentation is interfaced with an open-source software that can offer a cost-effective and remote monitoring solution. The proposed monitoring system consists of the Weather Information Logging Device (WILD) which integrates a variety of sensors to provide rainfall, humidity and temperature data to assess the potential of flood hazards in the bridge site area. The monitoring system is complemented by the Bridge Information Recording Device (BIRD) which consists of instrumentation to monitor water level in river environment, scour effects at underwater bridge foundations and variations in the structural performance of both individual elements and the bridge as a whole during flood events. The developed WILD BIRD platform has the potential to deliver key information in real-time regarding the impact of water-related hazards at bridges and other hydraulic structures and provide a critical tool to efficiently manage hydroinfrastructure systems.


Year: 2017

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