Summer 2018

Monitoring upgrade for key French bridges

JFTS' BridgeWatch is replacing existing monitoring systems on three bridges in Northern France

James Fisher Testing Services (JFTS) has joined forces with the leading engineering consultancy, COWI to deliver advanced bridge structural health monitoring to the operator of three major road bridges in Northern France.

Now its sophisticated structural health monitoring system, BridgeWatch will be replacing the existing monitoring systems on two iconic bridges which cross the River Seine in Normandy; the Pont Tancarville suspension bridge and the Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge as well as the steel girder bridge over the Grand Canal du Havre.

BridgeWatch uses a range of sensors and data acquisition equipment which are integrated using the JFTS Smart Asset Management System (SAMS). This is a state-of-the art solution providing real-time access to data generated by the BridgeWatch instrumentation and an advanced post-processing, analysis and reporting capability. SAMS harnesses the power of ‘big-data’ to produce detailed reports that offer accurate insights into the condition of a structure. This allows bridge management teams to monitor, evaluate and manage cost-effective maintenance programmes.

The existing instrumentation on all three bridges comprises a number of disparate systems. These will be amalgamated into the BridgeWatch system so that all data for all three bridges will be available through a single user interface. A number of key upgrades and additional sensors are also being added.

In addition to this, COWI will be using BridgeWatch to provide expert structural health consultancy services to the operator of all three bridges to improve safety, manage traffic flow and minimise any bridge closures that might occur due to unscheduled maintenance. The SAMS software will be programmed to meet the client’s requirements and feature user-defined reporting. This automates much of the process of turning the sensor data into management information.

Matthew Anderson, head of bridges and structures at JFTS says:

‘We’re delighted that COWI has recognised the value of our advanced structural health monitoring system and that, together, we have been able to secure this project. Its key benefits are the way it can process data on a scale unlike any other available system and enable the integration of data from multiple sources into a single system.  This empowers bridge managers to make truly informed decisions when it comes to planning maintenance strategies.’

Bridges across the world

You can also find out about JFTS' innovative UK funded strategic research project 'SmartBridge' which is featured in this issue of Pelican too.

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