Colorado tests bridge monitoring system

By Land Line staff | Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Colorado Department of Transportation will soon be able to monitor the structural behavior of a U.S. highway bridge from its headquarters in Denver.

The department is installing state-of-the-art sensors on the Williams Canyon Bridge on U.S. 24 at the west end of Manitou Springs, Colo., next week.

Officials say it’s the first bridge to be equipped with the technology that will help the department monitor load capacity, bridge movement and other characteristics.

If the pilot program succeeds, CDOT could use the technology on more bridges. Engineering firm Parsons is installing the first system for $150,000.

“We’re in the testing phase at this point, but it’s important to find out how well it works in order to better manage our bridge infrastructure,” CDOT Staff Bridge Manager Josh Laipply stated in a news release.

“If it proves successful, we’ll install these sensors on other structures throughout the state, allowing us to monitor a variety of characteristics, such as load capacity and bridge movement, which will enhance everything that we’re already doing as part of our inspection program.”

Colorado joins Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New York and the Canadian Pacific Railroad in using the technology.

The right lane for eastbound traffic will be closed from Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25, for the installation. The speed limit through the construction zone will be posted at 30 mph.

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