BRIDGE RESCUE: Colorado DOT tests bridge-monitoring system

Williams Canyon Bridge will be first in state to carry new technology

Bridge Rescue News April 17, 2014
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As part of its effort to continually enhance safety on the state highway system, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is installing a pilot system to monitor the structural behavior of its bridges.


CDOT is installing equipment under the Williams Canyon Bridge on U.S. 24 next week, at the west end of Manitou Springs. After the technology is in place, CDOT will be able to monitor the structure’s movements from its Denver headquarters.


It will be the first bridge in the state to have this technology.


“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,” said CDOT Staff Bridge Manager Josh Laipply. “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.”


Installing the equipment will require a right-lane closure on eastbound U.S. 24 at the west end of Manitou Springs next week, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. The speed limit will be reduced to 30 mph through the work zone. 


Parsons is the engineering firm assisting CDOT with the installation of the system, under a $150,000 contract.


Other entities currently utilizing this technology include the transportation departments in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina and New York, and the Canadian Pacific Railroad.


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