viaducts are usually utilized for roads or railway. Viaduct SHM includes the geotechnical monitoring of their foundations and the structural monitoring of the main concrete parts. SHM for viaducts is very important to grant the safety of the users of the infrastructures.

What is viaducts monitoring?

A viaduct is a type of bridge that is made up of a series of small spans, typically supported by piers or columns. They are often used to connect different levels of a city or to link separate sections of a transportation network.

Various types of instruments are used in viaduct geotechnical and structural monitoring to collect data about the performance and condition of the structure. The selection of sensors will depend on the specific monitoring needs and objectives. Some of the commonly used sensors in viaduct monitoring include:

  • Vibrating wire strain gauges: these sensors measure the deformation or strain in structural components, such as beams or columns, by sensing changes in resistance or capacitance.
  • Tiltmeters: these sensors measure the inclination of the viaduct, which can indicate changes in the foundation or support structure.
  • Displacement transducers: these sensors measure the movement or displacement of the viaduct components, such as the deck or piers, caused by loads or external forces.
  • Inclinometers: these sensors measure the angular deflection of the viaduct and can be used to monitor movements in slopes or embankments adjacent to the structure.
  • Piezometers: these sensors measure the water pressure or water level in soil or rock surrounding the viaduct and can help detect changes in soil conditions or drainage.
  • Crack meters: these sensors measure the width and depth of cracks in the viaduct components, which can indicate the severity of damage or deterioration.

The data collected from these sensors can be analysed and used by designers or engineers to assess the condition and performance of the viaduct, identify potential issues or risks, and inform maintenance or repair decisions.