New tools measure the safety of bridges - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

New tools measure the safety of bridges

NEW YORK (FOX 47) -- According to experts the design life spans of most bridges currently in the United States are reaching the end.

Bridges built back in the 1950s were typically made to last fifty years.

So how can weakness be diagnosed in a bridge? 

Researchers at Clarkson University in New York have developed what are called "wireless sensors".

It's a technology that's able to pick up changes in a bridge's structure, by measuring vibration and strain. The idea is to pick up on any dangerous changes early.

Kerop Janoyan, Ph.D, P.E. at Clarkson University, says, "If you want to manage bridges to make sure they are not getting to the point of imminent collapse. You want to catch those way before you get to that point." 

These researchers say, ideally, the sensors would be put on a new bridge so it can be monitored for possible dangerous changes throughout its life span.

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