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Start-up creates digital ‘medical records’ of bridges and tunnels

8 November 2019 | By CM staff

Image: Heather Mcardle/Dreamstime

A start-up firm has devised new technology that allows bridge and tunnel owners to create digital “medical records” of infrastructure assets, allowing them to catch problems before they develop into large-scale failures.

New York and Tel Aviv-based Dynamic Infrastructure’s system provides live, cloud-based, 3D views of the bridge or tunnel and automatically alerts when changes are detected in maintenance and operation conditions.

Projects using the technology are already underway in the US, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Israel. The company’s clients operate a total of 30,000 assets, ranging from transportation departments to public-private partnerships (PPPs) and private companies.

The assets’ “medical records” are based on existing images taken through periodical condition inspections along the years, including images from smartphones, drones and laser scanning.

The technology then compares old and archived images to new ones, detecting maintenance and operation issues, defects and anomalies. The diagnostics can be accessed through a browser and can be instantly shared with peers and contractors to speed maintenance workflows.

Saar Dickman, co-founder and CEO of Dynamic Infrastructure, said: “The world faces an infrastructure crisis. Specifically, deficient bridges and tunnels represent a severe infrastructure challenge in the US and worldwide and their poor condition leads to life losses and millions in unplanned expenditures. Trying to repair America’s deficient infrastructure without adopting new technologies will not work. Technology allows you to change the equation of one-dollar problem equals one dollar of solution. A single dollar of the right technology in the right place can save much more than one dollar of maintenance of a bridge.

“Until recently, there has been no effective system that can quickly and precisely identify defects in bridges throughout their lifetime. We provide actionable monitoring and alerts that can better manage expenditures and help prevent the next collapse. We are bringing the data revolution to the decision-making process of bridges and tunnel maintenance based on our cutting-edge imagery analysis.” 

Image: Heather Mcardle/Dreamstime.com

Comments

Would looking at photos of the Morandi bridge in Genoa have shown a problem before it collapsed ? I don't see this being a substitute for close inspection to identify hidden corrosion.

Ian Mumford, 11 November 2019

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