May 09 2011

Monitoring the Vicksburg Bridge

Published by at 1:04 pm under General

Vicksburg bridge

Recently, a grain-filled barge on the Mississippi river broke apart upstream of the Vicksburg Bridge. This barge crashed into and was pinned against one of the bridge’s support pillars. Luckily, an optical monitoring system had been previously installed by Chandler Monitoring Systems using a variety of Micron Optics optical sensors, interrogators, and other instrumentation.

As soon as the crash occurred, optical sensors linked to the monitoring system triggered alarms alerting members of the LA DODT, MS DOT, and CMS who were all able to see the optical measurements and identify the exact collision location. Engineers were sent to the collision site within a few minutes to assess damages and decide on precautionary measures. The bridge immediately closed to traffic, but was opened a few hours later after structural engineers’ inspection of collision damages and analysis of data taken from the optical monitoring system.

The barge remained pinned against the pillar for weeks as it proved to be a challenge to remove; however, the Vicksburg Bridge remained accessible to the daily traffic of over 20,000 cars throughout the barge removal process. If there were any changes in the structural integrity of the Vicksburg Bridge during this time, the optical monitoring system would be the first line of detection.

More information regarding the barge collision can be found in Army COE’s Information Bulletin.
Continue to the Vicksburg Bridge Case Study to learn more about optical sensing system used in the structural heal monitoring of the Vicksburg Bridge.

-Andrew Peterson
Micron Optics Sales

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