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EMBEDDED SENSOR TECHNOLOGY IN FLORIDA BRIDGES
Case Study: Hood Road Bridge over I-95, Florida:
An EDC or Embedded Data Collector is at the heart of Smart Structure’s SmartPile® surety and structural integrity measurement system.
The purpose of this project is to widen the existing 2-lane Hood Road from Florida’s Turnpike to west of Central Boulevard in Palm Beach County into a 4-lane divided roadway. Proposed improvement includes construction of a new bridge over I-95 just north of the existing bridge to accommodate the westbound traffic. The new bridge was constructed with two spans over three bents. The bents were supported by both 18-inch and 24-inch square precast prestressed concrete driven piles. Overall, 38 driven, prestressed, concrete piles were installed.
EDCs were installed in all piles. The scope of the project included to monitor the strain data in the bridge foundation elements even after the completion of construction of the bridge (termed as Life Cycle Monitoring). Overall, the strain data in the piles is monitored at every stage beginning with the precast stage at the casting yard and continued after construction was completed. During the pre-cast stage strain readings for piles under Column 2 and Column 3 were observed to be -357 and -389 μstrain approximately.
During the concrete curing stage, temperature of the concrete was continuously monitored using the embedded sensors. One of the concrete curing profiles from an example pile is shown in Figure. Using the temperature -time data, concrete strength can be estimated. Post-casting, the strain readings for the same piles was observed to be -567 and -573 μstrain approximately. The below Figure shows the location of embedded sensors in the bridge elements for LCM. Figure down below shows the placement of the embedded sensors in the pile and pier caps.