The Federal Highway Administration has identified scour as the most common cause of bridge failures. The supporting structures of bridges that are located over or spanning waterways are positioned within the river or stream bed of the waterway. As a result, these bridges are susceptible to bridge scour, which greatly compromises the safety and integrity of the bridge.
Scour is the hole that is left behind when sediment is washed away from the bottom of a river due to naturally occurring erosion. Although scour may occur at any time, the inverse affects are greatly exasperated during flooding. Current methods for detecting, identifying and measuring bridge scour primarily relies on subsequent condition surveys or investigations. These inefficient methods only act as an ex post facto solution and cannot provide assurance that the bridge is safe to cross as scour can develop and grow in between investigations.
In order to neutralize this risk and provide definitive accounts of the state of scour, Wang Technology developed a Sliding Magnetic Collar Scour Sensor and a Displacement Scour Sensor with Pressure Sensors. These two new sensors combine to provide a complete scour monitoring solution. Couple these sensors with Wang Technology’s exceptional monitoring services and the client can access and view the data in real time at their pleasure. These new sensors will be installed at three locations for their first real world test by the end of October, 2013.