MS-96 and bridge surveillance, the perfect combo

Road, rail, pedestrian or special, there are hundreds of thousands across the world connecting countries, cities and continents. For tourists (Tower Bridge in London), historical (Pont-Neuf in Paris), architectural splendors (Helix Bridge in Singapore), or icons of a city (Golden Gate in San Francisco), these marvels of civil engineering require regular monitoring to guarantee people safety and the integrity of structures, essential to daily life. In the United States alone, 617,000 bridges are recorded in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory.

Works under close surveillance

Regulations regarding bridge monitoring and maintenance vary between countries and local jurisdictions. However, the fundamental principles remain the same: ensuring public safety and the structural integrity of bridges. Deck, beams, stays, expansion joints, guardrails, and safety barriers are subject to the effects of time, climatic hazards and the weight of the vehicles that pass through them on a daily basis. It is crucial to monitor for cracks, scour (soil erosion around foundations), signs of material corrosion, failed welds and deformation, especially in marine environments or those subject to harsh climatic conditions. Thanks to modern technologies such as mobile scanning, bridge monitoring can be carried out more efficiently and proactively.

Viametris MS-96, the ultimate technological tool?

Thanks to its modularity, the MS-96 makes it possible, in minimal time and with a single machine, to carry out a complete inventory of the structure.

  • A first pass on a vehicle facilitates a precise and detailed inspection by capturing the structure of the bridge in extremely fine detail. The data collected provides detailed information on dimensions, deformations and possible defects, essential for assessing the condition of the structure and detecting problems before they become critical. Unlike traditional inspection methods, which may require road closures and worker hazards, the use of MS-96 can be done without interrupting traffic. This not only improves operator safety but also reduces disruption to the public.
  • A second pass in backpack mode offers an even more exhaustive scan, by accessing strategic points of the structure, where a vehicle cannot pass: under the deck, on the stairs, between the beams… By using this technology on a regular basis, it becomes possible to create an essential database for medium and long-term monitoring.

Continuous monitoring tracks wear, corrosion, cracks and other degradation, providing a clear view of deterioration over time. The collected data is then used to create accurate digital models of the bridges. These models can be used to perform structural analyzes and simulations to predict future bridge performance under various loading and environmental conditions. Archived, this data can be consulted at any time, thus facilitating the management of information on the condition of the bridge and allowing exhaustive documentation of maintenance interventions and repairs carried out over time.

The MS-96 on the Rama VIII bridge

The Rama VIII Bridge, also known as the Rama 8 Bridge, is one of the most iconic structures in Bangkok, Thailand. This cable-stayed bridge, 475 meters long and 20 meters wide, which spans the Chao Phraya River, is both a feat of modern engineering and a symbol of Thai architectural innovation. Inaugurated on May 7, 2002 and designed by Thai architect Aran Tachavibul, the Rama VIII Bridge plays a crucial role in relieving Bangkok’s traffic congestion, providing an essential alternative to crossing the Chao Phraya River. Featuring two lanes of vehicle traffic in each direction, as well as lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, it is designed to meet the mobility needs of the modern city. The bridge structure uses fan-shaped cable stays arranged asymmetrically, starting from a single 160 meter high pylon located on the west bank of the river. This design not only maximizes space under the bridge for river traffic, but also provides a striking visual aesthetic, especially when illuminated at night.

[ Embark for an overview of the bridge with this beautiful point cloud.]


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