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Vibration-Based Long-Term Bridge Monitoring Using I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge

Minnesota offers the unique opportunity of using the acceleration data from the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge to evaluate the effectiveness of vibration-based techniques for long-term monitoring. During this project, the existing accelerometer data along with newly collected data will be mined to look for trends in the natural frequencies and mode shapes with mean structure temperature and temperature gradient. A key component of the feasibility of long-term monitoring is the ability to compare measured modal behavior with modeled modal behavior. To accurately model the modal behavior of such a large-scale structure, complex and computationally demanding finite element models are required. Analyzing multiple iterations of a complex model in a timely manner is beyond the capabilities of a standard desktop computer, and therefore requires the computational resources provided by MSI. Additionally, if data extracted from the measured vibration data prove to be of sufficient quality, it may be possible to use the accelerometer data with some sophisticated signal processing as a component in a more advanced system that is able to estimate vertical deflections. The detailed computational model of the I-35W bridge would be used for a numerical proof-of-concept of the technique and would require use of the computation resources of MSI.

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