With the long-term future of the Highway Trust Fund still twisted in the hands of Congress, public works agencies nationwide are undoubtedly in a tight spot when it comes to aging bridges. The good news is, big data technology can help provide some relief, for your agency, and the public you serve.

Recently, a CityLab article looked at how using sensors to track various kinds of information can help save money and prevent major disasters such as the I-35W collapse in Minneapolis, in August 2007. The author, Stephen Goldsmith, raised several important points:

  • Bridges that are benefiting from the use of sensors include New York's Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, and The Evergreen Point Bridge in metropolitan Seattle.
  • Data from sensors removes guesswork, allowing engineers to know more precisely when it's time to replace a structure.
  • Sensors also improve efficiency for the public, by monitoring things like weather conditions and traffic patterns.

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