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Title: Instrumentation, Monitoring, and Load Testing of a 50-Span Large Precast Prestressed Concrete Bridge: The Champlain Bridge

Author(s): Dominic Lavigne

Publication: Web Session



Appears on pages(s):



Date: 3/24/2019

The Champlain Bridge, opened in 1962, is 3.4km long and is made up of 50 simply supported spans (about 53m long) plus an elevated truss structure over the Saint-Lawrence Seaway in Montreal. Corrosion of some of the post-tensioning strands in the girders, as well as structural degradation prompted strengthening measures coupled with instrumentation and monitoring of the bridge. This paper describes the instrumentation and monitoring of the 50 concrete spans and 45 pier caps of that bridge, using optical sensors for recording strains on these elements. Presently, over 330 optical sensors are installed on the bridge to record data continuously at 50Hz. Such data contains invaluable information for monitoring the bridge response and condition after the monthly load tests, which trends can provide an indication of degradation. Furthermore, the daily traffic loading is also analyzed, with the help of a specialized software, to detect any signs of degradation in the girders and pier caps. Trends in the data can then be used to detect structural problems or confirm the impact of structural strengthening. Through these means, among others, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated preventively manages the risks associated with this infrastructure at the end of its service life.