Feasibility of Vibration-based Long-term Bridge Monitoring Using I35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge

The overall approach for structural health monitoring (SHM) is the comparison of current performance to a known benchmark and to identify if differences are a function of damage. The dynamic properties of a structure, including the natural frequencies and mode shapes, form a fingerprint that can be used as a benchmark for comparison. One advantage of using modal analysis for SHM is that ambient vibration detected with relatively few sensors can be used to capture the behavior. However, correlating system behavior with damage outside of a laboratory environment can be challenging due to time-dependent and temperature effects, and data quality. In order to use vibration sensors effectively on bridges in Minnesota, it will be important to understand how temperature and potentially temperature gradients affect the natural frequencies and mode shapes. 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. A very cursory look at the accelerometer data from the 35W Bridge indicated that the natural frequencies have non-linear temperature dependence. During the proposed 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. The existing bridge monitoring system is likely able to detect problems with the bearings, but is not likely sensitive to issues within the concrete boxes themselves. An accelerometer-based monitoring system has the potential to augment the current monitoring system. Additionally, accelerometer based monitoring systems are easily installed post construction; hence methodologies developed within this project may be easily transferable to the monitoring of existing bridges in Minnesota


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


    MnDOT 99008-209

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    395 John Ireland Boulevard
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Center for Transportation Studies
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Department of Civil Engineering
    500 Pillsbury Drive, SE
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455-0116
  • Project Managers:

    Thomas, Brenda

  • Principal Investigators:

    Linderman, Lauren

  • Start Date: 20150910
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01580476
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Contract Numbers: CTS-2016024, MnDOT 99008-209
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 9 2015 3:16PM