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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2010, Article ID 579631, 14 pages
Research Article

Towards Sensor-Based Health Monitoring Systems for Bridge Decks: A Full-Depth Precast Deck Panels Case Study

1Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5314, USA
2Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc., USA
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
4School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA

Received 14 June 2010; Revised 6 December 2010; Accepted 17 December 2010

Academic Editor: Farid Taheri

Copyright © 2010 Osama Y. Abudayyeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traffic and variable loading conditions greatly influence the performance, durability, and safety of a bridge structure throughout its service life. Continuous monitoring can provide the basis for determining the deterioration rate and for estimating the remaining service life, thus assisting in making important decisions regarding bridge maintenance. This paper presents the design and implementation of a health monitoring system for condition assessment of full-depth precast concrete bridge deck, which was developed for the Parkview Bridge in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This system is composed of a remotely accessible on-site data acquisition system and a sensor network of vibrating wire strain gauges to monitor strain and temperature over given time increments. The system relies on the sensor network embedded in the bridge deck to gather static performance data under different loading conditions to provide condition assessment by collecting, storing, analyzing, and reporting relevant performance data over time. The paper presents a practical case study that mainly focuses on describing the initial steps in the development of the sensor network system, namely, the design (system architecture and data structures) and construction along with examples of how the data is acquired, organized, presented, and analyzed, keeping in mind that the bridge is still early in its life-cycle and has not yet experienced any structural problems.