Building a Seismic-Ready Bridge – Part 4: Seismic Sensors

Recording and evaluating how the new bridge responds during a seismic event is a critical part of ensuring its long-term safety and maintenance. To measure the impact of an earthquake, the new bridge will be a giant seismic sensor, fitted with 77 accelerographs to monitor and record its response during any ground motion. Information will pinpoint how the towers, columns, dampers, hinges and joints handle seismic energy.

Data from the accelerographs will be sent to the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program in Sacramento where engineers and geologists around the world can analyze the new bridge’s performance to help improve earthquake resistance and recovery for other bridges, buildings and structures in active seismic zones across the globe.

When finished, the new bridge will offer an array of seismic capabilities to withstand and quickly return to operation after large earthquakes, the types that occur once in a thousand years. For the benefit of future large building projects in active seismic areas, the new bridge could offer valuable data-driven lessons from those events to ensure the safe and long-lasting construction of the largest structures in the world.

This concludes our four-part “Building a Seismic-Ready Bridge” series. To read the rest of the series, click here for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.