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Big data and machine learning provide real-time insights into the bridge’s structural health.
The Forth Bridges
When steelwork defects forced the Forth Road Bridge to close, Amey used smart data capture to safeguard the iconic bridge’s future.
With the growth of big data and machine learning, as well as the increased reliance on cloud-based architecture, the future of data science is bright. However, a more unlikely success story comes from the reaches of the River Forth, where Amey have successfully employed cloud-based monitoring along the famous bridge which opened in 1963.
This gives engineers real-time insights into the bridge’s structural health, even when storms or high winds make manual inspections unsafe.
But this is more than just wireless monitoring. Drawing on their existing expertise in data science, Amey have created a data-processing system which actively "learns" the behaviour of the bridge. The system then uses this knowledge to automatically issue alerts to engineers, generate event reports, and issue follow-up site inspections.
Forth Road Bridge managers estimate that this will save 248 engineering hours per year on report generation alone, as well as ensuring the safety of the Forth Road Bridge’s 65,000 daily users.
The FRB’s system is currently world-leading and many bridge owners and maintainers around the world have visited the bridge to learn about how its life is being extended.
New Civil Engineer