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3 August 2001 Real-time health monitoring of civil infrastructure systems in Colombia
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Colombia's topography, climatic conditions, intense seismic activity and acute social problems place high demands on the nations deteriorating civil infrastructure. Resources that are available for maintenance of the road and railway networks are often misdirected and actual inspection methods are limited to a visual examination. New techniques for inspection and evaluation of safety and serviceability of civil infrastructure, especially bridges, must be developed. Two cases of civil structures with health monitoring systems in Colombia are presented in this paper. Construction of the Pereria-Dos Quebradas Viaduct was completed in 1997 with a total cost of 58 million dollars, including 1.5 million dollars in health monitoring instrumentation provided and installed by foreign companies. This health monitoring system is not yet fully operational due to the lack of training of national personnel in system operation and extremely limited technical documentation. In contrast to the Pereria-Dos Quebradas Viaduct monitoring system, the authors have proposed a relatively low cost health monitoring system via telemetry. This system has been implemented for real-time monitoring of accelerations of El Hormiguero Bridge spanning the Cauca River using the Colombian Southwest Earthquake Observatory telemetry systems. This two span metallic bridge, located along a critical road between the cities of Puerto Tejada and Cali in the Cauca Valley, was constructed approximately 50 years ago. Experiences with this system demonstrate how effective low cost systems can be used to remotely monitor the structural integrity of deteriorating structures that are continuously subject to high loading conditions.
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Peter Thomson, Johannio Marulanda Casas, Johannio Marulanda Arbelaez, and Juan Caicedo "Real-time health monitoring of civil infrastructure systems in Colombia", Proc. SPIE 4337, Health Monitoring and Management of Civil Infrastructure Systems, (3 August 2001);

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