Many bridges, viaducts and locks will reach the end of their useful life in the years to come. Replacement or renovation work is a major undertaking. Costs are involved, and good planning is required in order to minimise nuisance. It is therefore important to be able to determine more precisely how long bridges and viaducts can continue to be used safely, so that replacement or renovation work is not carried out before it is necessary.
Monitoring helps to determine the precise condition of public works and facilitates reliable predictions of their future condition. This means that further inspections, maintenance, renovation work or other measures can be scheduled when they are really needed. In practice, measurement and monitoring make it possible to postpone work in almost all cases, without compromising safety. This prevents expenditure on work that is carried out 'to be on the safe side' but later proves to have been unnecessary or premature. Improved condition assessment cuts costs and prevents traffic nuisance without affecting safety.
TNO has specialist knowledge in the field of assessing the ageing and safety of civil works. We combine this knowledge with measurement and monitoring systems that provide continuous information on the true condition of these works and can be used to obtain reliable quantitative estimates of residual useful life and residual load capacity. This approach is relevant for aspects such as concrete ageing due to de-icing salt, and steel structures with fatigue cracks.