Lab Canada

$1.4M boosts road, bridge and pavement research

Halifax, NS December 16, 2003 The Atlantic Innovation Fund will fund a $1.4 million transportation infrastructure research project in the faculty of engineering at Dalhousie University.

The project, called Advanced Processes for Infrastructure Health Monitoring, aims to improve the process of assessing the deterioration of bridges and roadways by using non-destructive evaluation techniques. It is being lead by Jean-Francois Trottier, PEng, the canada research chair for intelligent structures and innovative materials, in the department of civil engineering.

“A major obstacle to cost-effective repairs is inaccurate information regarding the condition of infrastructure,” he says. “Currently, most assessments rely on visual inspection methods, which are highly speculative.”

The research and development of innovative processes within this project combine off-the-shelf technologies such as ground penetrating radar, stress wave and deflection methods in unique ways to achieve the necessary accuracy and consistency to enable efficient infrastructure management practices.

The research will produce three highly innovative and interrelated processes for assessing transportation structures:
1) defects and deterioration of pavement;
2) bridge deck deterioration; and
3) the structural performance of pavement systems.

This collaborative project involves Jacques Whitford and Associates (JWA), the University of New Brunswick, and all four Atlantic provincial transportation agencies.

The project is intended to expand and strengthen the capacity of universities and private sector businesses in Atlantic Canada to undertake research in the field of civil engineering and infrastructure maintenance.

“We will generate new technologies and ultimately, new processes and services for use in the Atlantic region, with the potential for export,” says Trottier. “The tools used will be unique in Canada and will help to create a competitive advantage for the commercialization of the infrastructure monitoring processes once developed.”