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SHAPE - Predicting Strength Changes in Bridges from Frequency Data Safety, Hazard, and Poly-Harmonic Evaluation

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Deployment planning/Financing/Market roll-out
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport



Three classes of bridges exist in economic reality. The first class serves the entire economy of a major region, the railway bridges across the Mississippi and Rhine Rivers are an example. The second class serves a major urban area or a motorway bridge, the Calatrava Bridge in Venice is an example, Venice could survive without the bridge, but it would be costly in human time. The third class is the bridge that serves a small economic unit, such as a farm. The first class of bridges are often of international importance and the SHAPE device is designed to provide a permanent monitoring solution at multiple locations on these bridges to warn of strikes from barges and trucks. The second class of bridge is of national or regional importance and the SHAPE device can be used for permanent or episodic monitoring. The third class of bridge affects a local economic unit and the SHAPE device can be used in episodic monitoring, which provides a timestamped snapshot of the bridge’svibration signature.

SHAPE is designed to be attached to a road bridge to monitor the vibration of the bridge with time. The SHAPE project will develop a cloud based approach to provide a centralized data management and analysis system for the long term monitoring of these structures.There is an enormous effort required to develop the infrastructure to support this type of monitoring, which is really an international rather than a national issue.The development of the theoretical analysisrequires data from similar bridge types which are often scattered across several countries. This project provides the necessary resources to tackle a pressing international research problem.

The project team will work with three partner organisations in Italy, England and the USA (Iowa Department of Transportation) to instrument and monitor eight road bridges over 18 months to provide an NDTsensor to quantifythe condition and long-term deterioration of bridges based on resonance. They will develop equipment for deployment and IT infrastructure, monitor bridges short- and long-term and quantify frequency patterns for bridge condition.

Expected outcomes:

  • Cost-effective deployable unit for bridge monitoring
  • Characteristic frequency patterns for bridge defects
  • Simple assessment tool for determining remaining service life for structures.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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