Is this the future of smart infrastructure?

A new bridge in the US can self-diagnose structural problems, send traffic reports and check environmental health levels. Engineers at the University of New Hampshire and the National Science Foundation […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new bridge in the US can self-diagnose structural problems, send traffic reports and check environmental health levels.

Engineers at the University of New Hampshire and the National Science Foundation have equipped the once ordinary Memorial Bridge with an array of smart technology.

The 40 sensors on the smart bridge, which links New Hampshire to Maine, will also be powered by tidal energy turbines under the water. The centre of the bridge moves upwards to allow ships to pass underneath.

Even though it is a fully-functional and public bridge, it will also feature an ‘incubator platform’, which researchers can use to field test the impact and effectiveness of emerging technologies.

Researchers say the ‘living bridge’ is a great example of the kind of┬ásmart, sustainable, user-centered infrastructure that will become increasingly common in the future. It is entirely coated in zinc so they are confident it will still be fully functional in 100 years.

It is hoped the Living Bridge Project will also serve as a community platform to educate citizens about the far-reaching benefits of smart technology and renewable energy.