Bridge health monitoring is a method of evaluating the ability of a bridge to perform its required task (also called fitness for purpose) by monitoring the response of the bridge to the traffic loads it has to withstand.
This research project, carried out in 1998–1999, is part of stage 2 of the short-term health monitoring and 'fitness for purpose' assessment of 10 bridges on New Zealand highways, in order to develop and evaluate the methodology. The Whanganui Bridge on State Highway 4, crosses the Whanganui River near Taumarunui, Whanganui Region, North Island. It was selected as one of these 10, as it has low conventional strength evaluation, and the spans are relatively long (30.5 m). It is a significant transport infrastructure asset, and is representative of a large population of prestressed concrete bridges in New Zealand.
Keywords: bridges, bridge dynamics, bridge health, bridge loads, heavy vehicles, loading, monitoring, New Zealand, performance, roads, superstructure, traffic