Sensors to avert ‘carmageddons’

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: August 1, 2011   View Article

The much-hyped carmageddon predicted last month for Los Angeles never materialized when a stretch of highway was closed to allow a bridge demolition, but commuters may not be so lucky if one of the nation’s thousands of deteriorating spans suddenly collapses.

That’s the sort of scenario that Medhi Kalantari hopes to avoid with the deployment of wireless sensors on the nation’s — and world’s — aging bridges. One in four U.S. highway bridges is either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to a 2009 estimate by the U.S. Society of Civil Engineers.

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