Van Zylspruit Bridge wins Fulton Innovation Award

Posted on June 04, 2017

Van Zylspruit Integral Bridge was joint winner of the Innovation in Concrete Category at the Fulton Awards 2017. This bridge was constructed without any expansions joints or bearing on the N1 near Trompsburg in the Freestate and is the longest integral bridge in South Africa, measuring approximately 90m in length. Ms Sarah Skorpen, senior lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, working with technicians Mr Rikus Kock and Sarel Coetzer and Prof Elsabe Kearsley instrumented the bridge for The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) to measure approximately 500 channels of instrumentation. Instrumentation includes strain gauges to measure strains in the bridge deck, as well as temperature and earth pressure behind the bridge abutments. In addition, a pilot study is being undertaken on the bridge to test the use of a fibre optic strain measurement system in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction. Fibre Optic strain measurement allows strains to be recorded with unprecedented accuracy and resolution.

Data from the instrumentation system is continuously recorded and relayed to the internet from where it can be downloaded by researchers. The data will reveal how an integral bridge will behave under South African conditions where temperature variation is significantly more extreme than overseas where these bridges have been in use for some time. The project demonstrates how civil engineers can benefit by applying the latest technology to learn about the behaviour of unusual structures, allow them to eventually be routinely designed.

Published by SW Jacobsz

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2022. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences