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Spratt, Peter
Vibration monitoring as a management tool for masonry bridges
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 134-139

Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 at Richmond, Tasmania, is of six span sandstone arch construction and is Australia's oldest bridge. It remains in use on a major road. The bridge masonry has cracking and management has relied heavily on periodic inspection and monitoring of cracks. The responsible Government Department commissioned a Conservation Management Plan and as part of this work the author identified the bridge weaknesses and noted that they are very sensitive to vibration. Vibration testing was then recommended as a likely very beneficial management procedure to provide real time knowledge of bridge performance. A test was set up to measure vibrations caused by various vehicles giving different loadings and to measure the impact of speed. The test identified the most sensitive arch of the bridge, identified the vehicle giving most vibration, demonstrated an adverse effect with speed and picked up vibration from a pavement failure. A permanent installation is now being installed with the intent of providing on all historic masonry bridges in Tasmania.

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