Structural health monitoring-based finite element model of Stonecutters Bridge

Songye Zhu, You Lin Xu, Y. Zhen, Z. W. Chen, K. Y. Wong, S. L. Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The recently built Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong is a cable-stayed bridge with a main span of 1018 m, the second-longest cable-stayed span in the world. As the bridge is located in a highly urbanized area, its serviceability and safety in long service life becomes a public concern. Therefore, a comprehensive structural health monitoring system (SHMS) has been installed on Stonecutters Bridge by Highways Department of Hong Kong S.A.R., and the sensory system is composed of totally 1,571 sensors in 15 different types, namely, anemometers, barometers, rainfall gauges, temperature sensors, hygrometers, corrosion cells, accelerometers, dynamic strain gauges, static strain gauges, global positioning systems, tiltmeters, dynamics weigh-in-motion stations, video cameras, articulation sensors and tensio-magnetic gauges. The SHMS provides very useful information for safety evaluation and regular maintenance of the bridge under in-service condition. After the instrumentation of SHMS in the bridge, Hong Kong's Highways Department has carried out a serious of in-situ measurement, including the measurement of as-built profiles, modal frequencies, cable forces, etc. In particular, the displacement and strain influence lines were obtained by sensors at multiple locations during the road testing. It is noteworthy that the number of sensors is still very limited for such a large-scale structural system, and the locations of structural defects or degradation may not be directly monitored by sensors. In view of this fact, an accurate finite element model (FEM) that relates the bridge performance and condition to the measurement at limited locations becomes an essential tool for the effective health diagnosis and prognosis of the bridge. This paper presented the development of the SHM-oriented FEM for Stonecutters Bridge, including the modeling, updating and validation of the FEM. All the superstructures, substructures, connections and boundary conditions of the bridge were properly modeled in 3D frame FEM. The model updating was carried out according to in-situ measured results (e.g. the deck profile, cable forces and modal frequencies). A good agreement between the computed results and in-situ measurement validates that the established FEM can well serve as a basis for bridge rating system and performance prediction. Furthermore, the static influence lines due to moving highway vehicles were analyzed using the 3D FEM, and the critical locations or members were identified through the deflection influence lines. It should be noted that the 3D global FEM presented in this paper is only the first stage in the development of health prognosis tool for Stonecutters Bridge. A more sophisticated model, 3D multi-scale FEM of Stonecutters Bridge, is being developed currently.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridge Maintenance, Safety, Management, Resilience and Sustainability - Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2012
Event6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, IABMAS 2012 - Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy
Duration: 8 Jul 201212 Jul 2012


Conference6th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, IABMAS 2012
CityStresa, Lake Maggiore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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