Remember the tragic collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa? One of the main challenges for the European transport system is to ensure that the European transport network operates in perfect conditions considering the rapid growth of traffic loads in recent years, the ageing of infrastructures, and the need to improve the resilience of our infrastructures to natural and man-made threats. Improved and standardized monitoring capabilities are the key to ensuring the safety of the European transport infrastructure.
Last 6th May, the first workshop for reflection on monitoring and maintenance standards of infrastructures (tunnels and bridges) was held in Spain, with the participation of experts from the infrastructure sector from a wide range of fields (consultancy, operators, maintenance companies, research centers and universities). The workshop, framed within the European IM-SAFE project, opened the debate on interesting questions such as why monitoring bridges, how often infrastructure inspections are carried out or what added value would be provided by deploying a continuous monitoring system and how to do it. In addition, topics such as the importance of the standardization of monitoring procedures and the exploitation of data in a future predictive maintenance, which allows to anticipate the needs of infrastructures based on the measurements of their behaviour by means of sensors and advanced algorythms, were addressed.
About the project
IM-SAFE is a European project that has the main objective of supporting the European Commission and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in the preparation of a new monitoring standard for optimal maintenance and safety of transport infrastructures, based on a comprehensive view of trends, challenges, best practices and technological developments. It also advises the European Commission on what aspects of Research and Development need to be encouraged to facilitate rapid adoption of new technologies and concepts in infrastructure monitoring and maintenance.
Within the project, different national nodes have been defined at European level, in which best practices, needs and lessons learned are collected and shared. Ferrovial Construction is in charge of leading the Spanish node and representing it in the European Committees. Workshops, such as the one held in Spain last 6th May, will be organized throughout the project to continue showing the results obtained in the project and to collect more information and contributions from the attendees and main members of the node (ADIF, MITMA, Railway Innovation Hub, PTEC, CDTI and Tecnalia).
The IM-SAFE project and Ferrovial Construction’s work in it, shows the company’s role as a driving force for innovation and the future of infrastructure at European level, as well as demonstrating its commitment to improving processes and practices in the construction industry. Ferrovial Construction has long been at the forefront of the sector working to make predictive and advanced infrastructure maintenance feasible, especially in railroads (Transforming Transport, Sentinel, Tunnel Curiosity), the IM-SAFE project is the natural and necessary step for all the developments worked on in recent years to be deployed in the near future, and for the entire sector to take advantage of the advances involved.