Projects » Instrumented Monitoring of Ultra-Cor Arch at Cornerbrook, NL

Instrumented Monitoring of Ultra-Cor Arch at Corner Brook, NL

Instrumented monitoring of corrugated steel arch culvert for Atlantic Industries Ltd., Corner Brook, NL
Installation of a monitoring system comprising strain and temperature sensors to validate AIL's theoretical design model
Completed: July 2013

Detailed description

The TransCanada Highway, passing through Corner Brook, NL, was a single carriageway highway. In 2011, the Department of Transportation, NL undertook twinning of that highway from km 689.5 to km 695.  The twinning of the highway necessitated provision of an underpass for the passage of local vehicular traffic. The type of structure selected for the underpass was a corrugated steel culvert with a span of approximately 13 m and maximum height of 5.5. The design of the steel arch culvert, designed and installed by AIL Industries based in Dorchester, NB, was based on a recently developed Ultra-Cor corrugated profile. 

To assess the effectiveness of the design and confirm design assumptions, SHM Canada was selected to design and implement and instrumented monitoring system on the culvert. SHM Canada designed, installed, and operated a remote monitoring system that included 24 strain gauges, three temperature sensors on a selected ring. The data communication was effected through a cellular modem. The system was continuously monitored and data retrieved on a daily basis. The data were checked for consistency, then forwarded to the client. Due to the lack of electrical power lines, the monitoring system was powered by a lead-acid battery charged by a solar panel. To prevent the acid in the battery from freezing during harsh Newfoundland winter, a unique battery protection system was developed and successfully implemented. The fact that no data was ever lost, from the time the system was installed and commissioned in December 2011, and until its decommissioning in July 2013 (a period of 18 months) attests to the robustness of the system design, attention to detail, and continual follow up by SHM Canada engineers.