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California University Plans Sensor-Embedded Bridge

Photonics Spectra
Sep 1998
US Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, announced plans at a July 24 news conference at the University of California at San Diego to build a bridge composed of advanced composite materials.

The four-lane, 450-foot bridge will span Route 5, connecting the west side of the university campus to its east campus. Officials at the university's engineering school have touted the materials used in the construction of the bridge as more resistant to earthquakes and having longer life cycles. Fiber optic sensors will allow project engineers to monitor the bridge's condition continuously. Data from the sensors will enable them to expand their knowledge of fiber-reinforced polymers in civil engineering applications.
The bridge will cost $6 million, with funds coming from the Federal Highway Administration. Other partners in the project include Science Applications International Corp., Fluor Daniel Inc. and the California Department of Transportation.

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