The new Interstate 35W bridge opened in Minneapolis before dawn Thursday, less than 14 months after it collapsed killing 13 and injured 145 people. While the bridge won accolades for its sound structure, it also received applauds for several new high-tech features. (Video of the opening.)
The Associated Press reports the bridge contains 323 sensors that collect data on how it handles the stress of heavy traffic and Minnesota's harsh climate.
The system of sensors and cameras feed data on traffic flow, including speeds, accidents, stalls and other disruptions, to a management center. Other sensors will activate an anti-icing system when necessary, and security sensors are meant to detect intruders into unauthorized areas, such as the hollow concrete box girders.
The data will feed into computers in a control room near the bridge. From there, engineers at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and researchers at the University of Minnesota can download the data for analysis.
Anyone live near the bridge who can comment?