Not knowing how deterioration will evolve not only leads to safety uncertainties but has also a direct influence on the efficiency when carrying out the investment in maintenance. EU28 annual maintenance expenditure grows 5% each year since most of the tunnels and bridges in Europe were built between the 1950s and 1970s, demanding nowadays 60% of the total investment on infrastructure (over €60,000 Million/year from public funds). Consequently, apart from ensuring safety, optimising the maintenance investment is a priority for infrastructure managers as delaying investments only escalates the costs and risks of an aging infrastructure.
Improved techniques have enhanced inspection and monitoring of infrastructure, but assessment and interpretation of the collected data to support strategic maintenance decisions regarding long-term planning remains a challenge.
This has always been an unattended market need but now it is becoming increasingly evident, as Infrastructure managers are looking for solutions to move towards an intelligent asset management strategy that improves overall network performance in terms of reliability, safety and efficiency. This strategy entails driving maintenance of fixed infrastructure assets from an “observe and react” approach to failure towards a ‘predict and prevent’ strategy.
Hence, the collapse of Morandi Bridge must be considered a wake-up call. It is necessary to take maintenance and quality control to the next level, as it is not enough to identify and locate the damage. Predicting how damage will evolve over time is vital to carry out the necessary maintenance activities and to know with certainty what the real remaining useful life of the infrastructure is. Hence, the solution is not to invest more, but to invest better!
When implementing PAROST, infrastructure owners will be able to design a predictive maintenance strategy based on reliable predictions of deterioration evolution and global structure stability. This will improve safety while reducing maintenance costs of 507.200 road bridges and 46.904 road tunnels in Europe by 8.452M€/year.
PAROST is a low cost and easy to install system capable of not only identifying (locating and quantifying) visible and non-visible structural damage in civil engineering concrete structures but also predicts their evolution over time for making cost-effective maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement decisions (MR&R), and to ensure that safety, serviceability and functionality of the structure can be sustained over its designed service life. The latter makes PAROST a real disruptive breakthrough in the structural health monitoring area considering all existing SHMs on the market