By Paul Ridden, New Atlas.com
The Memorial Bridge doesn't just allow folks to cross over the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth, NH, to Kittery in Maine, it also serves as a living laboratory. Now home to a host of sensors, the so-called living bridge provides researchers, engineers and the general public with information about the day-to-day life and health of the bridge itself, as well as monitoring the surrounding environment.
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire have installed 40 data sensors on the heavily-traveled Memorial Bridge, and moored a floating platform to the pier that's home to a weather station and its own bank of sensors.
These data gatherers provide researchers, engineers and the public with updates on such things as the structural performance, traffic patterns, weather conditions, sea level and tidal information. Bridge nerds – if there is such a thing – can even access information on the behavior of the towers while lifting the center section to allow ships to pass underneath.