Use of the Total Station for Serviceability Monitoring of Bridges with Limited Access in Missouri, USA


As new technologies are increasingly applied to civil infrastructure, the need for structural monitoring systems becomes more critical. Serviceability, or deflection, is very important in monitoring the health of not only a structural system, but also in analyzing the affects of a new technology applied in the field. A major initiative by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to repair and retrofit five bridges in Missouri required serviceability monitoring through a series of load tests. For these tests, surveying equipment was employed in attempt to make serviceability measurement more practicable since most of the bridges had issues related to limited access for traditional monitoring equipment. Until recently, surveying equipment would not have produced the accuracy required for structural monitoring use; however, manufacturers of this equipment have developed new technologies to increase the accuracy of the instrumentation. The major component used in this study, the total station, can measure deflection accurate to 0.2 millimeters. This monitoring system is much easier to set up and use, reducing labor and time requirements. The system has almost no site restrictions. This paper will discuss the implementation of the total station and contrast its use to traditional load testing monitoring equipment.

Meeting Name

16th WCNDT 2004 - World Conference on NDT (2003: Aug. 30-Sep. 3, Montreal, Canada)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla. Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies
Missouri. Department of Transportation
University of Missouri--Rolla. University Transportation Center Program

Keywords and Phrases

Accuracy; Serviceability Monitoring; Structural Monitoring Systems; Total Station

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 NDT (non destructive testing) c/o Bongiovanni Research & Technology, Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2004