The Várzeas Bridge is located in Várzeas – Luso, Mealhada, about 20km north of Coimbra.
This bridge was designed, built and assembled by VESAM Eng. S.A. in 2008.
It consists of 4 stringers of S355 steel, with a 19 meters constant section span and bolted connections.
The bridge pavement consists of a mixed reinforced concrete slab with a corrugated steel plate.
This bridge has been monitored since 2014, serving as a pilot site for testing solutions initially developed by VESAM’s R&D Department and now by MIRA Systems.
Several versions of structural health monitoring systems have been installed at this bridge, corresponding to different stages of its development. New features have been added to the system over time, such as vehicle detection and weather station for monitoring environmental conditions.
Currently, the bridge contains a structural monitoring system with strain gauges, accelerometers, weather station with anemometer, weather vane, rain gauge, thermometer and hygrometer, and magnetic sensors for vehicle detection.
The system works completely autonomously, powered by photovoltaic panel and a high capacity battery.
Communication and data sending is made through 3G / 4G mobile network.