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Bridge Monitoring in Japan

Civil Engineering Applications

  1. Masato Abe1,
  2. Yozo Fujino2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm164

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Abe, M. and Fujino, Y. 2009. Bridge Monitoring in Japan. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    BMC Corporation, Mihama-Ku, Chiba, Japan

  2. 2

    University of Tokyo, Department of Civil Engineering, Tokyo, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


The development of health monitoring of bridges in Japan is reviewed from geographical and socioeconomical background to specific applications. The backgrounds are categorized as (i) environment and natural disasters, (ii) stock management, and (iii) risk and safety. In other words, severe environment, limited resource for maintenance, and increased requirement for safety are the key factors for development of structural health monitoring.

To understand the environment and natural disasters, environment and loading have been monitored at various bridges for decades. Although these measurements were intended to measure loading and not necessarily to measure structural condition, analyses indicate usefulness of these measurements for evaluation of structural integrity.

For improvement of stock management, monitoring technologies for common workhorse bridges, preventive maintenance, and improvement in routine inspection are being developed and applied.

For improved safety, several monitoring technologies for risk and vulnerability have been developed and implemented, especially for railway bridges. When a threatening failure mode can be identified, a specific monitoring device is selected for risk management. Also, vulnerability monitoring to evaluate integrity of structures is introduced. This technique can be used to compare relative safety, and prioritize the action for improvement. Structural health monitoring technologies in this domain can be categorized into (i) microscopic monitoring, where damage detection and localization are the main interests; and (ii) macroscopic monitoring, where holistic structural integrity and its comparison are the main focus. The former is the conventional mainstream of structural health monitoring and is advancing steadily, whereas the latter is recently attracting interest, especially from the practical point of view to connect health monitoring and existing inspection methodology.


  • bridge monitoring;
  • environment;
  • stock management;
  • risk;
  • vulnerability