NORWALK, Conn. — Xerox announced today that Eloque, the joint venture between Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and the Victorian Government, plans to triple the number of bridges in Australia using its fiber optic sensing technology during the first half of 2022, while also targeting expansion into the United States and Europe.
“Eloque provides structure and bridge engineers, asset managers and public infrastructure leaders with the information they need on structural health to better prioritize maintenance, extend the life of infrastructure assets and serve as an early warning system for potential failures,” said John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer at Xerox. “Eloque is already seeing success with the installs in Australia and is working with multiple state departments of transportation in the U.S. to start deploying pilots in 2022, while continuing talks in select European countries.”
The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Act in the United States includes $27 billion for bridge repair, which will help U.S. states significantly reduce the repairs backlog. However, the total estimated cost to rehabilitate all bridges in the United States classified as “structurally deficient” is $125 billion. To maximize available funding, federal and state officials should invest in real-time digital solutions, which provide transportation officials with the best information possible for anticipating possible bridge failures, assist them in better prioritizing necessary maintenance, and extending the life of the country’s aging bridges and roadways.
Eloque’s fiber optic sensing technology is in use on 12 bridges in Australia and has proven to be a valuable tool for transportation managers throughout the country.
In September 2021, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Mansfield, Victoria, causing minor structural damage in parts of Melbourne. The three bridges in the area outfitted with the Eloque’s end-to-end solution not only picked up the seismic activity, but quickly enabled asset managers to determine that the bridges were intact, operating to engineering specifications and able to withstand the next super heavy load movements scheduled after the earthquake struck.
“Asset management and engineering best practice are ever-moving goalposts,” said Eloque CEO Campbell Rose AM. “It is time for these practices to adopt advances in technology. Doing so will assist in addressing the magnitude of the infrastructure problem – this is the core of the Eloque solution.”
In its 2021 Annual Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers reported the following:
“There are more than 617,000 bridges across the United States. Currently, 42% of all bridges are at least 50 years old, and 46,154, or 7.5% of the nation’s bridges, are considered structurally deficient, meaning they are in “poor” condition…The nation needs a systematic program for bridge preservation like that embraced by many states, whereby existing deterioration is prioritized and the focus is on preventive maintenance.”
Recent catastrophic bridge failures are the most high-profile examples of a worsening problem being experienced across America as states struggle to maintain these critical pieces of infrastructure with insufficient resources.
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