The Kewatkhali Bridge, which is being built to ease congestion in northern Mymensingh City, will feature a structural monitoring system.

“As in other river delta environments, bridges play a strategic role in Bangladesh’s transport network,” said AIIB senior investment operations specialist Natalia Sanz. “AIIB considers the financing of the Kewatkhali Bridge at Mymensingh an opportunity to use the latest technology in bridge maintenance and management to improve its structural performance, service life and the safety of the bridge for residents and motorists.”

Sanz said that the proposed bridge health monitoring system (BHMS) will be used to provide early warnings of structural issues. Data on load and environmental effects, as well as the bridge’s responses, will be captured in real time and interfaced with a bridge rating system, allowing for more efficient monitoring. The system will help in formulating a systematic approach to periodic inspection, said Sanz.

“By studying the changes observed in bridge conditions over time, engineers can develop models to distinguish the effects of maintenance activity from normal wear and tear,” she said. “State-of-the-art work in this area includes deepening our understanding of physical deterioration processes, especially the effect of structural damage on the reliability and performance of structural components.”

A further core component of the project will be to provide the national roads and highways department with training and institutional development covering the maintenance and operation of steel arch bridges and the use of the BHMS.