In January 2015, Gilchrist Construction embarked on a major bridge construction project. Although bridgework itself started in March 2017, they were able to open the bridge to traffic by October of the same year, “[which is] an extremely fast time to build a bridge and open to traffic” says Frank Maury, the project manager. “Something that helped tremendously was just the temperature monitoring during bridge deck pours when we exceeded the 4 hour time limit.”
Due to avoiding the wait for early break test results, Maury estimates that with the use of SmartRock sensors, his team was able to save 3 to 4 months on the entirety of the project.
Photo Credit: Gilchrist Construction Company
Benefits of Smart Concrete Monitoring Tech in Bridge Construction
During the interview, Maury mentioned some of the following benefits of using SmartRock™ sensors in this particular project:
- Time saving
- Cost saving
- Labour reduction
- Minimization of break tests
- Data acquisition
For the Gilchrist team, the ease of project sharing showed great value. “Since this was a state project, but the state was not present on the field, the app proved to be very easy to use and I was able to send data reports to the 10 other engineers on the project right from my phone,” says Maury.
Maury mentioned that the biggest setback may have been the need to conduct the initial maturity calibrations necessary for the use of the sensors themselves. Since the company was new to using the SmartRock sensors, they tested 28 concrete cylinders for each of their 3 to 4 mixes in order to gather as much data as possible. Although they plan to use the sensors in future projects regardless of having to perform calibrations, they will likely opt to work with Angelle Materials, a ready-mix producer and Smart Concrete™ partner in Baton-Rouge, in order to benefit from pre-calibrated mixes and eliminate the task of preforming calibrations on their own.