Menendez, Lautenberg Announce New Boost To American Bridge Safety

Menendez, Lautenberg Announce New Boost To American Bridge Safety

Princeton Junction Company to Receive Grants to Develop Novel Wireless Bridge Safety System

Washington - In a major boost to bridge safety in New Jersey and across the country, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced new grants to a New Jersey company specializing in the production and deployment of a wireless safety network.

Mistras Group Inc., a technology company in Princeton Junction, NJ has been awarded $1.3 million in federal funding to develop a system to continuously monitor the health of bridges using wireless sensors that will garner power from structural vibrations and wind energy. The resources come through the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) Technology Innovation Program (TIP).

Senator Menendez said, "Even in these difficult economic conditions, safety is job number one. This smart, cutting-edge technology can easily be deployed, is self-powered, and together with analysis tools will form a safety net for our bridges - and create good-paying jobs in the process. We are ensuring the safety of our infrastructure and our citizens, while investing in the innovation that will allow us to continue leading in the 21st century."

"This critical federal funding provides an opportunity to create new technology here in New Jersey to help ensure the safety of our nation's infrastructure," said Lautenberg. "When our families take to the roads and travel across bridges, they should feel safe knowing these structures are being continuously monitored. Early detection also leads to less expensive repairs, which helps local communities facing an already tight budget."

According to a Tri State Transportation Campaign study, 200 of New Jersey's major bridges were rated structurally deficient. Nationwide, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that more than 70,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. While about 10,000 bridges are built, replaced, or rehabilitated annually, there is significant need for a system to provide continuously updated information on the structural health of bridges to better prioritize repair operations and to notify bridge managers of potential extreme event such as collisions.