SYou may recall an incident on the news last summer involving a bridge collapse in Minnesota that claimed 13 lives and injured 145 others. State officials were quick to draw up plans for a replacement—but this time they wanted strict safety measures in place to prevent another disaster from occurring in the future. Contractors delivered in only 11 months and today the bridge was opened up for traffic. The $234 million bridge is wired with hundreds of sensors that collect data on everything from how the bridge handles loads and vibrations to corrosion levels from road salt—and its redundant design ensures that the bridge will stay up even if a section should fail. The sensors will also work together with a camera system that will monitor and collect data on traffic flow. There are even sensors that can activate a de-icing system when necessary. All of this data will feed into a control room near the bridge where it can be analyzed by DOT workers and researchers. While these efforts do not make up for the negligence that lead to last year's tragedy, getting such a sophisticated system up so quickly is still an admirable accomplishment. [CNN Photo via AP]
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