Oklahoma transportation officials have installed a monitoring service to help prioritize bridge inspections after earthquakes.
The ShakeCast software is the final stage in a two-year contract with the private firm Infrastructure Engineers Inc., The Oklahoman reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey created the software, which automatically interprets data and compiles a list of bridges that should be checked for damage. The bridges are analyzed by their distance from the epicenter, their condition and other factors.
“Different types of bridges behave differently when they have a seismic demand put on them,” said Steve Jacobi, state bridge engineer.
Jacobi said the software allows “our field people to allocate resources accordingly and get out and look at the bridges that need to be looked at.”
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation partnered with Infrastructure Engineers Inc. to develop an earthquake response plan. The $650,000 contract with the firm also includes four additional years of system maintenance.
“As we look to embrace the ShakeCast model, it may help us to note some of these situations that we don’t have to spring into action so quickly, and give us a read on what needs to be inspected,” said Mike Patterson, executive director of the transportation department.
Oklahoma has joined other states to fund software upgrades, paying the USGS $45,000 for its share.
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