The SAFE-10-T project is developing smart infrastructure solutions for proactive and reliable maintenance of bridges, tunnels and earthworks along the European TEN-T network. By combining safety assessments for individual assets with a multi-modal European traffic model, the project supports reliable decision-making. The project activities are underpinned by a global safety framework that enables the risk of a potential asset failure to be quantified in terms of multi-modal traffic disruption across the TEN-T network. To demonstrate the application of the project outputs in practice, the project is applying the methodologies and tools developed to three selected locations along the TEN-T network as Demonstration Projects.
This newsletter provides a progress update in relation to the SAFE-10-T project, which commenced in May 2017. A preliminary application of SAFE-10-T Decision Support Tool to the Port of Rotterdam Demo project is presented. In addition, a description of the integration of a novel machine learning application within the project's Stream Central Big Data platform is described. Finally, this newsletter describes recent and upcoming stakeholder events hosted by the SAFE-10-T project.
2. Pleliminary Application of SAFE-10-T Decision Support Tool
The SAFE-10-T project is developing an advanced Decision Support Tool (DST) to assist in strategic asset management of bridges, tunnels and earthworks along the TEN-T network. The targeted end-users of the DST are transport infrastructure owners who deal with maintenance planning for critical assets exposed to various performance threats (e.g. natural hazards and advanced deterioration). The DST facilitates a quantitative risk assessment that considers various threats for bridges, tunnels and earthworks, such as traffic growth and climate change scenarios, and accounts for transport multi-modality in terms of the consequences of a potential infrastructure failure. The DST assists in cost-effective decision making for optimised maintenance planning.
The DST is being applied to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, as a demo project. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and one of the busiest in the world, which supports a throughput of 467.4 million tonnes, including dry bulk, liquid bulk and containers, via rail, road and inland waterways throughout Europe. The project is examining the impacts of a potential failure of the Suurhoffbrug, a steel bridge that provides an important road and rail connection with the newest part of the port, the Maasvlakte (see Figure 2).
Deterioration of the Suurhoffbrug has been evident in recent years, which comprises severe fatigue cracking in the deck plate of the road bridge. Rijkswaterstaat, the infrastructure owner, has committed to partly closing this bridge by 2021 to guarantee the safety of transport users. Disruption or sudden closure of the bridge is expected to have significant impacts on freight traffic throughout Europe (see Figure 3). In the event of a disruption being caused to the rail bridge, there is no possible detour available for rail traffic. Consequently, Rijkswaterstaat has established plans to replace the bridge in the coming decades.
The project has performed a probabilistic fatigue assessment of the Suurhoffbrug, as well as multi-modal traffic simulation modelling at European scale to determine the impacts on freight transport across the TEN-T network. Additionally, a lifecycle analysis is being performed to determine optimised maintenance planning for the Suurhoffbrug.
It is envisioned that crucial outputs of the probabilistic assessment, traffic simulation modeling and lifecycle analysis can be reviewed and post-processed within the DST. One of the key features of the DST is a quantitative risk analysis for predefined mutually exclusive threat scenarios (Figure 4). It allows for comparison of impacts that different maintenance strategies have on risk mitigation and further facilitate planning and optimization of maintenance under various constraints (budget, levels of service, etc...).
3. Big Data Platform
The SAFE-10-T global safety framework is underpinned by a Big Data platform that supports the current data needs of the DST and allows for any additional future data to be considered within the analysis.
More generally, the Big Data platform is able to capture and analyse multiple sources of information concerning transport infrastructure assets in near real-time. Any data that supports asset management can be ingested by the platform, analysed in near real-time and alerts can be generated when conditions that are of interest to asset managers are detected.
Data sources can include monitored data from instrumentation, databases containing condition assessment reports, images, structural information for the asset, environmental data (e.g. rainfall data), as well as any other relevant data sources.
The Big Data platform also supports machine learning applications, which can be employed as part of reliable and effective asset management. As an example, a machine learning application is currently being developed to automatically detect and classify damage for a brick masonry tunnel lining. The Big Data platform supports the ingestion of the tunnel lining images, which are obtained frequently, and is used to perform the machine learning algorithm, which will generate an alert once pre-define damage thresholds are identified.
The Big Data platform is being run in Microsoft's Azure environment and utilises Azure's Lake Store to store structured and non-structured data.
4. Recent Dissemination Events
4.1 FEHRL Infrastructure Research Meeting (FIRM19)
Organised by FEHRL, the biennial event FEHRL Infrastructure Research Meeting (FIRM19), hosts more than 120 transport infrastructure research experts from Europe and beyond, providing them with the opportunity to identify research priorities and to establish collaborations.
Taking this opportunity to publicly celebrate FEHRL's 30th anniversary, this key event, held on 27-29 March, in Brussels (Belgium), comprised of nine sessions, including one on Safety and Collaborative planning of Transport Infrastructure, where Dr. Julie Clarke of Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions and Project Manager for the SAFE-10-T project, presented an overview of the project.
The FIRM19 report, with links to all presentations, and the video can be found here.
4.2 SAFE-10-T General Assembly 24-month Consortium Meeting
On the 9th and 10th of May 2019, SAFE-10-T partners came together in Berlin (Germany) for a very successful consortium meeting, hosted by Technical University, Berlin. The project partners discussed the preliminary application of the Decision Support Tool the Port of Rotterdam demo project. In addition, novel machine learning applications were presented, which can be supported by the Big Data platform. Furthermore, novel methods of advanced safety assessment for bridges, tunnels and earthworks were discussed.
5. Upcoming Stakeholder Events
SAFE-10-T aims to engage, throughout the project lifetime, stakeholders and end-users, so as to ensure the uptake of the project outputs in practice. In order to ensure that the SAFE-10-T outputs (i.e. Decision Support Tool, Global Safety Framework) address the needs of infrastructure owners, the project is conducting a wide range of dissemination and integration activities.
These activities include a specific task to engage transport infrastructure owners and managers, as well as other identified end-users, in dedicated practical workshops that aim to gather feedback, specifically in relation to the Decision Support Tool.
Following the first Stakeholder Workshop in Berlin (9-10 May 2019) organised in conjunction with the 24M General Assembly, the SAFE-10-T Project will coordinate a focus group for practical testing of the DST software, within the 30M General Assembly (Rotterdam, October 2019).
Feedback gathered during the focus group will be integrated into the final version of the DST, which will subsequently be presented at the SAFE-10-T final event (Dublin, April 2020).
More information and updates on the forthcoming events, as well as on the progress of the SAFE -10-T project may be accessed on the project website at www.safe10tproject.eu, or by joining the LinkedIn project group 'Safety of Transport Infrastructure on the TEN-T Network (SAFE-10-T)' at www.linkedin.com/groups/8623427/.