Engineering student uses technology to examine aging infrastructure

Railroads transport huge amounts of freight and people every day across the continent and being on time is of paramount importance. There are approximately 100,000 railroad bridges in the United States, and more than half are over 100 years old, making each one increasingly risky every time a train rolls over. These factors make bridge management and maintenance a top priority for the safety of freight rail, according to Professor Fernando Moreu, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at The University of New Mexico. From wooden trestles in the countryside to concrete overpasses in the city, age, weather, and collisions take their toll on these bridges. Damaged infrastructure can mean derailed trains, huge losses of freight, and possible injuries or death for passengers, crews, and nearby motorists and pedestrians.

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