National Highways Keeping critical infrastructure open with intelligent sensors

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Working with National Highways, Amey maintains the Avonmouth and Severn Bridges. Each of the three major structures have unique characteristics and structural complexities; the M5 Avonmouth Bridge; the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge which comprises of three structures; as well as the M48 Severn Bridge, a suspension bridge, that has the second highest tidal range in the world at 14.5 metres.


The Amey team is responsible for the cyclic maintenance, daily structure inspection checks and safety patrols as well as responding to any incidents that impact the structural integrity of the bridges.

We will introduce Pearl and Mercury, our award-winning asset management systems from the Forth Bridges, onto National Highways network. These were developed for the Forth Bridges after a critical failure in 2015, which saw the Forth Road Bridge closed to all traffic, costing taxpayers £1m a day.

To provide real-time understanding of the Forth Road Bridge’s behaviour we deployed our infrastructure monitoring and analytics platform. We leveraged in-built machine learning to forecast

any unsafe behaviour on the bridge and concerning changes to weather conditions. By analysing the data available, the platform generates automated alerts to advise our bridge engineers of any potential issues that need further investigation.


  • Better identification of safety risks on the bridge, potentially unseen from ground level, preventing harm to road users and operational teams from high winds, ice bombs or severe weather.
  • One single source of information created from integrating data from all available sources. This enabled automated alarms and SMS/email alerts to be set up, and more efficient management of resources which could be difficult to potential problems.  
  • These systems and our learning from the Forth Road Bridge will be implemented on the Severn Bridges.

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