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Smart monitoring trial for A160

Immingham docks

Innovative technology to improve the monitoring of highway equipment on the A160 is being trialled as part of an £88.4M port improvement project.

The A160 Port of Immingham scheme aims to improve access to one of the UK’s busiest ports. Works involve a 4.8km section of the A160 between the A180 and the Port of Immingham which is being upgraded to a dual carriageway along its entire length.

Contractors are using the RedBite asset tool to tag Highways England owned assets, such as street lighting and drainage, to aid future maintenance. This is the first time the technology has been used on a road project.

When an asset is tagged, the data is securely transmitted to a webpage where all information relating to that piece of equipment or asset is recorded for future use. Items which have been tagged so far along the A160 include lighting columns, signs, pavements, culverts and gullies.

Highways England project manager Ben Ridgeon said: “Managing and tagging assets using intelligent software has many benefits, not only in recording the location of that equipment but, more crucially, in monitoring that asset in the future.

“With such heavy usage on our assets, wear and tear is inevitable. By using a system where we can record and maintain a large amount of data on a range of different equipment, we can improve accuracy on the condition of those assets.”

The technology uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, quick response (QR) codes and GPS tags. RFID involves the use of radio waves to convert and transmit information from an RFID tag to a digital device, such as a smartphone. Alerts can also be sent out when faults are reported on any particular piece of equipment.

RedBite is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge and a member of the HyperCat Consortium.

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