With limited funding available to design, build, and maintain bridges, the more information on how they will withstand the test of time, the better. Enter the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing Laboratory (BEAST), created by the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. The first of its kind, the BEAST acts as a “crystal ball,” simulating decades of wear and tear on a bridge in a matter of months. It simulates and measures the deterioration bridges endure from use, along with freezing cold, sweltering heat, snow, ice, heavy trucks, and de-icing chemicals. By testing how a bridge will stand the test of time, traffic, and weather, engineers are better equipped to make decisions about what materials to use.
Gamechanger added in 2016.