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November 2018
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WESTMINSTER'S ASSETS SET OUT IN BLACK AND WHITE BY FM CONWAY

A six-month project to barcode the mechanical and electrical components of every bridge, road underpass, pedestrian subway and tunnel in the City of Westminster has just been launched. Multi-disciplined service provider FM Conway, working on behalf of the council, is currently in the process of attaching the 20,000 barcodes, similar to those found on food packaging, to thousands of components.

When scanned by handheld computers, the barcodes allow the client, contractors, maintenance staff and independent inspectors to access a database of information about the maintenance record of that component, including pictures and repair logs.

The more well known structures that will have the barcodes include The Strand/Kingsway underpass and The Piccadilly Underpass, as well as Waterloo Bridge and the Golden Jubilee Footbridge.

David Yeoell, Assistant City Commissioner of Transportation at Westminster City Council, commented: -The benefits of this pioneering work will be significant. Maintenance will be focused to exact locations and problem sites analysed.

-The efficiency of the work and resources will be improved, particularly as the information is electronic and easily accessible. The information can also be used when looking at lifecycle costs and funding requirements.

The handheld scanners are an innovation that enhances the existing BridgeStation advanced asset management system, designed specifically by the London Bridges Engineering Group (LOBEG) to help with the management of bridges and other major highway structures.

Leading the work for Dartford-based FM Conway are Stuart Wilson, Service Delivery Manager, Bridges and Structures, and Bernard Hodgkinson, Director of Bridges and Structures.

Bernard commented: -This work builds on existing processes to regularly check and maintain important structures.

-The technology to house databases of information has been available for a while but this is the first time that barcodes will be applied to the components of structures so that information is fed back into the BridgeStation database.

The project to barcode components will take a team of five people until April 2010 to complete.

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