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MI Soybean Farmers Partner with Midland County to Promote Better Rural Bridge Evaluation and Management

 Michigan farmers depend upon rural bridges to efficiently deliver their commodities to the local elevator or processing facility. The structural integrity of this infrastructure is essential to farmer profitability. Unfortunately, an increasing number of rural bridges in the state are load limited, requiring vehicles transporting agricultural commodities to detour - often at significant distances. This results in additional costs being inserted in the nation's food delivery system and diminished profitability for Michigan farmers. In an effort to promote better evaluation and management of the state's rural bridges, the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and the Soy Transportation Coalition have partnered with the Midland County Road Commission in central Michigan on an innovative project designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of load testing technology when assessing the condition of rural bridges. The partnership employs the use of load testing sensors attached to the underside of the bridge. After the sensors are installed, test loads are driven over the various segments of the bridge surface to determine a precise understanding of the capabilities of the bridge. 

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