The characteristics and conditions of highway PR-2 in Yauco (road in the Puerto Rican component of the National Highway System) were suitable to implementation of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil/Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) technology to replace the original bridges 1121 and 1122.  These reinforced concrete slab bridges were constructed in 1970 and had a three-spans configuration with a total length of 24 meters which were replaced with two single span GRS-IBS of 11 meters. The bridge 1121 was instrumented with optical remote system which consist of 20 pressure cells (10 on each abutment in the GRS mass) to measure the superstructure’s vertical pressure distribution, and 16 geosynthetic fiber-optic sensors (8 on each abutment into the integration zone and GRS mass) to measure stresses and strains. The monitoring system is of particular importance to PRHTA because it enables comparison between design assumptions and theory, and the actual behavior of the GRS–IBS structure.

​More details of Yauco GRS-IBS project click links below:

  • Biomedical Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications

  • ​Optical Fiber Sensing Technology: Basic Principles & Applications in Defense and Security

  • Optical Fiber Sensing Technology for Chemical, Bio-Medical and Food Applications

  • Optical Fiber Sensing Technology: Principles, Components & Applications

  • Optical Fiber Sensing Technology for Structural Health Monitoring & Smart Structures




MCH Engineering LLC

Is a consulting firm specializing in optical fiber sensing technology. Whose president is Dr. Alexis Méndez.

Dr. Méndez holds a PhD. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, has over 20 years of experience in optical fiber technology, sensors and instrumentation. He was the former Group Leader of the Fiber Optic Sensors Lab within ABB Corporate Research (USA) where he led R&D activities for the development of fiber sensors for use in industrial plant, oil & gas, and high voltage electric power applications. He has written 50 technical publications, taught several short courses on fiber sensors, holds 5 US patents and is recipient of an R&D100 award. He was past chairman of the International Optical Fiber Sensors Conference (OFS-18); is editor of the “Specialty Optical Fibers Handbook”; and is a Fellow of SPIE.

Among his most significant works which has participated are:

  • Chiapas Bridge, México
  • ​​Beltrán Bridge, México
  • Papaloapan Bridge, México
  • GRS-IBS at Higway PR-2, Yauco, Puerto Rico

​Putting The Power Of Monitoring And Safety In Your Hands​

The Papaloapan bridge is one of the eleven bridge proposed to Instituto Mexicano del Transporte (IMT) to be instrumented and monitoring of remote manner through Center for Monitoring and Diagnostics Intelligent Bridges and Structures. This bridge is a Cable-Stayed Bridge with a 203 meter center span and 70 meters ends spans. The towers are formed from two independent vertical piers of 58 meter of height, placed on the edges of the deck. The deck continues over the abutments, which are formed by 32-meter long caissons.  The purpose of the instrumentation was to provide a system for remote monitoring of the effects and conditions of the bridge under ordinary and extraordinary events such as corrosion, fatigue, seismic loads, wind loads and overloads which help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the work of conservation of the most important bridges of Mexico and provide alarms for immediate action, short-term and preventive.

​​Viaducto Beltrán is te tallest bridge on the Autopista Guadalajara-Colima, Mexico. Is an asymmetrical three span (160 meter span) prestressed concrete beam bridge with a towering central pier (140 meters high). Optical Strain Sensors, Optical Tilt Meter, Optical Displacement Sensors and Optical Accelerometers were installed with the purpose of provide the viaduct of an "intelligent" system based on the monitoring of structural behavior in service, analyze continuously and extensive in time the structural behavior of the viaduct and to know the real behavior of the structure. Check if the design loads are appropriate with respect to the acting and to know the evolution in time of static and / or dynamic strength characteristics.

The Chiapas Bridge is one type steel box girder supported on steel pillars with 1,208 m. of length, 10 m.  width and 8 m. deck width.  Its loacation is at km. 961 of the Coapas-Ocozocoautla Highway in the state of Chiapas. A total of 82 sensors (64 strain and 18 temperature) were installed along the length of the steel box girder at 16 different sections. Additional accelerometers and tilt meters are planned to be installed later. Its porpuse was to monitor the integrity and behavior of the bridge structure, and effects due to high traffic and heavy truck loads that could cause possible damage & fatigue.​ Sensors monitor the strains, deflection and possible sloping of the steel girder bridge box. Data also helps determine strain variations, vibrations and expansioneffects as a function of time of day, seasons and traffic.

  • Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications IX

    23 April 2012

    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 

  • Micro-structured and Specialty Optical Fibers , and Optical Sensing and Detection

    16 April 2012

    Brussels, Belgium 

  • Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems Integration V

    11 March 2012

    San Diego, California, USA

  • Technology of Fiber Optic Sensors Applied to Monitoring of Civil and Geotechnic Structures; Real Experiences in Other Countries and Advantages, 18 July 2013, San Juan, Puerto Rico​