July 25, 2023

Purdue’s ‘talking concrete’ embedded into new I-465 and I-69 interchange in Indianapolis

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –A Purdue University invention will soon give engineers real-time data from Indianapolis’ newest interstate section, potentially preventing potholes, reducing construction traffic jams and saving taxpayer dollars spent on road repairs.

Purdue researchers, Indiana Department of Transportation crews and WaveLogix installed concrete sensors invented by Purdue professor Luna Lu into the future I-465 interchange to I-69 south on Indianapolis’ south side on Tuesday (July 25). The sensor allows concrete to “talk,” decreases construction time and how often concrete pavement needs repairs, while also improving the road’s sustainability and cutting its carbon footprint.

The sensor was embedded directly into a concrete pour and sends engineers more precise, consistent data about the concrete’s strength and need for repair than is possible with currently used tools and methods. States across the country with concrete interstate pavement have signed up to participate in a Federal Highway Administration pooled fund study to try out the technology. Indiana joins Missouri, Tennessee and Texas in embedding the sensors. 

More information about the sensors can be found here.

B-roll, sound bites and photos from the embedding on Tuesday can be found here.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with Excellence at Scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities (Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal and QS), with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States (U.S. News & World Report), Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Innovates, at https://stories.purdue.edu

Media contact: Kayla Albert, wiles5@purdue.edu

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