Turnpike to Inspect Bridge with Drone

The Ohio Turnpike will use a drone to inspect a bridge over the Sandusky River in mid-September.

Ohio turnpikeIt will be the first use of a drone to inspect a Turnpike bridge and is being done in part due to the size of the bridge and the difficulty of inspecting it by hand. The bridge measures 970 feet  in length by 102 feet in width.

Turnpike Executive Director Randy Cole said he became determined to use a drone for bridge inspection after seeing inspectors dangling from snooper trucks while examining the Turnpike bridge over the Cuyahoga River Valley. A snooper truck has a bucket attached to an arm that extends under a bridge.

“We hope to determine if the use of a drone may reduce the time and expense and increase safety when performing these types of inspections on the turnpike and on the ODOT system,” Cole said.

Results of the drone inspections will be compared with those done by conventional means.

“It’s safer for our motorists. It’s safer for the people doing it. What we want to validate is that the data is as good or better than we would get by human visual inspection,” Cole said.

Cole noted that when snooper trucks are inspecting a bridge some traffic lanes are closed and a work zone is established. Use of a drone will eliminate the need to close lanes and establish a work zone.

Cole also raised the possibility of using drones to inspect accidents, particularly in instances in which traffic backups make it difficult for first responders to reach the scene and when hazardous materials are involved.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: