Connecticut DOT using drone for visual inspection on Gold Star Memorial Bridge

Updated Aug 23, 2016

DroneThe Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is planning to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a limited visual inspection of the Gold Star Memorial Bridges August 23.

“This is an important step for our agency—the testing of a new technology with the potential to improve results, efficiencies, and safety for the public,” says CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “The willingness to examine new technologies—to innovate and to keep an open mind—is critical if we are to find better ways of doing business, and I applaud the Department’s Bridge Safety Division for initiating this test.”

CTDOT previously conducted a full routine inspection last October of the Gold Star Memorial Bridges via snooper-trucks, lifts and ropes and climbers. The bridges, which carry Interstate 95 between Groton and New London are Connecticut’s longest, with the main spans rising 100 feet above the Thames River.

The agency plans to use the UAV inspection to photograph areas of the bridges that are difficult to reach through traditional inspection methods. CTDOT also will analyze the inspection results as part of an effort to gauge the “advantages and disadvantages” of using UAVs in the process and the potential for using them on additional bridge inspections across the state.