The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission in September will complete its first bridge inspection using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone.
The drone will be used to inspect the Sandusky River Bridge, a 970-ft-long bridge in Sandusky County some time in mid-September.
The turnpike commission will work with the Ohio/Indiana UAS Center, the Ohio Department of Transportation and a UAS company, senseFly, on the drone bridge inspection. The commission will compare the results of the drone inspection with those garnered by an in-person inspection.
During snooper truck inspections, part of the turnpike has to be shut down and crews have to establish work zones. The turnpike is using a drone in hopes of eliminating the need for such work zones during inspections.
If the drone bridge inspection proves successful, the turnpike will consider allowing contractors to use drones for other activities, such as construction services and for emergency response.