Arizona DOT acquires drones through federal innovative tech grant

April 26, 2018

The new UAVs will assist in bridge inspections and highway surveying work

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is adding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to help its engineering staff safely and more efficiently inspect bridges and perform surveying work along state highways.

Through a federal innovative technology grant, ADOT has eight new aerial drones that will be part of the agency’s mission to enhance safety and efficiency while shortening highway project delivery time. The grant to fund the drones is from the Federal Highway Administration-sponsored Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation program.

The UAVs provide ADOT with an important tool for maintaining safe bridges. The drones will go into service later this year, after selected ADOT employees go through training in order to be certified as drone pilots.

In addition to the eight new drones, ADOT has already been using one UAV since last year for a variety of purposes, including surveying a section of S.R. 88 northeast of Apache Junction damaged by storm runoff last year. Drone video gathered by ADOT’s Engineering Surveys Section assisted agency staff in preparing for a repair project last fall.

The Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation this spring approved the use of $18,100 in federal funds and $4,525 in state matching funds for the new ADOT drones. The council was formed in 2012 as part of a Federal Highway Administration program to implement innovative and efficient investments in transportation infrastructure.


Source: Arizona Department of Transportation