The New Hampshire Department of Transportation and its counterpart in Vermont are considering repairs to a bridge between the two states that’s been closed since 2009. The Vilas Bridge was built in 1930 and stretches over the Connecticut River between North Walpole, N.H. and Bellows Falls, Vt.
Concrete on the bridge is now crumbling in places, and a 2009 inspection led to the bridge’s closure. On Thursday, New Hampshire officials will inspect it again and assess how much it will cost to repair--this time, using drones to snap photos of key areas.
Jennifer Reczek, a project manager at the N.H. Department of Transportation's Highway Design Bureau, says it's one of the first times the state is trying this new technology.
“The only other way to get the type of imagery that we would get with the drone would be to do a hands-on climbing with ropes, and that’s very costly, takes several days," she said.
But drones are cheap, and they take photos just as well as people do.