DOT considering using drones for bridge inspections

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NEW LONDON--The Connecticut Department of Transportation is considering getting to the bottom of bridge inspections with drones.

Tuesday, Exponent Technology Services sent up their $15,000 drone for a demonstration of its capabilities under the Gold Star Bridge.

The DOT says it paid about $10,000 for the whole day of drone use, but the department believes contracting with the drone company could actually save a lot of money down the road.

A drone would not replace an overall hands-on inspection, but it could save time and resources to consistently monitor potential trouble spots under a bridge.

"Rather than roll out that entire echelon, the snooper trucks, the rope and climbers, we can come out here with a car and a trailer, and send this up in 20 minutes," Kevin Nursick, a DOT spokesman, said.

Because the bridge is so close to Electric Boat and the sub base, as well as within five miles of an airport, the DOT says it took six months to get FAA approval for the test flight.

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