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LTU uses drone for street inspection

LTU uses drone for street inspection
LTU uses drone for street inspection(Jared Austin)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) today used an unmanned aerial vehicle to inspect pavement and curb conditions on Adams Street.

LTU Director Liz Elliott said the use of drones significantly reduces the time it takes to evaluate infrastructure in the public right of way, including curbs and pavement conditions, for potential maintenance work.

“This new drone technology provides the opportunity to complete street surveys in a fraction of the time. This decreases staff costs, closure inconveniences and increases safety,” Elliott said. “For this particular survey, instead of a two-day closure, the drone can collect the same information in just one hour. That is more than a 90 percent reduction in evaluation time.”

The first drone survey took place on Apr.21 on Adams Street between North 36th and North 46th streets.  LTU closed the area in one and two-block segments for five to 10 minutes each to allow a drone to fly above the street with no vehicles below. Wednesday’s flights were conducted by a pilot from Benesch Engineering using aircraft owned by the firm.

Senior engineer Kris Humphrey said, “It also provides about a 90% cost savings from having this in a traditional survey method with people visually looking at that distress in the field versus in the office.”

For more information about this project, contact Kris Humphrey at 402-326-1176 or khumphrey@lincon.ne.  Current information on street closures is available at lincoln.ne.gov/closures or through the Waze mobile app.

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