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Using Drones for Post-Earthquake Bridge Inspection

An example of technology combined with drones.

Recently, the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) along with Northeastern University's Global Resilience Institute put on a final Drone Workshop on the Post-Earthquake Inspection of Bridges. The target audience was emergency managers, bridge engineers and bridge inspectors. 

One of the local TV stations, King 5, did a story on the workshop and the lidar technology being used for a rapid assessment of bridges. See How Drones Could Help Get Life Back on Track after an Earthquake.

The technology is not quite ready for prime time, but within a couple of years it could be deployed and help with the rapid assessment of bridges, likely not only for earthquakes, but also other disasters that impact transportation infrastructure.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.