NY Forges Drone Partnership to Evaluate Highways, Bridges

Oct. 11, 2021

New York's Thruway Authority will be partnering with the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) for a pilot program using drones to assist with highway bridge inspections.

NUAIR manages operations at the New York UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.

In a report on GovTech.com, State officials said the partnership will improve the effectiveness of bridge safety inspections, and the pilot program will come at no cost to the Thruway Authority.

"Using drone technology to inspect bridges, overpasses, and infrastructure along our entire system is an imaginable game-changer," Thruway Authority executive director Matthew J. Driscoll said in a statement. "Drones can provide views of hard-to-reach locations quickly and safely. This pilot program aligns with the Thruway's vision of maximizing technological innovation and continuing to improve infrastructure for the future."

If the program is successful following testing and evaluation, the Authority could expand the role of drones to assist with mapping and surveying the 570-mile superhighway system, cataloguing Thruway inventory and infrastructure, documenting damage and repairs, along with supporting general maintenance activities, according to GovTech's reporting on a release on the pilot program.

Source: GovTech.com