DPWH taps drone technology for bridge inspection

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has tapped drone technology as part of an ongoing project to inspect and identify bridges that need repairs or improvement.

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Drone technology was recently used in the inspection of the Magapit Suspension Bridge that connects west and east sides of the Cagayan River in the province. Representatives from the DPWH Central and Regional Offices were on hand to witness the use of drone technology.

DPWH Assistant Director Aristarco Doroy explained that the inspection of the Magapit bridge is part of the project “Improvement on Quality Management for Highways and Bridge Construction and Maintenance, Phase III” supported by JICA.

DPWH Region II Director Melanio Briosos said the use drone equipment will significantly “improve the planning, designing and monitoring” of the infrastructure projects of the DPWH.

Hide Nagao, Team Leader of JICA Specialist Group, emphasized that the use of drone technology aside from providing high-resolution geo-tagged photos and videos also reduces the risks bridge inspectors face when undertaking physical inspection the traditional way. Drone technology also reduces inspection time and can prevent traffic snarls.

Drone Controller Joel Cruz said that rotary and fixed-wing type drones provides “in-depth aerial inspection, control-point survey, area mapping and close-up image acquisition.”

Meanwhile, DPWH Region II is advising motorists and commuters that effective May 28, only light vehicles will be allowed to pass the Buntun Bridge along Cagayan-Apayao Road in Tuguegarao City to give way to repair works. Heavy vehicles are advised to take the Daang Maharlika Road.

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