Drones save precious time, money in historic bridge repairs

Sometimes it’s the modest, seemingly mundane ways that drones affect how people live and work that best illustrate the integral roles they now assume in daily life. Take, for example, how they’ve helped a budget-strapped organization cut the time and costs of repairing three Edwardian-era bridges in the east of England.

Bridge repair with drones

Drones deployed by the UK’s Network Rail have been credited with vastly speeding up surveying and planning time needed to service and repair three swing bridges in east England’s Norfolk County. Each of the structures – named for the way they pivot on central pillars from positions spanning opposite banks to stand parallel to water flows so boats can pass – are  well over 100 years old. That age, in addition to the antique mechanisms used to swing the bridges back and forth, has made a great deal of doctoring routine. 

In fact, supervisors say each structure gets at least one maintenance inspection per week, and over…