The Department of Public Works and Highways is utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to check structural integrity of the country’s longest and highest bridges—the San Juanico Bridge connecting Samar and Leyte and Agas-Agas Bridge in Southern Leyte, both in Eastern Visayas.
Public Works Assistant Regional Director Eric Ayapana said the bridge inspection by drone technology was part of Japan International Cooperation Agency Project-Technical Cooperation Project on Improvement of Quality Management for Highway and Bridge Construction and Maintenance Project.
He said that drone inspection results could be immediately used to identify necessary and urgent bridge maintenance works.
“We are grateful for the support being provided by the Japanese government in our effort to incorporate technology in improving and preserving structural integrity of our public infrastructure,” he said.
“This method will hopefully make our inspections faster, cost-efficient and less risky to our personnel,” Ayapana said.
He said carrying out traditional inspections especially of long-span bridges normally took time and was riskier for inspectors who need to travel long distances and climb steep walls and posts.
JICA Project Team Leader and Bridge Expert Hideo Nagao said the use of drones in inspections would be utilized more frequently and to produce more accurate data in just a short period of time.
JICA’s final assessment and evaluation for San Juanico and Agas-Agas Bridges is expected to be available by February 2019.