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Connecticut News

Conn. To Use Drone To Inspect Gold Star Memorial Bridge

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Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall
/
U.S. Coast Guard
The Gold Star Memorial Bridge spans the Thames River and is the longest structure in the state of Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation plans to use an unmanned aerial vehicle to conduct an inspection of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge in eastern Connecticut. It’s part of the agency's ongoing evaluation of new technologies.

On Tuesday the DOT will assess the ability of the drone to photograph areas typically difficult to reach using traditional means. Those include ropes and climbers or trucks, which have an arm and bucket that extend under the bridge.

The Gold Star Memorial Bridge consists of two spans crossing the Thames River from New London to Groton. The first span was built in 1943, and a twin span was added 30 years later.

At roughly one mile each, the structures are the longest bridges in Connecticut.

A planned $200 million dollar renovation of the structures is set to start in 2017.