Drone allows maintenance inspection of old bridge

A drone has allowed Waipa District Council to see what areas of Victoria Bridge in Cambridge need maintenance.

Supplied

A drone has allowed Waipa District Council to see what areas of Victoria Bridge in Cambridge need maintenance.

Advances in technology are helping keep Cambridge’s iconic Victoria Bridge in tip-top shape.

Last month Waipa District Council used a drone for the first time to inspect the 108-year-old bridge as a pre-cursor to scheduled maintenance.

The drone allowed engineers to see the structure close-up at minimal cost so they could target specific areas for closer inspection.

The drone's photos showed a lot of moss and algae, which will be removed during September.

Supplied

The drone’s photos showed a lot of moss and algae, which will be removed during September.

The drone also showed the extent of moss and algae on the bridge.

A physical inspection of targeted areas is scheduled for September with contractors specifically checking for any deterioration in the bridge structure.

At the same time they will spray the algae and moss, abseiling from the side rather than using scaffolding.

The bridge, which has a Historic Places category 1 classification, sits 35.4 metres above the Waikato River.

In the past, the bridge has been water-blasted to remove the moss, but this can damage the paint system which protects the bridge from rust.

When spraying begins in the first week of September, a footpath on one side of the bridge will be closed. The other footpath will remain open.

The partial footpath closures will only be in place during the day; at night both footpaths will be open.

The spraying programme will have no impact on traffic but Waipa District Council is urging pedestrians and drivers to take extra care.

Spraying is likely to take 3-4 weeks.

From: http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/83414969/Drone-allows-maintenance-inspection-of-old-bridge