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This Week at NCDOT: Drone Bridge Inspection, New Rail Tool, Severe Weather Preparedness



RA​LEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department's weekly newscast.

NCDOT Conducts First Bridge Inspection Using Drones

NCDOT has another new tool to help make our roadways safer – drones. Recently, the Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet became the first bridge in the state where a drone was used as part of the structure’s biennial inspection.

Using drones to help conduct bridge inspections means they can be completed faster than a traditional visual inspection, saving money, and reduce the need for lane closures. While drones will not replace a traditional visual inspection in most instances, they will be used to supplement traditional inspections and add great benefit by being able to inspect areas of the bridge that are difficult to reach during a traditional inspection.

New Tool Available to Prevent Deaths on Train Tracks

A state railroad safety study could save lives by giving officials a better tool to prevent people from getting hit by trains. The four-year study used thermal cameras to develop a more complete understanding of the extent of pedestrian trespassing on North Carolina’s rail network.

In our state, 22 people were killed while trespassing on railroad tracks in 2019 and the number of trespasser deaths has remained steady from year to year.

The data will be used to further the NCDOT Rail Division’s efforts in education, supporting enforcement and providing engineering solutions that will help improve safety along the state’s rail corridors. 

Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in North Carolina begins Sunday. With the warmer weather quickly approaching, now is the time to prepare for the severe weather season, which can include severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. 

North Carolinians are asked to learn about severe weather safety and implement a safety plan to minimize the risk of injuries and deaths. For information on what to include in your safety plan, go to​


3/12/2021 8:46 AM