Liberty Bridge Emergency Inspection

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In September 2016, Michael Baker’s UAS team captured aerial video and imagery of portions of the Liberty Bridge construction in Pittsburgh.

Our Construction Services team was contracted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to inspect and monitor the replacement of a critical support beam of the Liberty Bridge. The beam was severely damaged in a fire that had occurred on the bridge a few weeks earlier. The design and installation of the replacement beam was a unique design, requiring a custom-built beam and jacking system. The custom system was designed to be attached around the damaged beam, then “jacked” into place using hydraulics built into the custom beam.

Our UAS team was on-site for three days, providing live video monitoring from a secure location adjacent to the construction staging area. Desired observation areas and the positioning of the UAS inflight were coordinated in real-time with PennDOT staff via our livestream video and cell phone communication. Our ability to provide a live, mobile and unconstrained video platform assisted in providing real-time information on current structure conditions during installation, as well as video documentation of the installation for project archives. Michael Baker deployed its DJI Inspire 1 and the Topcon Falcon 8+ aircraft during this mission, allowing us to offer an advanced, safe and dependable inspection solution.


“Our UAS data offers PennDOT reliable and precise information from which to monitor the rehabilitation of the bridge as well as consideration of future maintenance.”

Aaron P.
Project Manager

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