Inspecting bridge scour – sediment around the substructure of a bridge – is difficult for all agencies, especially during high water or severe weather events. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Great Lakes Engineering Firm have used a small, autonomous boat-like device called EMILY to inspect scour beyond what is usually possible during human dives. EMILY uses cameras and sonar technology to investigate bridge scour before determining if a crew member needs to get in the water. This technology leads to more detailed assessments of bridges to best determine what actions to take in repairing or maintaining the structures, while also keeping crew members safe.
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