Drones have been deployed by Victoria’s roads department to keep an eye out on erosion and landslides along one of Victoria’s biggest tourist attractions. After having 120 landslides in a single year in 2016, parts of the Great Ocean Road have been forced to close for weeks in order to maintain the road. VicRoads is currently using drone technology to collect 3D imagery and survey vast lengths of the road, even to inaccessible parts.
“The data is definitely helping us understand how water flows through the area and how to drain water to the right spots and away from some of these high-risk potential landslide spots,” he said.
“It’s going to allow us to monitor and compare changes in the landscape over the years to come and that’s a good indication of where the risks are along the road.”
The Victorian Government committed $53 million to improve the surface of the Great Ocean Road in 2016 to reduce the risk of closures and landslips.
That money has been used to build concrete retaining walls, install eight-metre-long soil nails into bedrock, as well as the use of wire mesh and re-vegetation.
The drones were first used in November and Mr Donnellan said the Great Ocean Road will be the state’s first trial, with the technology soon to be used on other Victorian roads with similar issues.
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