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Drone to help develop plan for Forum Boulevard improvements

You’ll notice a drone flying over Columbia’s Forum Boulevard over the next week. It’s all part of an upcoming 12-million dollar improvement project.

Engineering Surveys and Services vice president Cory Bergthold will be operating the drone.

“We can collect high-resolution aerial photos and then stitch those together into actually a larger map covering the entire roadway,” said Bergthold on Wednesday. “We can see high levels of detail in terms of any cracking that may be in the pavement so we can identify the pavement conditions that may need to be repaired.”

Bergthold says the images will be used to develop 3D models of the Forum Boulevard corridor.

Columbia voters approved the project during a 2015 sales tax extension. The project, which is expected to start in 2025, will improve Forum from Chapel Hill Road to Woodrail Avenue, near the Walgreens on Nifong.