A wall along a creek in Centre County partially collapsed Saturday, bringing traffic disruptions to downtown Bellefonte. That’s according to a Facebook post from Bellefonte Borough Police Department.
But PennDOT is employing special means of evaluating the damage: Drones and 3D rendering.
The collapsed portion of the wall sits along Spring Creek, which cuts right through Bellefonte. Water Street, a major gateway to the downtown, runs right along it. Because of the collapse early Saturday afternoon, South Water Street is now a one-lane, one-way road. Those traveling between Bellefonte and State College will have to use Stoney Batter as a detour, for the time being.
“So, this is a DJ Matrice 300, It has a special camera on it, and we’re running an RTK station today.”
Melanson also operates his own Pittsburgh-based company called Aeras Drone Technologies.
“We’re mapping. that part of the wall that fell off over here in Bellefonte, next to the creek here. And we’re able to make a high-resolution, 3D model and be able to quantify the volumes and what exactly happened over there…at the wall.”
It’s not a new tool for such projects, but Melanson said it’s incredibly helpful.
“After this is done doing its rendering, you can make models, you can do measurements, you could check the volume, the area, the dip where the wall fell apart over there,
“So yeah, you’re just able to use, like, thousands of photos to create a 3D model that you can do an inspection or just helps you out a lot.”
Police urge people to drive carefully because of the high likelihood of congestion in the area. As for large commercial traffic, they say to avoid the downtown unless it’s local deliveries.
“This is about the only way I come through Bellefonte, I mean, it’s something that I can deal with, but, still an inconvenience.”
“It’s very nice being retired then. I don’t have to go that way every day, and we know an alternate way, so it won’t do too much to change our life.”
“If you look at the wall, you can tell it’s been there for quite a while and something’s bound to get wrong at some point, Infrastructure don’t last forever.”
“That handrail looks to be the only thing holding up those concrete slabs there.”
Ultimately, though, locals said they just want to see it fixed right.