CDOT Tests Using Drones in Grand Junction to Improve Survey Accuracy & Safety

News Release

GRAND JUNCTION — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is testing using unmanned aerial systems, or drones, for collecting survey data in Grand Junction. Before a construction project, CDOT must have accurate traffic counts, road measurements and other important data, to make sure a new road or improvements are designed correctly for a location. Usually CDOT employees or contractors must visit the site of a potential project and collect that information in person with traditional survey equipment. To improve accuracy and worker safety, CDOT is testing using a drone and imaging equipment to collect survey data.

CDOT flew a test flight on Wednesday, June 17, above North Avenue in Grand Junction at 10 a.m., and will be reviewing the collected data in the coming weeks. CDOT appreciates the cooperation of partner agencies in Grand Junction and Mesa County in order to ensure a safe test flight.


Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, construction continues on CDOT projects with social distancing and other health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO and practice social distancing, wear face masks, stay at home when possible, and avoid nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.


In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.