Surfside Beach Considers Drone Scan for Pier Inspection

A Prolonged Rebuild and Technological Solutions

Surfside Beach, a charming coastal town in , faces a unique challenge. The beloved Surfside Pier, a victim of Hurricane Matthew's wrath over seven years ago, is on the brink of reopening after enduring numerous setbacks.

However, lingering concerns about minor structural issues have propelled the town council to contemplate a high-tech approach: utilizing drones for a comprehensive inspection, reports ABC 15 News.

The Promise of LiDAR Technology

During a recent town council meeting, Collins Engineering presented a groundbreaking solution: a scan of the pier using drones. This innovative technique involves capturing approximately 50 million photos to create a detailed 3-D model of the pier.

Zane Peterson, a Project Engineer at Collins Engineering, highlighted the benefits, stating, “It would give the town the most accurate depiction of everything they have.”

This scan promises to reveal details invisible to the naked eye, offering an unprecedented level of insight into the pier's condition.

Weighing Costs and Benefits

Mayor Robert Krouse emphasized that while the pier is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, addressing minor construction defects is crucial for future warranty claims. The LiDAR scan, estimated to cost around $17,000, could serve as a definitive record of the pier's initial state, aiding in any potential warranty disputes. This proposal has sparked mixed reactions among residents, with some seeing it as a prudent investment and others questioning its necessity over traditional high-resolution photography.

A Community's Anticipation and Decision Ahead

Despite the debate over the drone scan, the community eagerly anticipates the pier's reopening. Mayor Krouse expressed optimism, projecting a soft opening followed by a grand celebration, possibly in April. The final decision on whether to proceed with the drone scan rests with the council, which will vote at their next meeting.

A Step Towards the Future

Surfside Beach stands at a crossroads between traditional methods and embracing modern technology. The decision to use a drone scan for the Surfside Pier inspection symbolizes more than just a commitment to preserving a local landmark; it reflects a willingness to adapt and leverage technology for the community's benefit. As the town awaits the council's decision, the anticipation for the pier's revival grows, marking a new chapter in the town's resilient history.

Featured image, courtesy of Charles Henion.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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