Could Seattle-grown tech speed up work on bridge projects?

SEATTLE — A Seattle startup says it can save taxpayers money by boosting bridge inspectors' efficiency.

Washington Department of Transportation employees are testing a weatherproof smart tablet on the 520 Floating Bridge, the Viaduct and 18 other projects.

Workers who use it report it makes doing their job easier and it could make us all safer, too.

The device inventors came from the University of Washington engineering department.

“Where would you rather have your inspector, in the office or on the job site being a resource and basically inspecting the work?” asked engineer Si Katara.

The new weather-proof tablet is called Headlight. It allows engineers to work on site rather than heading back to an office.

Si says what used to take hours to generate can now be completed in a minute.

Engineer Derek Case manages the huge 520 bridge project. He says Headlight is also being tested on the Alaskan way viaduct, and 18 other road projects. So far, since more work can be done on site with less time, engineers agree the technology would pay for itsself quickly.

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