Problem Identification and Collaboration

Problem Identification and Collaboration

Transportation safety is a driving force within Departments of Transportation. Kansas ranks 16th in the quality of life for its transportation infrastructure due in part to its aggressive Kansas Highway Safety Improvement Program. So when KDOT needed a surface model for a pavement rehabilitation project along 7.2 miles of heavily traveled I-35 in Johnson County, the data had to be obtained in the safest manner possible and as quickly as possible. TREKK used its in-house mobile LiDAR to create a DTM of the existing pavement surface and 3D features, such as overhead signs, crash barriers and bridges, to assist in making recommendations for pavement overlay and corrective actions for drainage. We obtained the survey-grade data in 3.5 hours, collecting 12GB of LiDAR data and 15GB of time-stamped, geo-referenced 360 degree HD images. The final RMSe accuracy was 0.014′ to 109 control points. “KDOT specifically requested the use of mobile LiDAR scanning because of the need to quickly obtain accurate pavement cross slope data for the corridor, as well as overhead signs and bridge structures, drainage inlets, barrier, and guardrail,” said HDR Roadway Design Engineer, Kyle Schomaker. “The project called for a minimum 4.5- inch overlay of the existing pavement. It was critical to be able to evaluate the existing pavement cross slope conditions, guardrail heights and existing vertical clearances to ensure that the final overlay slopes would be within FHWA tolerances in order to receive federal funding for the project. The project schedule was extremely compressed and required the TREKK team to mobilize rapidly for the scan and expedite the post-processing of the data. Additionally, because of the tight schedule, it was requested that the data...
Finding the Forest

Finding the Forest

Finding the Forest In my career, it’s sometimes difficult to “see the forest for the trees.” As an Engineering Technician, I am typically in front of my computer, configuring the details of a plan set that a contractor will be able to read, use and, eventually, build and make a reality. I am continuously focused on the minute details of the coordinates of “proposed” versus “existing” infrastructure, ensuring that the elevations of specific items are correct, and that we have specific notes, detailed diagrams and the area data covered correctly. Through all of these details, it is easy to forget that every project I touch improves communities, lives and the wellbeing of individuals everywhere. I had the good fortune to be reminded of this recently. I’m part of a small team currently working on a project with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to design and coordinate the rehabilitation of 20 bus stops throughout the greater Kansas City area. The bulk of the design has been balanced between Mike Shirk as the Project Manager and Engineer and me as Engineering Technician, with the assistance of Brooks Taylor, another Engineering Technician, and our highly-skilled GIS Team. Mike has been wonderful in empowering me to take a lead in the design and helped me through the process. At first, I struggled with this project and its simplicity. I found myself wanting and needing my coordinates and elevations, my multitudes of details, and struggling to design what I thought was just a simple concrete pad. It was during a field check with Mike that the importance of this project set in. We...