Imaging a safer future - No 27 - September 2020
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is set to distribute funding for roadway damage caused by natural disasters, mainly over the past five years. Totaling $574 million, it hopes to relieve transportation agencies of repair or reconstruction costs. The main type of disaster response for the damage was flooding, but wildfires on the West Coast also contributed.
Whether the cause of damage by natural disasters, flux in roadway use, construction errors, or simply natural, it may be necessary to inventory where damages are located and what area they cover on a very large scale: corridor, network, or a complete system. One way this feat is achieved is by using mobile pavement scanning vehicles. NEXCO sells and operates one such system: SmartEagle.
SmartEagle captures cracking, rutting, and pavement profiling data at highway speeds. From a high-definition stream of raw data, international roughness index (IRI) and pavement condition index (PCI) values are also automatically generated. Recent attention from our professional network of transportation officials and industry partners has led to more successful applications and further development reporting abilities of the system. We have heard from many transportation officials especially about how tedious traditional methods of pavement analysis can be, and their relief in seeing how SmartEagle can be easily calculated and accessed.
As funding for roads is put into place and project timelines are being conceived, remember to consider mobile scanning as a possible solution for obtaining and managing mass amounts of deficiency data.
Not only are objective records of deficiencies useful for life cycle planning, but they can also help construction contractors and structure owners alike defend themselves in court cases. Time and again, unforeseen cracking during and after construction cause structural insecurities, and sometimes even failures, that end up being grounded for lawsuits.
HD imagery records tell a convincing story that helps unmistakably identify the nature and location of these unforeseen cracking events. Even the growth of hairline cracks (around 0.1 to 0.3mm) can be captured and represented in surface maps. During important phases of a complex building or bridge construction, imaging teams like within NEXCO can rapidly scan target surfaces and deliver a crack detection analysis in a matter of weeks. With proper planning, imaging projects can also save on total construction costs by reducing the amount of time spent on periodic hands-on inspections. Continual improvements in camera sensor technology, alongside improvements in image-stitching and automated detection technology, make imaging cost-benefit impressive. Where this type of imaging may have been challenging or tiresome in the past, systems like our U3S or ACS can make exterior and interior surface imaging a non-intrusive and speedy process.
To learn more about how you can rapidly and affordably create a post-construction record for your project, reach out to us directly or view our U3S or ACS product pages for more details.
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