Spring Hill Uses Laser Technology to Survey U.S. 31

survey truck - Laser Technology

The most heavily used roadway in Spring Hill is now being surveyed, using the most advanced laser technology, to determine true cost estimates for the eventual widening and improvement of U.S. 31 (Columbia Pike/Main Street).

It will be the most accurate and thorough land survey the City of Spring Hill has ever had, offering the best data available to determine true cost estimates and right-of-way restrictions when planning for the widening of U.S. 31.

The City of Spring Hill hired Wiser Co. – a Murfreesboro-based survey, mapping and engineering firm – which contracts with surveying and mapping specialists EMC Inc. EMC this week drove its LiDar mobile mapping truck along the full north and south stretches of U.S. 31 from Saturn Parkway through Spring Hill, Thompson’s Station and into Franklin.survey Truck - laser technology

This complex mapping system takes photos of every segment of the roadway and related right-of-way areas, piecing them together, comparable to the Google Maps Street View car. But EMC’s system is far more advanced, with its primary focus on capturing LiDar data – named for its use of light and radar – a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light.

It replaces the traditional surveying work of manually plotting points using a transit, which would normally take two months just to survey the busiest Spring Hill portion of U.S. 31, said Wiser surveyor Justin Raines.

Back at the office, surveyors then use the images and LiDar data to create a topographical map that indicates the contours, slopes, ditches and pitches of the land. It also will show the location of things that would need to be relocated or moved in order to widen the road, such as utilities, fences, retaining walls and buildings.

The detailed LiDar survey will allow the City of Spring Hill to determine the needed right-of-way and related limitations that may make widening improbable or cost prohibitive in certain areas. It also will give the City a true cost estimate of such a project in order to work closely with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to help secure funding for a U.S. 31 improvement project.

“This is a significant step toward building a regional plan for adding capacity to U.S. 31,” said Infrastructure Director Dan Allen. “This work establishes a very detailed existing-conditions map allowing us to develop multiple widening scenarios for the corridor. This information will be used to coordinate with multiple agencies in the interest of developing a regional project to address traffic congestion in southern Williamson County.”

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