- State News
- Gas Industry
PennDOT Using Digital, 3-D Technology to Save Time, Money; Enhance Worker Safety
March 7, 2013
PennDOT recently put digital, 3-D technology to work in Lycoming County to help designers develop plans for a current project along Route 15 near South Williamsport.
The technology, known as digital photogrammetry, essentially involved capturing a series of digital photographs of the mountainside near the project to create a 3-D model of the terrain. The 3-D model then allowed PennDOT’s consultant designers to develop plans to “cut back” the mountainside without laborious and often dangerous field surveys to manually measure the terrain.
Measuring the mountainside manually would have taken 20 to 50 days depending on the slope. The use of digital photogrammetry, which was used to build the 3-D model, was completed in one day. The 3-D model was analyzed to determine rock stability and identify the best locations to build horizontal drains to keep the mountainside stable.
In addition to the resulting time savings, PennDOT estimates that it saved $25,000 on the overall project design costs by using this process. The technology not only saved design time and money, but it also greatly enhanced safety for the field team since they did not need to rappel or free-climb the mountainside.
Another digital photogrammetry benefit is that the potential for human error is reduced since all measurements are captured electronically.
The $11 million project is in the second year of construction and PennDOT expects it to be completed later this fall.
The use of digital photogrammetry has helped PennDOT complete design projects less expensively, more quickly and provide safety benefits by minimizing personnel time spent on rugged mountainous terrain.