Woolpert was hired to complete right-of-way (ROW) and TMOSS design surveys utilizing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Castle Rock, Colo. The design and ROW plan surveys are being conducted per Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) standards. TMOSS stands for InRoads Terrain Modeling Survey System and represents the best practices followed by CDOT surveyors and contract consultant surveyors.
Felsburg Holt & Ullevig (FHU) contracted with Woolpert and will use the imagery and mapping collected via UAS to assess and design a frontage road adjacent to Interstate 25, which runs through Castle Rock and Douglas County. The design and ROW plans produced from the imagery and field surveys will be used by the project team to evaluate and define ROW acquisition needs for the new road.
Woolpert is deploying the SenseFly eBee X drone for this project. This fixed-wing system allows for extended flight times and is equipped with real-time kinematic (RTK) technology which, paired with the Woolpert survey group’s ground control point data, produces a highly accurate topographic base map and orthorectified imagery.
Woolpert has conducted numerous UAS projects across the country with clients such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, airports, mining companies and several state departments of transportation, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. The firm has worked with CDOT for over 20 years and with the town of Castle Rock for almost a decade, providing transportation design surveys and ROW acquisition support services.
Woolpert Project Manager Chris Raml said this is the first survey project that the firm has conducted for Castle Rock using UAS.
“This is a unique opportunity to introduce new technology to the town with a proven survey team,” Raml said. “Using UAS will save the client time and money, and offer a superior, visual deliverable. We know what’s required by the town of Castle Rock and CDOT, and our drones are collecting exactly what’s needed safely and efficiently.”
FHU Senior Engineer Rick Erjavec said FHU contracted with Woolpert to obtain the required survey data based on the firm’s favorable reputation with Castle Rock for previous work completed, and due to Woolpert’s ability to tie into the same control that will be used for an upcoming Crystal Valley interchange project.
Woolpert Roads and Bridges Practice Leader Tom Ruschkewicz said DOTs and municipalities across the country are increasingly using UAS technology for transportation projects, often requesting the tool to meet schedule demands and help with budget constraints. UAS can be mobilized quickly and can avoid the cost and time associated with grounded flight crews.
“Woolpert is leading the geospatial industry in UAS best practices and product quality assurances that meet and sometimes exceed the accuracies of traditional fixed-wing, frame-based cameras,” Ruschkewicz said. “We appreciate the opportunity to utilize UAS technology for this project, and we are excited to provide these innovative solutions to valued customers like the town of Castle Rock and CDOT.”
This project is now underway.