Mobile LiDAR for Streetscape Improvements

Austin, Texas

The City of Austin was in the preliminary design phase of streetscape improvements for East Sixth in Downtown Austin, beginning at Congress Avenue and extending to I-35. The project included widening sidewalk and related pedestrian facilities, roadway paving and enhancing other transportation related features for this busy downtown area in keeping with the Great Streets Program design plan. It was crucial to the City’s planning staff that they have detailed and accurate information of all visible ground street features. SAM was contacted by the City of Austin to perform a design survey of the East Sixth Street project area, including side streets that extend one block north and one block south of Congress along San Jacinto, Trinity, Neches, Red River and Sabine Streets.

Mobile LiDAR technology is ideal for projects requiring an extraordinary level of detail, such as streetscape design. This mobile laser scanning technology incorporates the most advanced LiDAR sensors, cameras and position/ navigation equipment to collect survey-quality point data quickly and accurately. SAM’s mobile LiDAR vehicle arrived at the project site at dawn and in less than four hours the data acquisition was complete. Using mobile LiDAR technology, the City got the survey-grade data they needed collected in a fraction of the time it would have taken conventional surveying methods. It also increased safety for project personnel and the general public because data was collected remotely in early morning hours, removing the need for traffic diversion required by traditional surveying activities.

Topographic survey information was extracted from the robust point cloud, combined with tree identification from Baer Engineering, and delivered in Autodesk Civil 3D using the City of Austin’s ESD CADD Standards, drawn on the appropriate level and in the format required by the City. This allowed the data to be seamlessly integrated into the preliminary engineering design efforts for the City. Additionally, the detailed data set can be used for 3-D visualization and modeling and other project needs without additional mobilization costs.

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