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Michigan Department of Transportation | M-43 Drainage Structure Condition Assessment

Michigan Department of Transportation | M-43 Drainage Structure Condition Assessment

Through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) design survey as-needed statewide contract, Fishbeck was retained to complete mapping and structure inventories along M-46. The westerly portion of the project included two miles of full-design survey from US-31 to Muskegon Avenue. The eastern portion was structure inventories only from US-31 to Maple Island Road, totaling seven miles.

The project goal consisted of resurfacing and concrete inlay; underground utilities were to remain, but MDOT wanted to know if any structures needed to be addressed before resurfacing. MDOT was looking for an innovative solution to document the existing rim and conditions for the 775 structures throughout the project limits. MDOT requested two photo data sets at each structure — a straightforward photo of the structure rim and images of the interior structure, not conventionally as easy.

To eliminate a separate mobilization by MDOT crews to evaluate structure conditions, Fishbeck proposed using a 360-degree camera to document existing conditions and organize the data in a free GIS viewer. While completing structure inventory data with pipe depths, Fishbeck crews took multiple 360-degree photos to document each structure. The data was compiled in the GIS viewer, allowing engineers to look at structure information with photos and metadata. MDOT now has a complete digital record and photo log of structures within a very intuitive web-based map. The project eliminated MDOT mobilizations and concerns about structure integrity, saving time and money for everyone involved. Fishbeck is working to adopt this procedure for documenting structures for other clients and projects. This method reduces questions from engineers designing infrastructure, as they have a clear understanding of structure configuration, pipe orientations, and flow directions. Mobile LiDAR (light detection and ranging) was used on the western portion of the project to collect all hard surfaces and assets within the project limits.

This project has received the 2024 ACEC Michigan Surveying Eminent Conceptor Award and a 2024 ACEC National Recognition Award.