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Highway surveying

Discussion in 'Construction & Mining' started by vplayer, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. vplayer

    vplayer 2-Year Member

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    Ok currently I'm working for a firm that specializes in HW construction. We are using Trimble's SCS900 site software and our office surveyor provides us with any lineal feature like, curbs, lines, etc. to stake-out. We just simply insert the files into the controller and off we go. The thing is that I was wondering how does he extract these lineal features from the blueprints (I'm not even sure if he uses .pdf's and scales them). I've already asked him about many stuff and simply I don't want to ask him this one.o_O
     
  2. Mark Mayer

    Mark Mayer 6-Year Member

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    There are a number of ways to skin this cat. But typically the centerline is defined in plan and profile on the plans together with a defined cross section. Different cross sections may be used at different points along the centerline stationing. Non standard areas such as curb returns will be detailed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    SellmanA and Roadhand like this.
  3. Roadhand

    Roadhand 6-Year Member

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    He builds the line/grade work in TBC or some other cad program
     
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  4. Brandon Pulling

    Brandon Pulling Member

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    As Roadhand already said, he has likely built the roadway or corridor in a CAD type Program based on the Horizontal Control Line, Profile Grade Line, given Design Cross slopes, Roadway Plan sheets and Typical Sections. This was the way that my previous employer had me staking roadway. I found it to be extremely frustrating as I didn't have the ability to check the accuracy of location and grades in the field. I was always operating from an assumption that the office guy calc'd the given information exactly correct (which never was true). I hope you have access to the full plan set so you are able to compare Design calculations to existing conditions (i.e. intersections x-slopes, match existing points, etc.)

    From my experience, which is heavily in roadway and highway construction, I would urge you to not hesitate to question given points and grades if they conflict with existing conditions. I have very rarely found any intersection design to work perfectly with what is called for in the Design plans and have banged my head against the wall working with Inspectors, my Survey Manager and Site Superintendents to avoid drainage and drivability issues in intersections.
     
  5. Kris Morgan

    Kris Morgan 6-Year Member

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    I haven't seen a workable set of plans in 15 years. Everyone is given a cad file these days. If you can't handle it, you're not competitive.
     
  6. eddycreek

    eddycreek 6-Year Member

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    I haven't seen a workable cad file in "ever". Maybe someday, but it's still build it pretty much from scratch here. Have seen a couple of contractors eat up their profit, and then some, trying it though.
     
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  7. PA PLS

    PA PLS 2-Year Member

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    I use the plans to create the road in the data collector, then check the results against the any grades available in the cross sections. With that being said, I won't be caught on the site without a full set of plans to verify everything I already verified when the need arises. Cad files are nice to have, but I have seen too many where the dimension labels were changed but the line wasn't. For me, it is easier to create my own cad drawing off the hard copy of the plans.
     
  8. Joe Ferg

    Joe Ferg 6-Year Member

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    With everything 3D all CAD files should be good from "FIELD TO FINISH", including plans for construction and models generated. Just insert the model into your data collector and go like crazy!

    That said, I just made myself spit my coffee all over the keyboard:p:joy:
     
  9. paden cash

    paden cash 6-Year Member

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    I had an idea once for full size one to one plan sheets. Just roll them out on the ground and stick stakes where they're suppose to go...

    Nobody around here ever showed any interest, probably because OK is so windy. That idea went the same way as my "gummed edge tortillas"....
     
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  10. Roadhand

    Roadhand 6-Year Member

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    I primarily do large design builds in the 500M to 1B+ range. You would need a small connex to house all of the plans. Because the design rarely can keep up with the construction, we go at risk on some things that are at different stages of design. Keeping up with the changes is almost a fulltime job for one person. We have full access to our designers files, we check, elevate, and do our due diligence before we push anything out to the field crews, all the while maintaining a 35:1 direct/survey manhour ratio. I have 3 of the best crew chiefs in Texas in my opinion with me right now who are all capable of doing what you say but they will tell you that there is no way that they could keep up if they had to hand jam their data. Its the nature of the beast in these times we survey in.
     
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  11. Jim Frame

    Jim Frame 6-Year Member

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    A guy I used to work with (long deceased) told me of a surveyor he knew who would go to the local elementary school playground after hours and recreate field geometry at large scale to solve problems that his substandard math skills weren't capable of resolving.
     
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  12. paden cash

    paden cash 6-Year Member

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    Years ago I was attending some night courses in surveying. There was another PC where I worked that attended classes with me. Between the two of us I'm pretty sure I was the "quicker" of us two.

    We had a homework problem that actually involved the law of cosines and my cohort was convinced there was not enough info given in the problem to determine a solution even though I had already come up with a solution. After work we took the HP3810 out to the airport and "reconstructed" the givens of the problem. It involved reverse curves with tangents of around 3000'....a lot of walking.

    I remember the look on his face when he realized my answer was correct.

    Nowadays Homeland Security would have us and the equipment in custody...;)
     
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  13. Iceman

    Iceman 6-Year Member

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    I'm with you Paden. 1 : 1 scale !!!
     
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  14. billvhill

    billvhill 3-Year Member

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    I have always liked the station and offset method where everything is based off of centerline. I have noticed a change from that method to coordinate based plans. Even Highway right-of-way plans have gone that direction. Entering coordinates seems to be more susceptible to error without a way to check.
    I staked a power line this summer where all the poles and guys were given to me in a spread sheet along with a drawing file. After staking the offsets I imported the points into the drawing and checked my offsets. When the poles went up the contractor called me and said the poles don't line up. The engineer had moved a PI point and missed moving the majority of the poles on to the new line and then extracted the locations from the drawing. If there would have been an alignment with stationing or spans between poles this would have been avoided. These were not small poles either, it took a good sized crane to set them. I don't know what it cost to move about 15 poles, but it was a couple days work for the contractor. Not to mention the stress it cost me when I got the call that the poles didn't line up and then having to listen to the contractor repeat why I didn't look down the line to see if they were straight.
     
  15. paden cash

    paden cash 6-Year Member

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    Most of my clients that have aerial plant work from sta.-offset. We also are given span lengths. When "stuff" don't fit we generally stick with the span lengths and make the run "straight" from anchor point to anchor point. Some of the engineers are pretty good with sta-offset on tangents, but they always blow it on curves. I wish I had a dollar for every aerial run I have staked different than plans showed....
     

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