The Colorado legislature recently took measures that require the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to collect and store more enhanced as-built data on utilities that fall within the agency’s right-of-way. This process, known as subsurface utility engineering (SUE), helps prevent delays and dangerous utility strikes caused by construction equipment through the collection of 3D data.
The agency has also been using concrete overlays to improve the condition of roadways in Colorado for over two decades. The SH13 concrete overlay project in northwest Colorado has received multiple awards for its excellence in improving the condition of the existing asphalt surface.
CDOT is collecting enhanced digital as-built data to prevent delays and utility strikes
Due to recent measures passed by the Colorado legislature, CDOT is now required to collect as-built data on utilities that fall within the agency’s right-of-way. Moreover, they are responsible for managing and storing the 3D utility information. To ensure safety and accuracy, CDOT is utilizing a process known as subsurface utility engineering (SUE) to collect data on the 3D location of the utility lines and store it as digital as-builts for future use.
Using the 3D database, contractors collect and store important information about the subsurface utilities to prevent future delays and dangerous utility strikes caused by construction equipment. The SUE data is collected during the design phase and is continually updated when utilities are exposed, relocated, removed or added.
“Once a design is done and we are ready to go to construction, we have identified what existing utilities need to be relocated or moved or adjusted in place,” said CDOT Utilities Program Manager, Rob Martindale. “We then have the ability to push this data out to construction via mobile devices.”
Additionally, the agency is utilizing its 3D utilities map to create new, innovative applications for the future such as the development of augmented reality and machine-guided excavation applications.
“There are a lot of new tools and a lot of exciting things going on, and it’s built around having a database that is completely accurate and reliable,” said Martindale.
Colorado wins awards for its use of concrete overlays
For more than two decades, CDOT has used concrete overlays to rehabilitate asphalt and concrete roadways. These overlays have been used on interstates and in rural parts of the state, such as State Highway 13 (SH13) in northwest Colorado.
On SH13, a 6-inch concrete overlay, covering 6 miles, was implemented to improve the condition of the existing asphalt surface. Alternative solutions were explored to identify the most cost-effective approach for rehabilitating the highway. Through research, the agency determined that the 6-inch overlay was the best option. The contractor on the project also reused existing asphalt millings to further improve the strength, quality, and smoothness of the highway.
The SH13 concrete overlay project was a resounding success and has since been recognized for its excellence. This includes the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) Award for Excellence in Concrete Pavement Overlays, the ACPA National Gold Award for Excellence and the American Concrete Institute State Award for Excellence in Concrete Pavement Overlays.
SOURCES: CDOT, FHWA