Surveying a highway without setting foot on the road

There’s a lot going on at the intersection of Pumicestone and Beerburrum Roads, just north of Caboolture, Queensland.

Traffic is continuous, and just 30 metres to the east, trains bustle along the North Coast railway line.
With this in mind, Transport and Main Roads (TMR) needed to consider surveyor safety before starting a major upgrade in the area.

Would its team be confined to night surveys with expensive traffic control? Or was there a way to remotely capture the extensive but vital site data without putting surveyors on the road?

“We’d usually need to occupy the road with a total station and prism, and no risk assessment would allow us to do that without traffic control at the very least, so we’d probably end up doing the job at night,” said TMR senior surveyor Ray Miller.

Overall, the risks of the job would take time and cost to mitigate.

“As well as the survey crew, you’ve got at least three traffic controllers plus bump trucks, lights, set-up, and signs, plus Queensland Rail would need to be informed and they have their own controls and procedures for safety.

“It becomes a time-consuming logistical challenge,” said Ray.

However Ray and his team found a way to survey its entire Bruce Highway project during the day without setting foot on the road.

See how in this case study.