Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Project Managers bear responsibility for preparing all phases of highway projects, from initial concept to letting, while Section Engineers manage all phases of highway construction projects, from letting to completion. To perform the activities for which they are responsible, these stakeholders require knowledge of best practices for leveraging current surveying methodologies and equipment. With survey technologies having advanced significantly over the past 15-20 years, staff attrition at the Cabinet depleting its in-house surveying expertise, and contractors frequently undertaking their own surveying, acquiring this knowledge has become increasingly difficult. Drawing on a series of interviews with KYTC district and Central Office personnel, this report discusses current surveying practices at the Cabinet and the challenges many district personnel face in their efforts to procure survey data. Common difficulties encountered at the district level include equipment shortages, lack of trained survey technicians, misalignments between KYTC- and contractor-generated digital terrain models, and a dearth of Cabinet-specific training opportunities focused on surveying. Based on this review of the state of surveying practice at KYTC, this report offers numerous recommendations the Cabinet should consider for strengthening its approach to surveying. Recommendations include developing design-specific guidance, improving the in-house production of digital terrain models, creating survey training tailored to the Cabinet’s needs, acquiring additional surveying equipment, and working to improve software compatibility between KYTC and its contractors. Additionally, the report outlines current training needs and includes high-level training course outlines to address them, provides guidance Project Managers can use when determining what survey services are needed on a project, and summarizes — by district — KYTC’s current survey equipment inventory.

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© 2018 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without KTC’s written consent.

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.