Nationwide Professional Aerial Drone Services Provider

Drones, Engineers and 3D Mapping Saved County $800,000+

CALL US: (773) 668-4466

Whenever you partner with great people, great things happen. DroneAscent had the privilege of contributing to a project with our premier client, Christopher Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL), who created a 3D map proposal that fused reality with a project scope that saved the county time, headaches, and over $800,00 using cutting edge technologies to deliver a superior product.

CBBEL provides high-quality engineering services to public and private sector clients throughout the Midwest, specializing in civil, municipal, transportation, water resource, mechanical, structural, construction, traffic, and environmental engineering and environmental resource services.

In 2017, Kane County Division of Transportation of Illinois sought Phase II engineering services for intersection improvements for Stearns Road at Randall Road.  Both high volume roads at 32,600 ADT and 13,650 ADT respectively, maintenance of traffic and preservation of recent improvements was a critical aspect of the project. Kane County Division of Transportation found themselves unable to find an economic way to accomplish the following objectives:

      • Deliver all of the infrastructure enhancements their stakeholders were counting on
      • Identify a cost-effective design that would minimize disruption to new regional improvements
      • Reduce the potential expenditure of right of way access costs

To win this work efficiently and produce a cost-effective proposal, CBBEL needed the ability to collect the engineering data and process it the leanest way possible because proposals are always non-billable. This required a strategy to eliminate the waste of time and resources. They needed to :

      • Demonstrate their innovative design with 3D model animation, data capture information and high-resolution images
      • Integrate reality modeling with their design concept to document as-built conditions
      • Produce detailed models of Stearns Road and the surrounding environment with reality meshes and scalable terrain models

Using Bentley’s ContextCapture, LumenRT, OpenRoads Designer, PowerGeopak and MicroStation CE applications, CBBEL determined the best possible engineering solution. They had a model completed by the previous engineer who had been unable to complete the work within the ROW footprint. This was used in part to help create a representation of the footprint showing existing site condition data with 3D imaging.  By streamlining DroneAscent’s drone data capture with the engineering model data in a quick workflow they could eliminate time-consuming translations and accelerate production to provide precise digital context for design.

CBBEL innovated a design concept that moved a community in the way they actually wanted to move, using all modes of transport Bentley’s ContextCapture and LumenRT applications were used to create visualizations that effectively showed stakeholders how the new design would complement and incorporate in harmony all the existing infrastructure and transportation modes in this very busy corridor. Leveraging the drone data gave a complete backdrop, enabling their engineers to quickly generate an innovative design model with PowerGeopak.  A highly detailed 3D reality mesh provided Kane County with a precise real-world context for the optimized design with imagery taken by DroneAscent.

Within 10 days, CBBEL used the collected drone footage from DroneAscent, and incorporated it into the previous model and created a new solution that would ultimately save Kane County approximately $650K in land acquisition fees alone. CBBEL’s design eliminated rework of the newly improved infrastructure and optimized the land use. Not only could they solve the engineering challenge, CBBEL won the project.

With ContextCapture, CBBEL was able to replace some of the expensive manual topographic surveys with flying drones to capture data and formed reality models that allowed the team to cover hard to access areas without disrupting traffic, additionally minimizing potential safety problems. An accurate 3D representation of the existing assets and conditions, containing curved areas and deflected arcs. Using Bentley’s reality modelling, CBBEL efficiently found an alternative and innovative way to represent these elements. Their 3D model combined information from multiple assets and that empowered the team to identify potential issues upstream, before they became an issue.

With CBBEL’s wealth of Phase II engineering experience, they created a 3D visualization of a design that:

      • Delivered all of the stakeholder requested infrastructure enhancements, including the safe accommodation of all transportation modes
      • Proved a cost-effective design that would minimize disruption to new regional improvements
      • Eliminated the potential expenditure of right of way access costs
      • Recommended efficient modifications to minimize impacts to existing landscaped areas, and enhanced aesthetics for the path and minimized cost associated with replacing existing landscaping
      • Addressed the maintenance of traffic, a critical design aspect, demonstrating that all through lanes to remain open during peak volume hours

Within 10 days, CBBEL used the collected drone footage from DroneAscent and incorporated it into the previous model. They created a new design that eliminated rework of the newly improved infrastructure and optimized the land use AND saved themselves an estimated unbillable 80 man-hours on data collection and surveying that was delivered by DroneAscent. The 3D map enhanced efficiency, reduced man-power and time, streamlined work flows,  lowered the chance of re-work and showed the project could be done without expensive land acquisitions to secure the ROW. Not only could they solve the engineering challenge, CBBEL won the project.

The CAD Manager at CBBEL explained, “In the past we would not have been able to include all the rich visual details. The difference in achieved accuracy by using Bentley technologies means we can more quickly produce concepts that are crisp, clean, accurate and convey our design intent. This has created a dramatic impact in lowering proposal costs and increase our project win rates. Being able to incorporate the collected data from DroneAscent has been a game changer us.”

This project resulted in tremendous savings to Kane County: $650,000 just in land acquisition fees. By eliminating the need for land acquisition, CBBEL shaved two years off the project completion by eliminating the need to negotiate with land owners. An additional $200,000,was saved in labor costs by completing the project with an accelerated construction schedule – estimated at 30% faster.

Oh, and our client? CBBEL won a Consultant of the Year Award for their work for Kane County.

– Lorrie Cozzens, VP of Marketing Communications and Sales