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Digital Photogrammetry Project Receives ACEC/PA Award

Bill Roman, PG, a chief geologist and project hydrogeologist based in Harrisburg, Pa., takes digital photographs of the U.S. Highway 15 rock cut near South Williamsport, Pa.
Bill Roman, PG, a chief geologist and project hydrogeologist based in Harrisburg, Pa., takes digital photographs of the U.S. Highway 15 rock cut near South Williamsport, Pa.
(Harrisburg, Pa.)

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) recognized the Digital Photogrammetry for Rock Cut Slope Design project in its 2014 Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence competition on Feb. 24. The entry received the Honor Award in the Surveying and Mapping Technology category. The Honor Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a project in each category.

Gannett Fleming introduced the use of digital photogrammetry, a new advancement in precision geologic mapping, to rock cut slope design in the Appalachian Mountains on a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) project to modify an existing cut carrying U.S. Highway 15 through Bald Eagle Mountain, near South Williamsport. Digital photogrammetry was used to safely measure the orientations of fractures and bedding exposed in the existing cut, which was experiencing occasional rockfalls.

Roadway safety improvements undertaken by PennDOT Engineering District 3-0 at this location included removal of an existing rockfall fence; modification of an existing rock cut to flatten the slope; and installation of a rockfall catchment zone to prevent falling rock travel hazards and reduce on-going maintenance issues.

Gannett Fleming was proud to take part in such an important project and contributed some of its most innovative technologies to the design effort. The digital photogrammetry deployed by Gannett Fleming geologists and geotechnical engineers safely and rapidly evaluated site conditions so that analysis and design could proceed more quickly. At the completion of the project, roadway sight lines were improved; highway rock fall hazards were mitigated; and maintenance costs were reduced.

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