Carson City downtown survey got down to the nitty, gritty

This three-dimensional scanning survey of downtown features more than a billion data points.

This three-dimensional scanning survey of downtown features more than a billion data points.

A three-dimensional scanning survey of downtown Carson Street took much less time and produced detail that’s “orders of magnitude” greater than a conventional survey would have.

Danny Rotter, engineer with Carson City’s Public Works Department serving as project manager for downtown design and work, and Michael Bennett, the engineer with Lumos Associates, lead company, touted both the time savings and nitty-gritty data detail for the $11 million project that also envisions a plaza on West 3rd street and subsequent upgrades on Curry Street. It was Bennett who made the “orders of magnitude” reference.

The first order of business for what’s known formally as the Downtown Carson Street Urban Design Project, the survey took a dozen hours over two Sundays as Carson Street was closed from about 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m each time. That compares with time for a conventional survey ranging up to two weeks. That older method would have yielded what Rotter and Bennett called 5,000 data points each covering 25 feet; this one, however, yielded more than a billion.

“It saved a huge amount of time,” said Bennett, but he added more to the point for detailed design work it provided an image in giga-pixels that goes down to a fraction of an inch. “We have a lot higher resolution,” he said.

Rotter said it provides excellent detail on current buildings, doorways, elevations, existing sidewalks, gutters and drains, any anomalies or other matters. The pair said it even takes in overhead power lines, poles and everything else needed to help with an accurate design process and sound plans. Rotter said Lumos and cooperating design team members are already working on the first 30 percent design goal after initial meetings.

“They’re going to build the plans from this,” said Rotter. He said there will be a “theming workshop” for public input at the Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room on April 20, a Monday, at mid-day and after work, though specific hours will be announced later. He said there also is a 30 percent design stage open house target date of June 22 for more public reaction. That open house again will be at the Sierra Room.

Later there will be 60 and 90 percent stages through 2015, with completion by year’s end.

“We’ve got two tracks going now,” said Rotter.

He said streetscape, landscape, places for eventual art and bike rack placements, along with related items are what he calls the artistic side. He also identified the more engineering oriented side, which are under and above ground details. Those, he said, are things like grading, curb lines, pavement elevations, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access requirements, curb cuts, cross sections and the like.

He said the theming workshop would concentrate on the former artistic elements.

Bennett, meanwhile, told the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) last week the Carson Street three dimensional scan survey was preceded by another like it on West 3rd Street, which was targeted to be closed and converted into a community plaza, in preparation for the detailed design work now accelerating. He also said the recent two Sundays of main drag survey work covered “basically every inch of Carson Street.”

Detailed design work will get specific based on an earlier general design, which will call for Carson Street to have three lanes, with the middle one for left-hand turns, bicycle paths and much wider sidewalks. The footprint for the project runs from 5th Street on the south to Williams Street on the north. Rotter expressed pleasure the survey will prove a boon to design team members because it went well.

“It was great,” he said.


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