You are here

Use of Laser Scanning Technology to Obtain As-built Records

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Monday, September 8, 2008
End Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2013
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
FHWA Topics: 
Roads and Bridges--Structures
TRT Terms: 
Wooden Bridges; Covered Bridges; Lasers; Infrastructure; Research; Bridges
FHWA Discipline: 
TRB Subject Area: 
Bridges and other structures, Data and Information Technology, History

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3106
Email Address: 
Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Today there are several hundred historic covered bridges remaining. Although there is much effort to preserve these structures, oftentimes a high cost of restoration, neglect, and vandalism takes its toll, and many are lost forever. One of the more famous bridges from "The Bridges of Madison County" movie fame was burned down last year. As we cannot completely prevent these types of incidents from occurring, we at least should properly document these bridges for posterity. The National Park Service’s Historic American Engineering Record has efforts underway to document historic structures. Their Level I documentation is defined in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Engineering Documentation, and consists of measured and interpretive drawings, large-format photographs, and written historical reports. In order to assist in this effort, newer technologies need to be explored that can provide as-built records at a faster rate and with more accuracy.


The objective is to identify and demonstrate laser scanning technology to scan existing bridges for the purpose of obtaining as-built records in resolution that meets the Level I documentation criteria of the Historic American Engineering Record as defined in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Engineering Documentation.


Deliverable Name: 
Feasibility of Laser Scanning Technology in Obtaining As-built Records and Architectural Drawings
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
The product is a report on the feasibility of laser scanning technology for obtaining as-built records for covered bridges.