Pictured above is a map of the Wendell to Buhl ROW surveying project

D-4 survey effort garners state, national recognition

“This project was full of adventure. There were railroad, canal, and river crossings; swamps to crawl and steep rocky cliffs to climb to locate monuments,” read the award application. The project included "aerial mapping and a multitude of paperwork to get the entire project described and prepared.”

Who knew an old county road could be so full of challenge and intrigue? Nevertheless, the Idaho 46-Buhl to Wendell corridor is now recorded, defined, and ready for a future for roadway improvements.

And this significant effort is now being recognized on a national level.

The completed work has been honored with selection of first place for Surveying and Mapping Technology in the ACEC of Idaho 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards and with a National Recognition Award in the ACEC 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards. The work was completed by EHM Engineers Inc., of Twin Falls, and under the direction of ITD District 4.

“This award crowns the cumulative effort and partnership between the highway districts, the city of Buhl and ITD to develop an important north-south corridor linking the western Magic Valley with I-84,” said Walter Burnside, D-4 project development engineer.

Representatives from EHM Engineers Inc. and ITD will be recognized April 14 in Boise for the state award and April 29 in Washington, D.C., at the national award gala.

The project required two full-time survey crews and field-verified aerial LiDAR and imagery. Included in the scope of work was recording multi-sheet record-of-survey maps, topographic survey of the corridor, boundary and terrain modeling, imagery of the corridor, legal descriptions of the Snake River bed, and bridge and canal studies. The project featured aerial LiDAR and imagery collected by 3Di West of Boise.

Altogether, the project lasted 14 months and compiled a 64-page record-of-survey in Gooding and Twin Falls counties.

The survey was necessary following the transfer of 14.75 miles of roadway connecting Idaho 46 from Interstate 84 in Wendell to U.S. 30 in Buhl, which was finalized in September 2010. ITD acquired the road after more than a decade of right-of-way purchases by three local highway districts.

“The survey of the existing right-of-way will serve as an important reference for all future improvements of this route. I am very proud of all the contributions to this success,” he added.

Burnside credited the high level of professionalism and technical ability demonstrated by the survey team assembled by EHM Engineers Inc. and D-4 Surveyor Ken Thomason who served as agreement administrator.

The agreement stipulated that the local highway jurisdictions were to secure a wider section of highway right-of-way before the transfer was enacted, but the record of survey, legal descriptions and monumentation was not completed prior to the transfer.

The survey work has had immediate payoff for D-4 which has bridge and reconstruction projects scheduled to be under contract as soon as this fall and will serve ITD, the community and highway users well into the future.

Published 3-21-14