RCOC Planning and Environmental Concerns Department Wins First Place in LTAP 2015 Great Ideas Challenge

According to a a press release, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Planning and Environmental Concerns (PEC) Department has won the 2015 Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Great Ideas Challenge award for its creative use of current technology to capture environmental data. The award was announced last month.

The competition, open to local governmental agencies across the state, is meant to help identify, share and reward the great work that gets done at local road agencies in Michigan. LTAP is a Federal Highway Administration program that provides technical assistance and training to local road agencies across the country.

The RCOC program, known as the Transportation Asset Collection Using Android Tablet and ArcGIS Collector, provided a very cost-effective way to map out road-stream crossings within its right of way for storm water compliance. In 2014, RCOC hired two summer interns with environmental studies backgrounds to collect the data.

In a 10-week period, the interns visited 500 locations and collected more than 2,500 data points.  The creative technology use saved RCOC approximately 80 percent of what it would have cost to hire a consultant to do the task.

The ArcGIS Collector runs on Android and Apple tablets. The software uses the tablet’s built-in GPS ability to collect the data. The information collected helped identify infrastructure problems and provide geo-tagged photos that were submitted to the RCOC Highway Maintenance Department for further investigation.

 

“This was a very innovative initiative by the RCOC Planning and Environmental Concerns Department,” stated RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar. “But it is representative of the countless new and creative efforts undertaken on a regular basis by Michigan road agencies in their constant quest to operate more efficiently, cost effectively and in ways that are beneficial to the environment.”

The award automatically enters RCOC in the Federal Highway Administration’s LTAP Build a Better Mousetrap national competition. This year’s winner will be announced at the LTAP National Conference in Savannah, Georgia later this month.

About Sarah Hovis

Word manipulator, arts appreciator, sports spectator, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at [email protected].

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