Land Surveys is proud to have received the Award for Technical Excellence at this year’s NSW Spatial Excellence Awards for our work on the Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail project.

The CBD and South East Light Rail, Sydney’s latest construction addition to the CBD infrastructure, spans across 12 kilometres and when operational will have the capacity to move up to 13,500 customers per hour

Our partner company, Patriot Environmental Management, was engaged on the project to provide the non-destructive digging services. Patriot engaged the vast skills of Land Surveys and our partner company, Utility Mapping, for the surveying and underground utility locating elements of the package. Land Surveys, along with Utility Mapping, were tasked to map all the existing utilities and associated structures through the Surry Hills zone, which runs along Devonshire Street from Central Station through to Moore Park.

When this project was initially proposed, the asset owners were unaware of all their services underground, or of their exact location. Some of the service records dated back to more than 100 years old. They were compiled in different formats, different plans, some of them were only lines on a piece of paper, and some of the records were incomplete or missing. There was lacking information around property connections and decommissioned/abandoned services.

Land Surveys used today’s modern technologies to clearly identify and map all the existing services. Over 1,400 unknown or undocumented utility services have been identified to date across the light rail project’s 12km alignment. Radio detection scanners were used to induce signals into existing cable banks, water mains, and gas lines to trace on the surface the a position and depth along the alignment. A total-station was then used to accurately measure the positions of all those services in the project grid, MGA zone 56. This allows integration into the full urban planning of Sydney.

A ground penetrating radar was used to confirm the non-metallic items such as old brick chambers that date back to the 1850s. CCTV and Radio Sonds were used to map clay drainage lines and empty asbestos conduits which could be a potential health and safety risk to workers.

3D mapping of large pits and chambers was a challenge, with a majority being brick structures carrying old high voltage joints or deep manholes with gas buildup, deemed unsafe to access. Laser scanning and direct reflex technology was used to be able to measure inside those chambers without actually entering them.

The collated data, using a mixture of Leica equipment and 12D software, formed an accurate 3D model with each vertex point carrying at least 12 attributes providing information, including but not limited to utility type, size, material, and configuration to AS 5488-2013 “Classification of Subsurface Utility Information”. Regular updates of the model were provided to the designers for periodic review of how the rail design impacted the services.

Hosted by the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA), Geospatial Information and Technologies Association (GITA ANZ) and the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), the Spatial Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements of top spatial information enterprises and individuals, and showcase the finest projects and most significant performance of professionals that the Surveying and Spatial Industry have to offer. The Technical Excellence Award that Land Surveys received recognises products or projects that implemented spatial solutions to an exceptionally high technical standard, overcoming significant technical challenges, and delivering outstanding results for the client. We are proud to have received this recognition and look forward to the 2018 National APSEA Awards in which we are now nominated in.