Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development—LiDAR Drone Topographic Survey

Louisiana DOTD needed to conduct a topography survey in order to design a cable barrier safety improvement project in the median along I-10 in Lafayette and Acadia Parishes. Louisiana DOTD needed to survey more than 33 miles (or 260 acres of land), spanning from the inside westbound travel lane edge, across the grass median, to the inside eastbound travel lane edge, which could be a safety issue for Louisiana DOTD workers. To get the job done in a safe and efficient manner, the agency utilized drone technology, which also ended up saving the department time and money—bonus benefits behind keeping everyone safe.

Use of the technology allowed Louisiana DOTD to save money—about 38 percent, according to estimates on what the project would have cost without the technology. Also, it cut project delivery from 270 days to 180 days; a 33 percent cut in amount of time needed. The drone technology, which cost $400,000, reduced the schedule by 90 days allowing the agency to potentially complete the construction of the cable barrier, and increasing the availability of the safety asset to Louisiana drivers, by three months.