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R.A. Smith National, Inc. - Newsroom

3D Laser Scanning the Wisconsin Rapids Bridge

by Tyler hauser 28. February 2012 08:20

Historic and offering simple elegance within a beautiful setting, a bridge with its design history lost is finding renewal through 3D laser scanning.

Privately owned, the historic bridge spans time as well as a portion of the Wisconsin River. The bridge services as the only access onto Belle Island in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The existing structure was made up of two, 75-foot spans, and included decorative railing and lighting. No record drawings of the existing bridge could be found.

R.A. Smith National laser scanned the entire bridge, including the abutment walls on both ends, and created a full-color, registered point cloud deliverable that was used by Olson & Nesvold Engineers in the replacement bridge design process. This enabled the design team to very accurately obtain vital dimensional information on the existing structure, as certain structural components and the overall aesthetics of the original bridge needed to be incorporated in the replacement design.

Additional challenges included steep, heavily vegetated slopes which made obtaining sufficient setup locations very difficult.

A topographical survey was also performed for a 75-foot area around each end of the bridge.

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