LIDAR aids Maine DOT winter salt situation

Aug. 12, 2020

The Maine DOT has begun using a tool often employed in the construction industry for inspections and data gathering in order to strengthen its winter maintenance regime as summer now begins to wane. The agency is now using LIDAR to determine how much salt is in the state’s salt sheds.

Using a fixed LIDAR scanner, which is programmed with the limits of a given shed’s foundation, MDOT can perform scans of the pile to routinely update the amount inside to determine, based on weather patterns, if the stockpile is adequate or if more if needed to maintain the right levels of snow and ice control.

DOT officials said part of the test is to see if this can be a cost-saving measure for the state.

According to a local CBS affiliate, MDOT’s Brian Burne said:” “We’ll be using this one scanner this winter. This is a test. The company has provided us this to try out. So, it’s all about the cost benefit. It’s not a cheap technology right now so we have to make sure the cost offsets the benefits we’ll receive from this. So, we’ll be tracking this in the winter.”