Allen County engineer applies for new project

LIMA — Allen County Commissioners approved a resolution for the Allen County Engineer to apply for a grant to help with a new project. Annually, the engineer surveys areas to determine what needs to be replaced or updated in the roadways.

“Every year, the County Engineers Association has funding available for different types of projects,” Allen County Engineer Dave Louth said. “They are categorized under different funding opportunities — this one is a safety study that can be used on various things throughout the county including roadway corridors, intersections, bridges and any kind of infrastructure. The one we have applied for here today is a safety study on our sign inventory, existing guardrails, center line striping and curb elevations.”

As technology advances, so do the means to obtain road information. The engineer hopes to receive the grant that will fund 90% of the $250,000 needed for this project.

“If we get this grant, then a consultant will be hired that specializes in this area,” Louth said. “One particular consultant drives down the road and it has a 3D camera laser on top that looks (like you’ve probably seen the Google cars driving around) knows what to look for.”

Louth also said the camera will record the data and show the GPS location.

“There is a software program that we get along with this,” Louth said. “We can type in the road and it will bring up all the signs on that road — it will also summarize the areas we need to upgrade. The program creates inventory for us to monitor.”

The department previously retrieved the information manually.

“We have done parts of this in the past but not with this level of technology,” Louth said. “Before we had someone in a car driving down the road and another person writing everything down — it will be much more in-depth and detailed than we have ever done in the past.”

Louth said the applications are due next week. The department will be notified if it is approved for the new program before the end of the year.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.