A new partnership between PILLAR and VDOT will utilize cutting-edge technology to make Virginia a safer, more beautiful place for cyclists and pedestrians.
Recently, PILLAR received a task order to inventory assets, assess, and maintain the Virginia Capital Trail. The Virginia Capital Trail was originally a scenic road that connected Virginia’s capital to the coast. Then called Route 5, the drive was widely valued for its natural beauty and character. In 2004, The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation was formed to advocate and fundraise for a recreational trail adjacent to Route 5. In 2008, construction on the project began. Today, The Virginia Capital trail is a 51.7 mile, fully paved trail that stretches from Williamsburg to Richmond and is enjoyed by cyclists, runners, walkers, skateboarders, and more.
Maintenance of the nearly 52-mile trail is no small task. To keep the Trail well-tended, The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation secured a public-private partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation. VDOT is responsible for maintenance of the Trail from making repairs, clearing debris, or cutting the grass. VDOT faced the challenge of proactively monitoring each mile of the Trail to ensure repairs happened quickly and citizens stayed safe. To address the challenge, VDOT partnered with PILLAR to leverage their expertise and engage them to scan the trail with mobile LiDAR.
For maximum efficiency and safety in transportation maintenance, data is key. As part of the Trail inventory process, PILLAR’s modern technology will automatically extract key features important to the upkeep of the Trail utilizing proprietary AFESTM Technology. This data provides a comprehensive baseline overview of the Trail. From this starting point, PILLAR will make validated maintenance plans enabling VDOT to address issues so pedestrians and cyclists can continue to enjoy the trail now and into the future. “We are honored to partner with VDOT in the maintenance of this beautiful and historic trail and play a part in helping Virginians to enjoy the natural beauty of our state,” says PILLAR Vice President Eric Brooks.
PILLAR is an award-winning organization that has been recognized for their stewardship and the ways in which their maintenance plans have positive impacts on the environment. As the partnership continues, PILLAR and VDOT anticipate that scheduling short- and long-term personnel to address the hands-on work of maintenance will become more efficient. Other areas of impact include brush management, pavement management, signage and more.