Working collaboratively with FM Conway, Catsurveys utilised cutting edge mobile mapping technology to gather critical asset information on the A249.
FM Conway is currently six years into a 10-year maintenance contract on the A249 in Kent for Sheppey Route Ltd that manages the road on behalf of National Highways. The contract covers a 41km network on the A249 between the M2 and Sheerness that is used by 30,000 drivers a day, and includes the iconic Sheppey Crossing.
Now, thanks to FM Conway’s intelligence-led approach to asset management and their collaboration with Catsurveys, there is, for the first time, a comprehensive database containing all the assets on the network.
“Records were previously kept in various paper and digital forms,” says FM Conway contract manager Karl Hopper. “When Sheppey Route Ltd hand the network back to National Highways at the end of the contract, they must provide a detailed asset management record for all the assets, on a platform that everyone can use.”
Although the contract still has 13 years remaining, Sheppey Route Ltd asked FM Conway to produce a database to fit this brief. “We saw this as a great opportunity for a digital transformation project to record all the physical assets as digital assets and create an asset management registry in a GIS platform,” explains FM Conway head of asset management services Sacha Attard.
The team worked with Catsurveys to develop a solution choosing a mobile mapping technology as the most efficient solution, using a vehicle mounted with a 360o HD camera to drive the network and take photographs every 10m.
Catsurveys collected images from the entire network in just half a day, then processed them using a combination of computer processing and manual analysis to turn it into a GIS format. “the automated data extraction was done using AI,” explains Sacha, who says, in future, this could automate all the data processing.
The result – delivered in just six weeks – is a database of all the network assets, including carriageways, footways, lighting, barriers, fencing, gullies, bollards, signs, traffic lights and islands, all labelled in accordance with National Highways’ Asset Data Management Manual.
The information sits on FM Conway’s asset management platform, so the teamam can use it to manage maintenance activities. “Phase 1 was to bring all the asset information together in one place. Phase 2 is to use it for defect recording, accidents and incidents, maintenance, drain clearing, structural inspections, surfacing works and vegetation clearance,” says Karl.
“All our maintenance history will be on the asset management platform going forward and our client can access the system and monitor what we’re doing.”
Digitising data on client’s assets is fundamental to FM Conway’s strategy and, following the success of the A249 project, a similar approach is likely to be adopted across other networks maintained by the business.
Sheppey Route Ltd general manager Gary Branton says: “FM Conway’s asset management system is certainly a great addition in capturing all of the A249 assets and recording the maintenance history of each one.”