Extracting Highway Cross Slopes From Airborne and Mobile LiDAR Point Clouds

Adequate water pavement surface drainage on highways is crucial in minimizing the potential of hydroplaning. Highway cross slope has a significant effect of draining water laterally from the pavement surface. Currently, field surveying techniques and other manual measurement methods are used to collect cross slope data on a limited basis in most states, despite these methods being labor intensive and exposing personnel to traffic. Furthermore, field surveying techniques cannot provide continuous data and can only be conducted at sample-based locations. This study conducted a technical evaluation of the effectiveness of airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanning and mobile terrestrial LiDAR scanning systems in measuring pavement cross slopes. Cross slope data were extracted from the LiDAR point cloud at five selected test sections using two different methods: (i) end-to-end method using elevations only from the pavement edge lines to generate the cross slope; and (ii) 0.2?ft interval point extraction along the cross-section and using a fitted linear regression line as the basis for the cross slope. Cross slopes were also measured at test section locations using conventional surveying methods and compared with LiDAR-extracted cross slopes. Results demonstrate that LiDAR methods are reliable for collecting accurate pavement cross slopes and should be considered for the purpose of cross slope verification on a braod scale such as statewide to address cross slope and pavement surface drainage issues proactively.


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  • Accession Number: 01853083
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2022 1:21PM