Publication Date

Fall 2020

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Mark Revels (Director), Bashar Haddad, and Shane Palmquist

Degree Program

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The issue of vertical clearances along highway systems impact the functionality of the road network. Extracting current routing clearances for each structure can be a challenging and hazardous task. Pavement changes and roadway rehabilitation projects can alter roadway geometry, complicating efforts to maintain accurate clearance databases. Vertical clearance measurements may vary from one lane to another beneath overhead structures and are often difficult to obtain due to high traffic volumes. Inherently, traditional methods that are used to obtain the measurements routinely impede the flow of traffic and subject workers to dangerous environments. This study will examine the use of a Mobile LiDAR system and its applicability and accuracy to obtain vertical clearances on bridge structures. Further, the study will investigate the impact of utilizing a Mobile LiDAR system on traffic disruption and worker safety. The measurements extracted from LiDAR point clouds are compared to measurements obtained from traditional techniques using a laser tape meter and total station. Results will be analyzed to assist in quantifying the potential error between field and LiDAR measurements. Furthermore, the impact on work zone safety and traffic disruption is investigated. The results obtained from this study can be used to help identify the most effective method to extract infrastructure clearances and aid in future assessments.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Structural Engineering | Transportation Engineering