Laser Van Hits The Road To Find Pot Holes, Problems

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A souped-up van will serve as Hobert and Holly's seasonal home as they begin this summer job.

Day to day they may drive more than 200 miles, data from less than a hundred of those miles will be used to help metro government spend their paving budget wisely.

"Its not so much the amount of money you save as the amount of additional work you can do for your given budget," said Senior Engineer for Applied Research Associates and Metro Public Works Project Manager Jacob Walter.

Jacob Walter has 18 years of experience. "We started with film based vehicles, so think 35 millimeter film.," he laughed.  

The technology has progressed to several cameras mounted on each corner of the van.

"It's forward, downward, side cameras, and rear cameras that picks up all the images every 20 feet and there are also lasers that pick up any distresses in the road," Metro GIS Analyst Grant Anderson said. 

The data collected in the van will help show metro government which roads in Davidson County need to be re paved, making sure its $35 million paving budget is spent in the best way.

Interstate 440 tends to be one of highways on the top of the list residents want to be re paved. That, however, is a state route. "I know [Mayor] Megan Barry is trying to push for us to get it paved and sometimes we do joint projects but that may be later on but it definitely needs it," said Anderson. 

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