The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department (CMUD) has created an innovative easement clearing app to help maintain water and sewer line easements.
Using Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform – which runs on Microsoft technology – the app aims to reduce longstanding delays and heavy expenses in clearing utility easements.
An easement is a strip of land that is used by the CMUD to construct and maintain water and sewer lines.
The app was created by chief construction inspector Matt Smith, GIS analyst David Williams, and content delivery manager Rob Bailey.
“This app provides a clear ‘road map’ of the easements, which will help field operations and cleaning contractors save time and, therefore, money,” said Smith. “We can carry out accurate and sensible planning prior to committing crews to the field.”
Previously easement clearings were scheduled using paper maps, which resulted in many easements taking a long time to clear, meaning expensive heavy equipment was required to remove trees.
Thanks to the new app, planners can easily locate easements and their current clearance status. Workers are able to add information on their mobile devices, meaning CMUD’s staff can prioritise and plan clearing using the most up-to-date information available.
This information can be displayed on desktop devices in a dashboard format, enabling CMUD to address clearings before problems arise.
“It saves me an incredible amount of time because in the field I can mark access points, attach pics, or mark any other important easement features directly on the app on my phone,” said Angel Carter, an engineering assistant coordinating contractor clearing. “It’s a real asset to my job.”
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