Acting on a recommendation from the Public Works Committee, the Sun Prairie City Council on Oct. 6 approved a contract with Sun Prairie-based Continental Mapping to use mobile LiDAR to collect information for the city’s Critical Infrastructure Program.

A memo to the committee from Louis Rada, GISP, GIS and Asset Management Coordinator, the city initially looked at mobile LiDAR as the authoritative collection process. The review committee considered all spatial accuracy workflows. With this in mind, the final recommendation met the following criteria:

• Features will achieve sub-foot accuracies.

• Safely collect thousands of assets via an asset collection method.

• Planned processes to minimize obstructions and personal risks.

• Collect Stormwater, Sanitary, and Public Works assets.

• The opportunity to extract features in the future (trees, hydrants, signals, etc.).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) maps will be more exact. LiDAR, a state-of-the-art process, is similar to using sonar to map, but, instead of sound, it uses light pulses to scan the earth from moving vehicles on all of Sun Prairie’s 201 miles of streets, and 50 miles of streets in the Town of Burke.

Using scoring responses and approaches, the two remaining bidders were Continental Mapping and Symboint.

“The review team agreed that the contractual language in the Symboint response was unattainable. Also, Symboint’s project timeline continued well into 2021. Continental Mapping is a local firm, and as a result are offering substantial project cost savings as compared to the next highest scoring mobile LiDAR approach. Finally, their project timeline is agreeable with our departmental goals,” Rada wrote.

Staff recommended Continental Mapping’s response for Critical Infrastructure Asset Collection via Mobile LiDAR. “The RFP team concluded the Mobile LiDAR approach met all of the RFP criteria,” Rada wrote in the memo.

Continental Mapping has worked all over the U.S., most similarly with the City of Colorado Springs, the City of Santa Ana, Calif., and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. For MnDOT, Continental Mapping provided a comprehensive statewide asset road infrastructure dataset covering the entire state-maintained highway system.

“We’re really happy to be working with the city,” remarked Dave Hart from Continental Mapping, also participating in the council’s Zoom meeting.

District 1 Alder Steve Stocker recalled attending an open house at Continental Mapping when they were still located in Downtown Sun Prairie. He said the technology demonstrated at the open house five years ago blew him away, and said the technology must be vastly improved by now.

Hart said he looks forward to hosting another open house at the company’s headquarters on the QBE campus in Sun Prairie.

“I was happy to see this come together,” remarked Mayor Paul Esser, “and that we’re doing this with you.”

Alders unanimously approved the contract with Continental Mapping for $65,000.

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