Using GIS to assist with capital improvements

​Capital improvement projects are essential for a local municipality
to maintain a good quality of life for its residents. Resurfacing roads
and replacing aging utility mains provide a more reliable
infrastructure for the community and ensure that residents do not
experience things such as uneven roads and interruptions in utility
services. Recently, the Village of Winnetka used Geographic Information
System (GIS) to help with the coordinating and planning of future
capital projects between various village departments to reduce project
duplication and maximize project overlap.

The first step in coordinating capital project work between
departments is to get the planned project information into the GIS
system. Traditionally, the information for each project was stored in a
“flat” excel worksheet format that provided a lot of information
regarding the projects, but did very little to show their distribution
across the village. To assist with spatially displaying this data, the
GIS department was provided with the Public Works Department’s capital
projects file, which was converted to a GIS compatible format. This
consisted primarily of spatially locating the project area within a GIS
map and creating a line segment feature to represent the proposed extent
of the project work. Once the line segment features were created, each
project could be mapped and visually analyzed against projected capital
improvements planned by other village departments.

The primary department coordinating with Public Works was the Water
and Electric Department. As the village water mains age, numerous
breaks occur along the older lines that cause interruptions in service
for residents and costly repairs for the village. To help mitigate this
issue, the Water and Electric department wanted to replace the mains
that had experienced the most breaks over the last decade. To avoid
tearing up roads after they have been resurfaced as part of the Public
Works capital improvement project plan, Water and Electric asked the GIS
department to compare the existing water main break data in GIS with
the recently developed capital project data layer to see where high
break mains corresponded to planned road repair project areas. The
resulting analysis revealed that 5 high break mains existed along
proposed capital improvement roads. A map was then created that showed
these main locations and included the year that the road improvement
projects are planned. With this information spatially displayed
together, the departments now have a tool to coordinate planning and
budgeting efforts to ensure that project overlap occurs in a given year.

Using GIS to assist with the village capital improvements planning
process has allowed for inter-departmental project coordination that
will help reduce unnecessary and costly project duplication over the
next several years. By viewing the information spatially, each
department is able to see where they have overlapping project work,
which, by planning the projects collectively, ultimately will save the
village money on construction costs into the foreseeable future.

Using GIS to assist with capital improvements

​Capital improvement projects are essential for a local municipality
to maintain a good quality of life for its residents. Resurfacing roads
and replacing aging utility mains provide a more reliable
infrastructure for the community and ensure that residents do not
experience things such as uneven roads and interruptions in utility
services. Recently, the Village of Winnetka used Geographic Information
System (GIS) to help with the coordinating and planning of future
capital projects between various village departments to reduce project
duplication and maximize project overlap.

The first step in coordinating capital project work between
departments is to get the planned project information into the GIS
system. Traditionally, the information for each project was stored in a
“flat” excel worksheet format that provided a lot of information
regarding the projects, but did very little to show their distribution
across the village. To assist with spatially displaying this data, the
GIS department was provided with the Public Works Department’s capital
projects file, which was converted to a GIS compatible format. This
consisted primarily of spatially locating the project area within a GIS
map and creating a line segment feature to represent the proposed extent
of the project work. Once the line segment features were created, each
project could be mapped and visually analyzed against projected capital
improvements planned by other village departments.

The primary department coordinating with Public Works was the Water
and Electric Department. As the village water mains age, numerous
breaks occur along the older lines that cause interruptions in service
for residents and costly repairs for the village. To help mitigate this
issue, the Water and Electric department wanted to replace the mains
that had experienced the most breaks over the last decade. To avoid
tearing up roads after they have been resurfaced as part of the Public
Works capital improvement project plan, Water and Electric asked the GIS
department to compare the existing water main break data in GIS with
the recently developed capital project data layer to see where high
break mains corresponded to planned road repair project areas. The
resulting analysis revealed that 5 high break mains existed along
proposed capital improvement roads. A map was then created that showed
these main locations and included the year that the road improvement
projects are planned. With this information spatially displayed
together, the departments now have a tool to coordinate planning and
budgeting efforts to ensure that project overlap occurs in a given year.

Using GIS to assist with the village capital improvements planning
process has allowed for inter-departmental project coordination that
will help reduce unnecessary and costly project duplication over the
next several years. By viewing the information spatially, each
department is able to see where they have overlapping project work,
which, by planning the projects collectively, ultimately will save the
village money on construction costs into the foreseeable future.