A small portion of the Village of Glenview’s 2014 capital improvements budget was allocated to pave a dirt bike path located in a public right of way between the backyards of two neighborhoods. Once the village engineers began planning the paving project, they realized it would be advantageous to also replace an aging water main that runs adjacent to the bike path in an effort to minimize construction costs and the frequency of construction in the area. Since this was somewhat of a last minute project, engineers decided to do all planning and construction internally, rather than using an outside contractor. Engineers were able to field check a quick plan that seemed to fit in the small area, but in order to verify the plan would work prior to surveying the area, they asked the village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff to create a map displaying accurate measurements to verify that their field checks align spatially with the surrounding infrastructure, fences, and private property.
To ensure the mapping for this project was accurate, GIS staff located and digitized existing water infrastructure, fence lines, private property, and the existing bike path using multiple sets of aerial imagery from various years. Once these fixed points were identified, the GIS staff used the field measurements provided by engineering staff to create a map displaying the proposed new water main in the exact location it would be at when installed in the field. Without GIS, village engineers would not have been able to mock up the project beforehand and would have needed to survey the project right away, without the guarantee that their plan would work. This would cost a considerable amount of money, both in initial costs and in potential redesign costs if the project did not work as planned. GIS was able to quickly turn around a map that was used as both a planning tool by village staff and a tool to inform residents where work would be done near their homes.