Putting Tadcaster Bridge (back) on the map

Our surveyors are usually local to the areas they survey and this was the case for Andy Caulfield when he was mapping the new Tadcaster Bridge. The bridge partially collapsed in the aftermath of the Boxing Day storms in 2015, impacting local residents and businesses for the next 14 months while repairs were carried out. Many, like Andy, will have seen an 11-mile detour added to their days and are welcoming the reopening of the bridge.

Andy is kept busy capturing the change across Yorkshire, helping maintain our national geographic database which contains over 500 million features. This database is updated over 10,000 times every day, with changes driven by our 250 surveyors on the ground and two OS aircraft capturing aerial imagery.

A surveyor selfie on the bridge

Dating from around 1700, Tadcaster Bridge kept the town united and caused huge disruption when it collapsed. Andy was on hand to capture the details of the newly reopened bridge, which had been widened during the repairs. Every detail needed to be recorded for our database including kerb lines, updating the path widths and road width on the bridge, re-surveying the northern position of the bridge wall and recoding the original bridge wall now hidden by the overhang of the new path and wall.

All of the changes need attribution adding in the database (such as whether they are a made of sealed or unsealed surface, whether they are now obscured by overhanging detail or not, whether it is an original feature that has changed its use and new features). The road network routing (for transport data) had been severed when the bridge had collapsed, to inform emergency services that the route was no longer useable. Updating the routing is important to include at the same time as the survey.

A sneak peek inside our surveyor editing kit

While the reopening of the bridge is hugely important to local residents, surveying that change is all in a day’s work for Andy. He’s also been capturing new retirement flats in Wetherby, development on the old Paper Mill site at Newton Kyme, a new railway bridge at Bolton Percy, electricity pylons and cabling near Bramham Sub Station – the list goes on. The constant changes in our environment need to be surveyed and added to our database to support businesses, government and individuals.

Read more surveying stories here.

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