reconnaissance survey, a preliminary survey, a location survey, and a layout survey. The objectives of
an engineering or a construction survey include-
Obtaining reconnaissance information and preliminary data that engineers require for
selecting suitable routes and sites and for preparing structural designs.
Defining selected locations by establishing a system of reference points.
Guiding construction forces by setting stakes or marking lines, grades, and principal
points and by giving technical assistance.
Measuring construction items in place to prepare progress reports.
Dimensioning structures for preparing as-built plans.
(1) Terms. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) applies the term engineering
surveys to all of the above objectives and construction surveys to the last three objectives only. The
Army Corps of Engineers, on the other hand, applies construction surveys to all of the above objectives.
(2) Structures. Engineering and/or construction surveys from part of a series of activities
leading to the construction of a man-made structure. The term "structure" is usually confined to
something that is built of structural members, such as a building or a bridge. It is used here in a broader
sense, however, to include all man-made features, such as graded areas; sewer, power, and water lines;
roads and highways; and waterfront structures.
d. Route Surveys. A route survey is conducted for locating and constructing transportation or
communication lines that continue across country for some distance, such as highways, railroads, open
conduit systems, pipelines, and power lines. Generally, the preliminary survey for this type of work
takes the form of a topographic survey. In the final stage, the work may consist of the following:
Locating a centerline, usually marked by stakes at 100-foot intervals (called stations).
Determining elevations along and across a centerline for plotting a profile and cross
Plotting a profile and cross sections and fixing grades.
Computing the volumes of earthwork and preparing a mass diagram.
Staking out the extremities for cuts and fills.
Determining drainage areas to be used for ditches and culverts.
Laying out structures, such as bridges, culverts, and so on.