Atkins, one of the world’s most respected Design, Engineering and Project Management Consultancies, recently commissioned High Level Photography to come up with a photographic solution for elevated views of several M25 motorway intersections. The purpose was to illustrate them within the context of their surroundings, show the existing road layout and the surrounding lands that may be affected by future road improvements.
One such intersection was the M25 J10 / A3 Wisley Interchange.
Drone Ruled Out
From our existing and extensive knowledge of road infrastructure surveys gained over the last 30 years, we were initially asked to consider carrying out the project using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, more commonly known as a drone. However, considering the practicalities - primarily from the perspective of safety and secondly on logistical grounds - this option was swiftly ruled out.
Elevated Mast Option
The next option was to consider our usual method for Motorway / Highway CCTV and photographic surveys - the High Level mast mounted vehicles. These can be positioned at strategic spots along the carriageway to photograph or video the layout form varying heights up to 25 metres. For this project, the mast vehicle option was again ruled out as images from a greater height would be required to overlook the entire junction and surrounding area.
The Aerial Photography Solution
We then suggested a Plan C, using our aerial photography service with our aircraft - either our own Cessna 172 or a Robinson 44 Helicopter. After some discussion, Atkins and ourselves concluded that this was the most practical, efficient and expedient method with the lowest safety risk for all parties. With good visibility and sun forecast, our pilot and photographer took to the skies. We provided the client with a selection of wide and close-up images of the junction and surrounds as required in the brief.
All in all a great success and two of the images appeared on the cover of the recently published Highways Agency Consultation Document for the M25 J10 A3 Wisley Interchange.