Just as Lewis and Clark went out west in the early 1800’s, Banning Engineering survey pioneers spent this summer traversing the western portion of Indiana completing contract deliverables for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Cole Long and AJ Hopkins (as well as their trusty backwoods guide Logan Vieck) took one for the team and performed this project with skill, expertise, and determination.
These fine young men worked in Vincennes and Terre Haute doing cross sections and bridge details for IDNR. They tackled native wildlife and vegetation to survey areas on seven creeks: Lost Creek, South Fork Lost Creek, Gundy Creek, Sugar Creek, Little Sugar Creek, Sulphur Creek, North Otter Creek in Terre Haute and Snapp Creek in Vincennes as well as along the Wabash River.
The pair expanded their knowledge of surveying and were able to find the best way to complete this task in the least amount of time possible. Using GPS and Robotic Total Stations they located and detailed 55 cross sections and 71 bridges/culverts across Knox and Vigo Counties.
Being the backwoodsmen that they are, their initial plan was to rough it out and stay in AJ’s camper. Once they discovered a building standing out in the field (a Home2Suites hotel) their plans were greatly altered. Even though they were now living the life of luxury that a campground cannot provide, they still needed to utilize the Banning Polaris ranger over the last 2 weeks to drive to places a truck could not traverse.
With Cole being a great boat captain, they took his boat and spent a week on the Wabash River performing their duties. While they were capable of sailing across the Atlantic, the water in the Wabash was very shallow at 2-3 ft. deep and was an easy chore. Since AJ is also a Sprint car driver, he took it upon himself to only take 50 minutes to go 1.5 miles upstream.
In all seriousness, this has been a great project for our survey team and thanks to Jon Polson and Jeff Yeary for spearheading this effort.