Long-term image capture for roadworks

Flowers blooming, the behaviour of animals and the clouds in the sky – they are all tried and tested subjects of time-lapse videos.

More recently, construction companies and leisure businesses have benefited from this centuries-old photography technique.

But now contractors working in the road and infrastructure sectors are using time-lapse as part of their workflow.

The government’s “road investment strategy” is to pump an additional £15 billion of funding into the UK’s infrastructure network.

An incredible 1,300 new lane miles are due to be added to roads across the country across the next decade.

Some of the major routes that are used by thousands every day could drastically change, which could cause equally major delays whilst works progress. With vehicle ownership continuing to grow towards the pre-recession peak of 2003, this may result in a lot of frustrated commuters.

Highways England (formally the Highways Agency) recognised the problems that prolonged road works can cause and have used a time-lapse video to inform the general public.

They recently released footage of work at the M3 Black Dam Roundabout development in Basingstoke, which is being undertaken thanks to £10 million of central government funding (announced before and separately from the latest set of funding.)

In less than two weeks it has racked up almost 4,000 views on YouTube and created a buzz on local news websites. The Southampton-based Daily Echo reported that “staff [have] been putting a shift in on roundabout improvements”.

Those sorts of figures for a highway-based video are not unheard of, however. Just a couple of months ago another video was posted by Highways England.

In that case it was of a bridge move near Manchester Airport, some 200 miles away.

As well as gaining online coverage on the Manchester Evening News website, it too has received a high amount of views on YouTube – almost 7,000. Balfour Beatty Construction Services were one of the joint venture construction companies to view and share the video.

Time-lapse videos are an incredibly versatile way of communicating with the public about on-going works. Thanks to its popularity in construction, event management, photography monitoring and as a marketing material, it has become one of the leading communication tools in today’s Internet-centric world.

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