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2020 Mousetrap Winner - Smart Transformation Award

Culvert Inspection Mobile Application

Download 2020 Booklet as PDF

Mohave County is the 5th largest county in the United States. They needed a solution for completing annual inspections of 994 maintained culverts not included in the National Bridge Inventory, across 2,095 maintained road miles. This was a pretty huge effort that required a system to maintain geospatial inventory, document culvert characteristics, rate culvert condition, enable image capture and timestamp and archive inspection findings in a central location, in real time and electronically. Mohave County officials came up with the idea to look towards technology and develop a mobile application. "We had already successfully launched a mobile app for road closures and thought why not try this again with the culvert inspection program," says Steven Latoski, Director of the Mohave County Public Works Department in Arizona. They used similar programs already in use in FEMA as a guide to help them develop their new mobile application in-house. It took them a week to create the concept and several months to develop and test the app. According to Steven, there were two main benefits for developing the mobile app in-house, "We were able to use existing technology and resources to build the app and we were able to achieve the product we wanted because we worked on it ourselves."

The Culvert Inspection Mobile Application features easy manual data entry; a live dashboard with pie charts and color coded fonts to track progress; and options for uploading photos, adding notes and generating quick reports. The information is in real-time, which helps with quality control because now inspectors no longer have to try to translate handwritten notes and rely on memory to create reports. Steven says despite their success producing the mobile application in-house, there were some challenges, "Cell service was a huge obstacle. Also, the mobile application was a new technology for many and some users were simply afraid of the technology. But once we trained them to use the app and they started to see the benefits, everyone became pretty excited about it."

Mohave County Public Works is already working on their next mobile application and look forward to sharing their innovation with other agencies. "When trying to develop a solution, keep the end user in mind," says Steven. "Don't be afraid, jump right in. Understand the needs of the end users and ensure the product is developed to meet their needs."

Congratulations to Mohave County Public Works on receiving the 2020 Build a Better Mousetrap Smart Transformation Award.

For more information:
Steven Latoski
Mohave County Public Works Director
(928) 757-0910


Screen shot of mobile application used in Mohave County, Arizona to improve their culvert inspection program. Screen shot of mobile application used in Mohave County, Arizona to improve their culvert inspection program.

Source: Mohave County, AZ

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