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Relief of Surveyors at Student Union Building at University of Southern California. Photo by Gwyn Wilson.

LAND SURVEYORS' WEEK, MARCH 18-24
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 04/2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulates Caltrans Land Surveyors.

In a special letter to the California Land Surveyors Association, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent special greetings to all those observing Land Surveyors’ Week from  March 18 through 24.

Surveyors mark the boundaries of land, create maps and legal descriptions, and plan and organize the development of property. "Land Surveyors are the eyes and ears of the Caltrans design engineers -- the ultimate plan checkers," said Ralph Ricketson, Chief, District 7 Office of Surveys.  "It is up to us to take freeway concepts and to make them a reality." 

There are 89 Caltrans employees within the Office of Surveys, about 20 at the District Office Building in Los Angeles and the remainder spread out over four different regions: north region in Newhall, south region in Norwalk, east region in Monrovia, west region in Ventura.  There are also about 30 Land Surveyors in the Office of Right of Way Engineering. Surveyors play an important role in freeway construction because they gather all preliminary design information that is used to design freeway and highway projects.  They also perform the construction staking.  "Land Surveyors are the eyes and ears of the Caltrans design engineers -- the ultimate plan checkers," explained Ricketson.  "It is up to us take to take freeway concepts and make them a reality." 
 
Right of Way Engineering Land Surveyors also perform all of the right of way functions to locate all of the parcel lines, freeway right of way and adjacent parcels.  They also create and prepare documentation for easements, excess land deeds and other legal documents that pertain to land ownership.

In his letter, Governor Schwarzenegger stated, “Land surveying has played an important role in our nation’s history, providing meaningful measurement of property and the orderly growth of society.  This valuable legacy lives on today, with surveyors meticulously mapping landmarks and authenticating boundaries to establish correct property rights.”

Governor Schwarzenegger went on to commend the land surveyors for their continuing service to California and for their efforts to maintain the highest professional standards.  He wrote, “Your hard work and steadfast dedication to accuracy is reflected in the magnificent growth of our state.  Please accept my best wishes for a meaningful observance.”

Ricketson added, "It is very nice to be acknowledged by Governor Schwarzenegger for all of the functions, activities and service that Caltrans Land Surveyors perform for the people of the State of California." 

An antique transit -- a surveying tool used for measuring lines.  There are many kinds, including astronomic, solar, optical and compass.