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Can't Find in Developed Area.

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I have two benchmarks near my home. The last time that they were recovered was in 1977.

This area was developed around 1976-1978 and the corrugated culvert that is described is nowhere to be seen, probably converted to underground storm drain.

What are the chances that the markers were removed but not reported? Is that common? Do contractors often destroy these markers or do they take them as seriously as is implied?

Also, they report says that the marker is a foot below the roadbed height, but everything in that area is at roadbed height or above, so am I looking for an access cover now? Or is the poor thing possibly buried?

I'm new to this, but it looks like a fun way to spend a Sat. with the kids.



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Yes, it is posible that construction and develoment have destroyed benchmarks. It happens. I believe that the contractors take them seriously, but when they go through all the permits required to build they most likely get permission to deal with the mark.

As for being below roadbed height, if it was in a culvert it may have been below the roadbed but still above ground. Construction of the development may have changed the 'lay of the land' around the area to place it underground now.


So if the benchmark still exists it sounds like it's underground. But it seems more possible that the mark was destroyed during construction.


I'm not lost!

I just don't know where I am.

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Approximately 100%.


I have looked for several benchmarks that turned out to be in such areas, and some I haven't even bothered to try. From my 'calibration' of how high benchmarks are in importance, even the re-construction of a few sidewalk squares or bridge re-surfacing will spell the end of the benchmark.


Reporting? The geocaching site's database disincludes most of the ones reported missing. Also, I almost never look at the NGS site, so I can't calibrate how often benchmark destructions are reported by the people doing the destruction. Instead, people who look for them report them as unfindable.


If you suspect a benchmark-destructing level of re-developement in an area, it pays off to use the mapping site http://www.lostoutdoors.com/

- you just copy and paste the coordinates from the benchmark's page and you'll get a satellite picture of the area. For instance, the lack of a bridge in the picture means that the waterway is now totally in a pipe - your benchmark was carted away with the remains of the bridge. Another example is a benchmark on the wall of an old building where there's now only now a parking lot.

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Its true that any benchmarks unfortunate enough to be standing in the way of progress are likely to be destroyed. In most cases the construction crews are under no legal obligation to report this and they are reluctant to admit it when they accidentally destroy one. In most cases, however, a survey is done prior to the construction and the surveyor will note any markers likely to be destroyed. He may either set new additional markers nearby in areas that will be safe from the construction activity or he may wait until construction is complete and then set replacement markers in the rebuilt area. Inevitably, some markers may not be noticed and therefore be lost and go unreplaced.

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I was planning to start a thread about "urban benchmarks" and the fact that their described location from about 30 years ago is now a paved driveway, missing culvert, somebody's flower bed (private property) and so on. Had 7 in a row like that, but I'm not giving up. I realized during that 'losing streak' that the benchmarks lose as well.

Hope we can keep this thread going, I find this to be an intriguing part of benchmark hunting.

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An update on those two missing benchmarks. One is still missing, but the other I found about 120 feet away. Yes, I was using the correct datum as shown on this web site. Out of curiosity, I tried several others but none got much closer.

The mark was found as I was looking for a third in the immediate area. The description mentions a private road that still has a section exposed, the right section. I was poking around in the brush, scared a king snake and jumped out of my skin when I came across a dog skeleton causing me to almost run into the witness post. Hello!


Newbie tip: Walk 50 feet around the area first before kicking brush and get a little oriented. The old roadbed was visible but not obvious and I would have seen the witness post quickly if I had walked the site first.


This can get obsessive.

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