Tag Archives: 3D

Moving to an intelligent design environment

UDOT’s intelligent design effort includes moving to an all 3D work flow – a revolutionary change in the way state departments of transportation do business.

UDOT is leading the nation in important innovations which will save time, reduce mistakes, and conserve public funding.

3-D models allow every aspect of a road construction project to be viewed from any angle. State DOTs produce 3D design models that are then converted to 2D paper plan-sets to be advertised and delivered to the construction contractor. Plan sets are stacks of paper diagrams that illustrate each aspect of the project, such as pavement layers, drainage structures like pipes and culverts, underground geotechnical features, etc. The plan set production process is 60 to 70 percent of a UDOT designer’s time during pre-construction.

Often, contractors need to re-create a 3D model to build the project. By providing the contractor with a 3D model instead, UDOT will save an estimated 60,000 hours a year, the contractor won’t need to re-create the 3D model, and bid prices will likely be lower.

Other advantages of an all 3D workflow include

  • A more accurate view of project features
  • A more efficient use of technology during construction
  • Better communication between designers and contractors
  • Greater accuracy estimating quantities of materials for building the roadway
  • Elimination and mitigation of errors during design and construction
  • A higher-quality construction product
An image of a 3D road design

An image of a 3D road design

Automated Machine Guidance on I-80 shows important benefits

Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) allows contractors to use 3D models to program heavy equipment, like excavators and pavers, to work automatically. Most contractors use AMG.

UDOT recently realized some important benefits by providing the 3D model to the contractor on the I-80 Silver Creek to Wanship paving project. Coring tests after paving showed two deficient pavement cores versus eight deficient cores compared to non-AMG pavement. AMG also resulted in fewer ‘must-grind’ corrections. These advantages add up to longer pavement life.

In 2016, Region Two will advertise the I-215 resurfacing project using the 3D model for information only. Providing this model will save the contractor from having to create a 3D model from scratch, may allow for better bid pricing, provide the construction crews with the ability to check final grade with a GPS unit, and help locate underground utilities.

An AMG concrete paver on the I-80 Silver Creek to Wanship project

An AMG concrete paver on the I-80 Silver Creek to Wanship project

Future vision

Eventually, UDOT would like the contractor to return post-construction 3D ‘as-built’ files which show how the project was ultimately built. With 3D files in hand, UDOT designers will have a much easier task when future work is necessary.

Monte Aldridge Receives Governor’s Award for Excellence

Region Four’s Monte Aldridge received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the category of leadership on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. The following nomination was submitted by Rick Torgerson, Region Four Director.

Photo of Monte Aldridge

Monte Aldridge

Monte Aldridge is leading a cultural shift with long-term business implications by developing relationships of trust and influencing his peers and other stakeholders in the implementation of several key UDOT initiatives. He continually aligns people and processes in the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, implementation of 3D design and advancement of wildlife connectivity/vehicle collision reduction.

The use of GIS tools has been a remarkable breakthrough for UDOT and allows for making better decisions while improving efficiency in delivering projects that address each of UDOT’s Strategic Goals and the governors SUCCESS Framework initiative. While GIS has a sophisticated infrastructure, under Monte’s leadership his team has embraced the new technology to understand and develop its capabilities.

Monte has helped keep UDOT moving into the future with 3D design, which is a national effort within Departments of Transportation and the Federal Highways Administration. This quickly developing technology is revolutionizing the design, construction and communication of roadway projects. Monte’s continuous incorporation of 3D Design into team processes, problem-solving scenarios and public settings has seeded a synergy that is moving his peers to forge ahead developing higher quality products while also achieving significant taxpayer savings.

Region 4's Monte Aldridge stands with Executive Director Carlos Braceras (left) and Governor Herbert with his award.

Region 4’s Monte Aldridge stands with Executive Director Carlos Braceras (left) and Governor Herbert with his award.

Monte’s leadership in connecting state and federal agencies, counties, landowners and sportsmen’s groups to a clear vision and fostering collaborative solutions has led to innovative products, financial partnerships, new agreements and most importantly, trusting relationships resulting in a reduction of nearly 1,050 yearly vehicle/wildlife collisions in Southern Utah.

Congratulations Monte! Thank you for your excellent example and leadership.

See UDOT in 3D

UDOT is moving to an all-3D environment which includes greater use of available design capabilities and an eventual move to a full 3D project workflow.

photo of the Virgin River Arch Bridge.

A photo-realistic image: UDOT built a new bridge over the Virgin River on S.R. 9 near Hurricane to accommodate increased traffic volume. This rendered image shows the new bridge superimposed over the existing bridge, which remains in use.

Embracing a 3D workflow environment will produce some important advantages, including the use of models that can be viewed from all angles in order to assess constructability, utility clash detection models that show a full representation of underground utilities, and animations that can show the built project along with expected traffic flow.

3D models, animations and illustrations can help bridge the communication gaps that sometimes occur among specialties at UDOT, or between the agency and stakeholder groups, since complex engineering data is more easily understood when presented in 3D.

For UDOT designers, the move to 3D represents “a fine tuning of the way we design,” says Bob Peterson, UDOT Methods Engineer. “We’ll be taking our 3D design to a full completion instead of just doing a paper copy as the final output.”

A full 3D workflow

Moving to a full 3D workflow means that projects will be modeled and provided to contractors as a 3D engineered model at advertising, and contractors will return an as-built 3D model that accurately represents project outcome.

Designers at UDOT have been working in 3D for about 20 years. Currently, when projects are advertised, 2D plan sets are made available to all bidding contractors. During the advertising time frame, contractors take those 2D sets and may create their own 3D model. Once the project is awarded, the winning contractor will typically finish a 3D model or hand-enter information for Automated Machine Guidance.

Getting as-built 3D models will represent a big efficiency boost to UDOT. “Once we get to the point where we know exactly what the existing condition is, then the designers don’t have to start from scratch anymore,” explains George Lukes, Standards Design Engineer.

Challenges and strengths

Lukes is overseeing the effort to move to a full 3D workflow. He sees challenges ahead, but recognizes that UDOT has some advantages as an agency, including working with a willing and capable consulting and contracting community.

“The big deal is advertising the project with the model as the legal document,” says Lukes. “Right now the legal documents are our plan sheets, the paper copies – legally that’s what the contractor has to follow. It’s a huge challenge to give the model to the contractor and say ‘this now is the legal document,’ but I think our contractors and consultants are very willing to sit down and figure a way to make that work.”

UDOT Region Four will take on the initial challenge of delivering a 3D model as an advertising package for three projects. All three projects will use CMGC, an innovative contracting method that allows close collaboration between UDOT and a contractor in the preconstruction phase.

Collaboration with the contractor during design will help UDOT minimize risks encountered when building the project “because they know the construction risks better than we do,” says Lukes. “It’s going to give us information that we need, the contractor will be on board with us while we do it, and hopefully we’ll get a lot of good lessons learned from that too.”

Fully embracing 3D capabilities will produce comprehensive planning, construction and design solutions that will benefit UDOT and all contract partners and road users. UDOT will learn how to better minimize risk. Bidding contractors will realize a big efficiency by not having to create baseline models from scratch. The winning contractor will also have UDOT’s model to modify for construction and 3D as-builts will make subsequent design processes more efficient. The outcome will be better roads and a more efficient use of transportation funding.

For more:

See FAQs with a timeline for implementing 3D, presentations, and more at udot.utah.gov/go/3-d

Bentley software training for UDOT employees is offered regularly. For more information, contact Bob Peterson at 801-965-4041 or bobpeterson@utah.gov

Also check out this flyer.