New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)
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"Civil 3D provides significant time savings. Its model-based design approach speeds up everything from the creation of alignments and surfaces to volume and earthwork calculations. And since the design model is dynamically linked to the quantities and documentation, we save considerable time when making design changes."
—Jessica Hunter, Project Development Engineer, New Mexico Department of Transportation
In early 2013, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) continued down a path to 3D model–based design processes by adopting Autodesk® BIM solutions for the design and construction of its roads, highways and bridges. NMDOT’s strategic decision was prompted by a range of anticipated benefits, including cost savings due to reduced change orders, improved public input using model-based visualizations, and improved construction using BIM solutions to support virtual construction planning and sequencing. While finishing projects started on its former design platform, NMDOT staff began training on Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® and Autodesk® InfraWorks™ software, and the Department is now embarking on its full-scale deployment of these Autodesk solutions—using them for production on most new projects starting in 2014. Designers have already begun using Civil 3D on the design of two bridge replacement projects: Berrendo Creek Bridge in Roswell and two sets of bridges on Interstate 10 (I-10) in Las Cruces. “The original survey and preliminary design phase of these projects were carried out using our former design platform. We imported that preliminary design data into Civil 3D and are now using the software for the detailed design and documentation of these projects.” says Scott May, IT Application Developer, NMDOT.
In September 2013, multiple days of record rainfall in New Mexico led to widespread flooding of the rivers and creeks in Roswell, including the usually dry Berrendo Creek. Over four inches of rain caused the creek to flood, and water and debris to nearly overtopped a steel bridge on US 285 that spans the creek. Built in 1963, the bridge was already in poor condition and had experienced a number of flooding events. In addition, the older structure does not meet today’s design standards and is not compliant with the 1990 American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Dynamic design coordination
On the Berrendo Creek bridge project, NMDOT is responsible for the road design, but an outside consultant is responsible for the bridge design. Like many of NMDOT’s consultants, the consultant is already using the Civil 3D design platform. “Prior to our adoption of Autodesk BIM solutions, the design workflow between these consultants was cumbersome and involved a lot of manual effort and adjustment to combine design information for the bridge, road, and surrounding topography. In addition—even before this Department wide transition to the new platform—some disciplines within NMDOT have used Autodesk Land Development for many years, which complicated the internal exchange of project information,” said May.
“For example, this section of US 283 was recently transferred to the City of Roswell. But all the mileposts on our drawings were labeled for US 285. In the past, this change would have caused a lot of manual updating of drawings. With Civil 3D, all we had to was change ‘US 285’ to ‘ FL-4685-P in one place, and all the design documents with all the milepost notations updated automatically. Both productivity and quality increases because there is no time-consuming, error-ridden manual update of drawings,” explained Hunter.
NMDOT is also using Civil 3D for the redesign of two sets of bridges on I-10 in Las Cruces, adjacent to New Mexico State University. The redesign of one of the bridges is particularly complicated because it is the juncture point of a tapered acceleration lane entering I-10 eastbound. The length and configuration of the current acceleration lane is causing vehicles to merge onto the road at speeds considerably lower than the interstate traffic—making for a dangerous situation. To remedy that situation, the project includes the extension of the acceleration lane.
This newly built interchange is located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 25 in Las Cruces. The project features the replacement of two ramps (one with a new fly-over bridge), the reconstruction of two bridges to current standards, the realignment of several frontage roads, and expanded ramp entrance and exit lanes.roads, and expanded ramp entrance and exit lanes. “We used InfraWorks software to create a 3D visualization model of the project, including the new interchange as well as imported aerial photography, digital terrain models, and survey data of the surrounding terrain,” explains May. Next, the group used InfraWorks in conjunction with the 3D model to create an animated movie of the new interchange—set in the context of the existing surroundings. “The InfraWorks project animations enable viewers to virtually fly over and drive through the redesigned interchange, which gives everyone a much better understanding of the new construction,” said May.
NMDOT is challenged with upgrading the bridge to current standards without making substantial changes to the structure’s aesthetics that will adversely affect the surrounding historic district. NMDOT used InfraWorks to model its proposal for a new bridge and the surrounding terrain, creating project visualizations that were used for public outreach and during presentations to the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.
NMDOT expects that its adoption of BIM processes and Autodesk BIM solutions will provide many benefits. Benefits include ease of performing what-if analysis, the dynamic link between design models and materials quantities, along with automatic updating of drawings and other documentation when design changes are made.
|New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) Customer Story (pdf - 2090Kb)|