U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The February innovation of the month is three-dimensional modeling in transportation construction, a mature technology that serves as a key building block on the modern digital jobsite. The technology allows for faster, more accurate and more efficient project planning and construction.
With 3-D modeling software, design and construction teams can connect virtually to develop, test and change project designs during the design and construction phases. They can view intricate design features geospatiallyâ€”in a 3-D viewâ€”from multiple perspectives. They can run simulations to detect design flaws such as utility conflicts before construction begins. Data exported from 3-D models can be transferred to construction equipmentâ€”bulldozers, excavators, paversâ€”with automated machine guidance controls.
As part of its Every Day Counts initiative, the Federal Highway Administration is offering a series of eight free webinars to help transportation stakeholders adopt 3-D models for construction. Register now for the February 19 session on applications of 3-D models in the construction office. See below for a recording of the first session, an overview of 3-D engineered models for construction.
More than 60 people attended FHWA’s workshop on three-dimensional engineered models for construction on January 22 in Little Rock, Ark. Participants included a cross-section of industry partners and representatives from nine state highway agencies. The next day, experts from FHWA and three state highway agencies facilitated a peer exchange on the topic. Thirty-five workshop attendees stayed to participate in discussions on implementing 3-D engineered models. As a result of the workshop, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department reconfirmed its commitment to use 3-D modeling technologies during the project delivery process.
The Arkansas State Transportation Innovation Council met January 24 to discuss Every Day Counts innovations and implementation funds available from the FHWA STIC Incentive Program. Joining STIC members at the meeting were FHWA Executive Director Jeffrey Paniati and Center for Accelerating Innovation Director Hari Kalla. The STIC reviewed several proposals to use this year’s $100,000 in STIC incentives and chose two: a second round of traffic incident management responder training and 3-D modeling in the project predesign phase.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has selected its first construction manager/general contractor for the Winona Bridge project over the Mississippi River. The project is expected to be delivered in three or more parts: the new bridge substructure, the new bridge superstructure and approaches, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the existing historic bridge. When substructure design is completed this spring, the CM/GC contractor will negotiate with the Minnesota DOT on a contract to build the substructure. Meanwhile, the contractor will continue to provide construction advisory services on the other parts of the project in final design and will have the option of negotiating with the agency on the remaining construction contracts.
FHWAâ€”along with the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Army Corps of Engineersâ€”has approved the Ducks Unlimitedâ€“North Dakota in-lieu fee program. It will operate as an umbrella program in six areas of North Dakota. It will provide a third-party compensatory mitigation option for unavoidable impacts on aquatic resources such as wetlands and streams approved by the Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.
The Washington State Department of Transportation received an American Council of Engineering Companies Gold Award for its I-5 Skagit River Bridge replacement. The bridge was hit by a truck in May 2013, causing a bridge truss span to collapse into the river. The Washington State DOT opened the new span just 115 days after the incident and 88 days after the design-build team’s notice to proceed. The team’s work resulted in three firsts for the agency: its first emergency design-build contract using federal funds, its first decked bulb tee girder bridge design on an interstate and its first use of lightweight aggregate for a concrete girder bridge.