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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > September 2010 > FHWA Bridge Conference Spotlights Opportunities and Successes in Accelerated Bridge Construction
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-017
Date: September 2010

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An Introduction to 3D Design: Better Quality Equals a Better Product

Learn about the benefits of the three dimensional (3D) model-centered design approach with a free Web conference sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI), in partnership with FHWA's Highways for LIFE (HfL) program. Organized and moderated by the National Partnership for Highway Quality, "3D Design: Better Quality, Better Product" will be held October 21, 2010, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. (eastern daylight time). The conference is part of the monthly Innovations series sponsored by NHI and HfL, which is designed to bring representatives from State and local transportation agencies, industry, academia, and others up-to-the-minute information on today's highway technology advances.

The 3D design modeling approach can expedite the project delivery process, enhance quality and constructability, and significantly reduce total project costs. The 3D design models are frequently created during the preliminary design stage to produce realistic visualizations that will show the public and stakeholders how proposed design alternatives will fit within the surrounding context of the community. Other beneficial uses for the 3D design models include incorporating them within traffic operation microsimulation software to optimize the design and operational configuration of intersections and interchanges, as well as using them to evaluate safety issues while conducting road safety audits.

The Web conference will feature a panel of experts exploring the 3D design approach and discussing the current state of the practice for 3D design modeling within both the private sector and public transportation agencies. Session highlights will include:

  • An overview of the benefits of using 3D model-centered design.
  • A discussion of the successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
  • A vision of the future of 3D technology.
  • State department of transportation and private sector perspectives.
  • A question and answer time with the conference's panel of experts.

To register for the Web conference or download recordings and presenta tions from previous Innovations conferences, visit Past sessions have included The Use of Recycled Materials in Roadway Construction, Accelerating Project Delivery and Innovative Contracting, Self-Consolidating Concrete, Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites, and Advancements in EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) Geofoam for Transportation Applications. For more information about the Innovation Series, contact Mary Huie at FHWA, 202-366-3039 (email:


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