Due to extremely mountainous terrain, the Guizhou province of China has lacked an adequate transportation system, which has affected the local economy. To support the region’s businesses, the Chinese government contracted Chongqing Traffic Planning, Survey, and Design Institute (CTPSDI) to design a CNY 17.88 billion, 113-kilometer expressway through the area. To connect numerous peaks and valleys while allowing for high-speed travel, nearly 55% of the expressway would have to include bridges and tunnels. Even with the complex design, CTPSDI faced pressure to improve return on investment and effectively manage a diverse range of project contributors.
To overcome the design challenges, CTPSDI incorporated a BIM methodology in all aspects of the expressway’s creation. The process started with image capture of the entire project area using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which eliminated blind spots in the surveying process and formed the basis of a reality model. With 3D visualization, the design team easily iterated the expressway route and the design for 13 interchanges, 14 tunnels, and 157 bridges. All contributors worked in an open, connected data environment that kept track of progress and granted managers instant awareness of any part of the project that started to lag.
By incorporating all design elements into a digital twin, the design team was able to detect and resolve over 100 clashes and other problems, including issues that normally would not have been detected until after construction began. Using a digital twin enhanced the project team’s ability to visualize the project and clearly communicate design intent to all stakeholders. It also enabled the team to include 61 gigabytes of asset data to support construction, operations, and maintenance. With a BIM methodology, CTPSDI optimized all elements in the expressway, improved design efficiency, and shortened construction time by 89 days. The organization will use this experience working with BIM advancements as a reference for future expressways in China.
ContextCapture was used to create a 3D reality mesh from captured UAV images. The team deployed OpenRoads Designer to model the bridges, tunnels, roads, and traffic equipment, and then iterated to optimize road layout and road intersection designs. ProStructures helped the design team create all support structures necessary for the tunnels. LumenRT was used to fully visualize the federated design, which helped communicate the intent to builders and stakeholders. Navigator was deployed to detect and resolve clashes, as well as to determine what areas of the schedule were behind.
- To navigate through the mountainous terrain, nearly 55% of the 113-kilometer Meitan-Shiqian Expressway is comprised of 14 tunnels and 157 bridges.
- The team used ContextCapture for digital context and OpenRoads to optimize all design elements, improve design efficiency, and shorten the construction schedule by 89 days.
- CTPSDI’s connected data environment detected more than 100 clashes and issues, including some that were not visible prior to construction.
- The project and its deployment of a BIM methodology will be referenced for future expressway design in China.
“The research and application of BIM and GIS technologies in this project will accelerate the realization of digitalization and intelligence in the full lifecycle of transportation infrastructure. [It will also] improve the quality and safety of project construction, promote the coordinated development of construction, management and maintenance, and drive the transformation of [our] transportation industry.”
Head of BIM Technology Department
Chonquing Traffic Planning, Survey, and Design Institute