UDOT Uses RDV’s Interactive 3-D Platform to Gain Public Support

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Project Owner: Utah Department of Transportation

Project Designers: Kimley Horn & Associates, Michael Baker International and H.W. Lochner.

The three mile stretch of highway 5600 West between SR-201 and Interstate 80 is a two-lane corridor that currently experiences unacceptable levels of congestion and delays due to an at-grade railroad crossing, heavy vehicle use, heavy freight truck traffic, and limited turning lanes. Both morning and afternoon peak hour traffic is expected to exceed available road capacity by year 2050 if no improvements are made.

The Utah Department of Transportation and the consultant team of Michael Baker, H.W. Lochner, and Kimley-Horn are engaged in a planning study to improve mobility, increase roadway capacity, and reduce delay along 5600 West and at the I-80 interchange. Proposed upgrades include widening the road from two to five lanes with shoulders, building a bridge over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, converting the I-80 interchange to a Diverging Diamond configuration, adding a sidewalk and a shared-use path, adding curbs and gutters to improve drainage, and re-configuring all intersections and traffic signal phases.

Given the scope and variety of the proposed changes, involvement with the public, business owners, and other stakeholders was an essential component of the study. RDV Systems, Inc., a company that specializes in high-quality 3D project modeling and visualization of infrastructure projects, was engaged by UDOT to provide the means of effectively communicating the proposed upgrades in a way that could be easily understood by the public. The modeling effort required a rapid turnaround due to a public meeting being held in less than three weeks.

RDV developed a 3-D virtual model of the project showing the existing conditions and proposed upgrades. Using RDV’s patented 123BIM technologies, the design team was able to produce a variety of visualization assets for the public meeting. These included showing details of the project interactively using RDV’s 123BIM Navigator “gaming engine” environment, producing an on-line virtual tour of the project on 123bim.com website that was shared with the public, and creating a virtual reality experience during the public meeting so the public could virtually walk the entire corridor.

RDV developed a 3-D virtual model of the project showing the existing conditions and proposed upgrades. Using RDV’s patented 123BIM technologies, the design team was able to produce a variety of visualization assets for the public meeting. These included showing details of the project interactively using RDV’s 123BIM Navigator “gaming engine” environment, producing an on-line virtual tour of the project on 123bim.com website that was shared with the public, and creating a virtual reality experience during the public meeting so the public could virtually walk the entire corridor.

Kimley Horn Project Manager Nicole Williams states that “This was such a great tool to let people see an actual representation of what the end product was going to look like from any view point that they wanted. We also brought it into a VR headset for people to actually experience it at the open house in virtual reality, as well as having the Navigator projected on the screen while playing the animation, and stopping to jump to different views to answer specific questions.”

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