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Essentiality of Bridge Information Modelling

Construction Tech Review | Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Essentiality of Bridge Information Modelling

The value of bridge information modeling lies in the transition to a fully digital solution, adding more information to make the model more intelligent.

FREMONT, CA: The infrastructure sector embraces digitalization to keep pace with future innovations and become more productive under the pressure of increasing costs, tight deadlines, and sustainability hurdles. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has become an extensively used tool for engineers and construction firms to enhance design and construction data, reach higher levels of collaboration and optimize project delivery to facility management. Its sibling known as BrIM (Bridge Information Modeling) is paving the way to establish itself in bridge building.

Intelligent, physical 3D bridge models offer a perfect graphical and functional representation of a bridge and its design results, enhancing design quality, constructability, and collaboration.  This contracting approach reduces the use of paper plans, needing that project bidder to leverage a digital copy, a 3D model of the whole project with topography, geotechnical, roadway, and bridge information. The Iowa DOT and Utah DOT have also completed transportation pilot projects that needed 3D intelligent models as deliverables, using BIM practices.

Leading DOTs and progressive consulting organizations are taking advantage of innovative, collaborative software applications to avoid conventional workflows. Bridge and roadway designers work in silos with some information sharing or reuse of data. This traditional workflow launches unnecessary project risk with inaccurate or outdated data entry, resulting in delays to the project schedule and cost overrun. Non-interoperable workflows generate a range of disconnected models, including visualization models for marketing or public information purposes, CAD models for geometry verification, and structural models for design calculations.

Leveraging 3D intelligent models to represent physical bridge information provides owners of bridge assets to use digital project delivery, including 3D visualization, virtual assembly, automated machine control, fast routing, network-level study, and smart inventory routine part of project development and asset management.

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