Development of 3D and 4D Bridge Models and Plans

Screenshot of software developed in the research project.


Project Summary


Project Number: SPR-1647
Contract Number: 2016-0175 
Status: Complete
Start Date: 03/01/2016
End Date: 05/31/2018

Advanced technology, Bridge design, 3D modeling, Level of development, Bridge modeling software, CADD, Innovation, Technology, Training materials.


Since 2012, MDOT has been leading national efforts to modernize design development with 3D modeling. Early focus on roadway projects yielded streamlined plan production and digital data for construction. As MDOT pivots to 3D model-centric design, national and international movements gain traction to extend the value of 3D models to bridges. Researchers conducted a thorough review of the state of the practice and engaged with industry partners to help create a plan that will help MDOT implement 3D models for bridges. The plan includes recommendations for producing, managing and documenting the production of bridge models, and a framework to organize the information in the models, define the level of development and visual quality of model elements, manage geospatial distance distortions, and clarify desired outputs from the models. The project also tested a 3D bridge modeling software on real projects and provided training materials to advance the market-ready 3D modeling applications for bridge designers



Final Report



Project Organization


MDOT Research Manager MDOT Project Manager Performing Organization(s)
Research Manager Michael Townley WSP logo
Michael Townley Talia Belill, P.E.  WSP Michigan, Inc.