Continuing Education

Iowa DOT Building Information Model for Bridges and Structures Pilot Project

In recent years, the application of BIM technology to bridges has offered significant advantages over traditional 2D formats. These advantages are evident in all phases of a project, from preliminary design to post-construction asset management. Much of this technology however, remains largely untested for bridge projects. The Iowa DOT Building Information Model (BIM) Pilot Project was developed to help fill this void by modeling, evaluating, and delivering a 3D BIM model for a design/bid/build bridge contract.

In an effort to push the limits of the current software, three complex steel welded plate girder bridges were selected for the pilot project. The designers utilized a combination of Bentley products to create and view the models. The two primary pieces of software used for model development were OpenBridge Modeler and ProStructures. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages to each as they pertain to curved steel plate girder bridges.

Along with a complete overview of the modeling process, the authors will discuss how the traditional 2D delivery method was changed to facilitate a 3D deliverable. With construction still underway, ways in which the contractor has utilized the model at the time of publishing will also be covered.

  • Date: 4/3/2019 - 4/5/2019
  • PDH Credits: 0


Grant Schmitz, PE; Ahmad Abu-Hawash, PE

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