• Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC

    Foth Transforms, Connects, and Revitalizes Cedar Falls, Iowa Corridor

    Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States

Project Summary

Project

Located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, University Avenue is a six-lane divided highway supporting more than 20,000 vehicles per day. Built over 60 years ago, the corridor was suffering from deteriorated pavement, a high crash rate, and inefficient traffic operations, as well as lacking pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. To improve roadway conditions and traffic flow, provide non-vehicular access, and spur economic growth, Cedar Falls initiated a USD 38.9 million revitalization. Foth was hired to develop a comprehensive transportation plan for the roadway, from preliminary engineering through final design and construction. Faced with technical, engineering, and coordination challenges—compounded by aggressive timelines and intense public involvement—the organization required integrated digital applications to meet city and stakeholder demands.

Solution

Foth created multidiscipline 3D models and analyzed numerous design alternatives to deliver a “living street” that strengthened the local economy. The project team established an open, connected data environment to store, manage, and share data and information among the geographically dispersed offices and engineering teams. Using 3D BIM technology and visualization applications, Foth met city planning requirements while effectively fostering public engagement to gain buy-in for its innovative conceptual design, which includes roundabouts and supports multimodal transportation.

Outcome

The 3D models and information-rich visualizations facilitated accurate communication of design alternatives to stakeholders and the public to accommodate the aggressive project schedule. Using open applications reduced the design phase by 50%, saving 1,600 hours of design time which enabled construction to begin a full year ahead of schedule. Including the BIM model as part of the bidding documents ultimately resulted in costs at 3% below total contract bid amounts, saving the city more than USD 500,000. Foth established the 3D model as a digital twin, with data flowing to and from the model enabling field personnel to quickly identify and resolve potential issues on site. Foth’s safe, efficient, and modern design delivered a return on investment estimated at USD 32 million in savings for the community to be realized over the next 25 years.

Software

Establishing a connected data environment powered by ProjectWise, Foth stored, managed, and shared over 122 gigabytes of data, streamlining workflows to identify and remediate design issues in hours rather than weeks. LumenRT’s animated renderings effectively presented the design intent, accelerating public approval. Bentley’s open applications facilitated accurate modeling of underground utilities, identifying and resolving more than 200 utility conflicts during the design phase to avoid costly on-site changes during construction. Using Bentley’s interoperable BIM and reality modeling technology to create a single intelligent 3D model optimized design efficiencies and provided digital context for future operations and asset management.

Project Playbook: Descartes, gINT, Haestad, iModel.js, LEAP, ContextCapture, LumenRT, MicroStation, OpenFlow SewerGEMS, OpenFlow WaterGEMS, OpenRoads, ProjectWise, RAM, STAAD

Outcome/Facts
  • The multimodal improvements will provide 26 designated pedestrian crossings and four miles of new sidewalks and trails, providing new connections to 31% of the low to moderate income residents near the corridor.
  • Foth implemented a comprehensive 3D BIM and reality modeling solution to deliver an innovative, multimodal roadway design configuration for the city of Cedar Falls, projected to realize USD 32 million in ROI for the owner over the next 25 years.
  • Bentley’s open applications facilitated coordinated modeling to reduce conflicts and expedite design by an estimated 50%, saving over USD 500,000 in construction costs.
  • The corridor redesign which included six new roundabouts, bike lanes, and bus stop turnouts has provided an 18% reduction in crashes and an 89% reduction in injury crashes.
Quote:
  • “Our implementation of Bentley applications is a key ingredient to Foth’s culture of continually making our clients successful. Using a BIM model, we reduced design time, modernized workflows, enabled the reuse of rich digital deliverables throughout the project lifecycle, and increased our ability to collaborate internally and with our stakeholders. All of these things increase our competitive advantage and allow us to deliver the highest level of service to our clients.”

    Blaine Buenger Senior Technology Manager Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC