• Alabama Department of Transportation

    Mobile River Bridge

    Mobile, Alabama, United States

Project Summary


At more than USD 850 million, the I-10 Mobile River Bridge project required Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to achieve stakeholder buy-in to construct a new six-lane, 215-foot vertical clearance bridge across Mobile River, and widen the current bridges across Mobile Bay from four to eight lanes. To accommodate the geometry of the existing George C. Wallace Tunnel, ensure visibility of Battleship National Park, and preserve local endangered species while minimizing the threat to Mobile’s maritime industry, ALDOT needed integrated reality modeling and animation tools to simply communicate its proposal to investors and the public.


ALDOT relied on Bentley Descartes, MicroStation, OpenRoads, and LumenRT, along with Trimble’s SketchUp, to complete the sophisticated geometric design and 3D conceptual model of the proposed new corridor. The flexibility and interoperability of Bentley software enabled ALDOT to create a hybrid 3D composite model. This model was combined with digital orthophotography to deliver a realistic virtual animation so that all stakeholders could visualize the project in an immersive, interactive environment.


Using Bentley LumenRT, ALDOT could quickly generate composite interactive 3D visualizations of the bridge and surrounding area from models and designs created with various software, including MicroStation and Trimble SketchUp, among others. With assistance from Bentley’s visualization and developer team ALDOT reduced animation production time by 70 percent. Bentley’s interoperable modeling and animation tools enabled ALDOT to meet the design challenges and communicate with all stakeholders the significant economic impact and necessity of the project to alleviate traffic congestion, improve quality of life, enhance safety, and promote a greater flow of commerce.


ALDOT used Bentley software and Trimble’s SketchUp for reality modeling and design. Bentley Descartes was used to manage, review, and process LiDAR data. MicroStation provided the rendering and animation for the drive-throughs and fly-throughs. OpenRoads provided the complex geometric design and 3D corridor modeling of the proposed route as well as visualization paths. LumenRT offered an immersive, real-time visualization that was simple for all stakeholders to understand. Integrating Bentley and Trimble software facilitated a collaborative modeling environment to complete the conceptual design and animation and communicate the impact of the Mobile River Bridge project.  

  • ALDOT relied on the interoperability of Bentley software to create a 3D virtual model of its Mobile River Bridge proposal along the I-10 southernmost transcontinental corridor to increase highway capacity, reduce congestion, and provide a more direct route for transporting hazardous materials.
  • Leveraging Bentley solutions with other technologies, ALDOT reduced animation production time by 70 percent, creating a 3D real-life, virtual visualization for the second largest vertical clearance bridge in the United States.
  • LumenRT was instrumental in allowing all stakeholders to visualize the over USD 850 million roadway proposal and understand its potential for economic gain, expecting a USD 1.5 million in new economic activity within the eight-county region surrounding Mobile.
  • “Special thank you goes out to Bentley’s visualization team and developer team for providing critical fixes and support enabling us to reduce animation production time by 70 percent.”

    J.D. D’Arville Transportation Administrator Alabama Department of Transportation