The goal of this USD 80 million project by J.L. Patterson & Associates was to improve the transport capacities of freight moving from the San Joaquin Valley in California to the eastern United States in an efficient and timely manner while reducing operational constraints. From an engineering standpoint, the project challenges included steep terrain with slope heights up to 500 feet, narrow corridors, horizontal alignment with severe curvature, and environmentally sensitive terrain.
To help overcome these challenges the design team chose MicroStation and Bentley Rail Track. To provide data to the field crews the team used MicroStation Geographic to export data that could be used on iPads in the field. In addition, because the project encompassed many stakeholders across the U.S., including two railroads and numerous agencies, all needing to access design and engineering data, J.L. Paterson & Associates chose ProjectWise for its engineering content management solution.
Regression tools in Bentley software enabled J.L. Patterson to easily produce alternative designs. Quick alignment changes reduced about three to four months from the design schedule. Design cost savings also translated into savings during construction. For example, the team determined it would be more cost efficient to build the double track outside the existing envelope, therefore avoiding costs for tunneling and/or day-lighting the tunnel, and saving USD 2.7 million just for this segment alone.
ProjectWise ensured all design team members and project stakeholders had access to the information they needed. MicroStation and Bentley Rail Track helped the team quickly define the areas of potential effect and stay within the environmental footprint. Using MicroStation Geographics, data in the field helped shorten the field verification process, reducing the risk staff were exposed to while working in an active freight rail corridor.