This USD 551 million project will improve the 15-mile section of I-90 just east of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State, where increasing traffic and avalanche control closures have caused congestion. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is adding one lane in each direction, realigning the roadway, stabilizing major rock cuts, constructing avalanche bridges, and making other improvements to meet safety and capacity requirements. In addition to designing the road improvements, WSDOT needed to be able to visually communicate to decision makers and the public the impact of the project on the environment.
The design team used InRoads to complete the civil engineering 3D road design. Starting with the 3D models and information created in InRoads, the visualization team then used MicroStation’s civil visualization tools and the Luxology rendering engine to produce a realistic fly-through/drive-through animation. The animation covered 7 miles of I-90 and about 75 square miles of surrounding forested terrain.
3D models from InRoads automated the transition to rendering and MicroStation’s ability to render animations using multiple computers greatly reduced total rendering time. On one workstation, each frame would have taken about 7 minutes, for a total of 42 days per rendering pass. Using a 14-unit server render farm, the job took 3 days per pass. As a result, MicroStation’s process controller for distributed rendering saved 35 days in rendering time.
The design team used MicroStation, InRoads, and Bentley Descartes, while the visualization team used MicroStation. Using geometry from InRoads with MicroStation’s traffic animations tools, WSDOT could easily add realistic traffic to its animation. And with the Populate tool, it was able to add over 23,000 three-dimensional trees alongside the roadway to simulate the forested terrain.