• Alabama Department of Transportation

    Birmingham, AL I-59/I-20 Corridor Project

    Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Project Summary

    • Alabama Department of Transportation – Birmingham, AL I-59 I-20 Corridor Project


Located in the Birmingham Business District, the I-59/I-20 interchange is Alabama’s busiest corridor, with vehicular demand almost tripling since it was originally built in the 1960s. To improve functionality and capacity of the structurally deficient interchange, Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) initiated a USD 750 million reconstruction project that included bridge construction works for 36 bridges, as well as roadway improvements. ALDOT’s Design Bureau Visualization Group was tasked with coordinating information exchange among multiple offices and utilities, as well as communicating with the public and stakeholders, to quickly deliver an accurate 3D model that could be used to complete construction within 14 months


The team initiated a 3D BIM digital engineering strategy using Bentley’s roadway and utility design applications. ALDOT also implemented ProjectWise as the collaborative platform to seamlessly share and exchange models and information. The organization imported the 3D models into MicroStation for design verification and clash detection and produced animated visual renderings with LumenRT to communicate project impact to stakeholders and the public. Bentley’s integrated technology applications accelerated design and improved quality, allowing ALDOT to deliver accurate models to construction bidders for more informed cost and time estimates.


Working in an open, connected data environment optimized information sharing to save USD 50,000 and 40,000 resource hours. Bentley’s integrated 3D modeling applications enabled ALDOT to identify potential errors, saving over USD 10 million dollars in associated costs and 65 days in construction time. The interoperable BIM technology automated previously manual tasks and streamlined workflow processes among the consultants to save 36 days in delivery time. The renovated infrastructure will meet growing vehicular demands, improve aesthetics, and enhance accessibility along the state’s heaviest traveled corridor.


ALDOT generated a model of the existing site and corridor with Descartes and MicroStation. A digital terrain model was created with OpenRoads, and StormCAD, CulvertMaster, and FlowMaster were used to model the subsurface utilities and piping network. ProjectWise ensured all designers and consultants had real-time access to current design files. The MicroStation clash detection feature identified more than 1,100 potential clashes, allowing costly design errors to be fixed prior to supplying the models for construction bidding. Utilizing Live Cubes in LumenRT allowed the stakeholders and public to view animated renderings rather than 2D drawings for better understanding of the project, which improved decision making.

Project Playbook: CulvertMaster, Descartes, FlowMaster, LumenRT, MicroStation, OpenRoads, ProjectWise, StormCAD

  • ALDOT implemented an open 3D BIM strategy to coordinate multiple design consultants, engineers, and stakeholders to deliver Alabama’s largest roadway infrastructure project.
  • Using ProjectWise provided an open, connected data environment, facilitating real-time access and digital information sharing throughout the project lifecycle to save tens of thousands of dollars and resource hours.
  • The use of the clash detection feature in MicroStation contributed to a USD 10 million in savings.
  • LumenRT optimized project understanding and impact through animated visual renderings that saved USD 2 million in right-of-way (ROW) lawsuits.
  • “Bentley’s MicroStation and ProjectWise provided ALDOT the tools to coordinate and design an accurate 3D model for many engineering applications. This technology allowed ALDOT to save millions of dollars.”

    Matt Taylor, P.E. State Visualization Engineer Alabama Department of Transportation