• Mead & Hunt

    Ohio SR 309 Grade Separation

    Marion, Ohio, United States

Project Summary

    • Alexandra Monda


A combination of high truck volumes and multiple rail crossings near an intermodal facility in Marion, Ohio resulted in congestion, long waits, and sometimes unsafe conditions. Crossings on both SR 309 and Pole Lane Road often left the area congested, with two adjacent parks hosting baseball and softball tournaments adding to the congestion and delays. The Ohio Department of Transportation awarded this project to Mead & Hunt as a feasibility study to see if the traffic problem could be solved. Mead & Hunt devised numerous alternatives, including simply making minor improvements on SR 309, a relocation of SR 309 bypassing the rail crossing, multiple grade separation options under and over the railroad on an existing and slightly relocated SR 309, or even relocating the rail spur further to east. The project team settled on a slight realignment of SR 309 to the north that included an overpass over the rail spur and a new service road to Kennedy Park and its facilities. The initial plan called for reconstructing Patten Pike between the new service road and Pole Lane Road, as well as Pole Lane Road between Patten Pike and SR 309. Mead & Hunt estimated the cost for the project at its preliminary design state to be USD 9.8 million, which was about one-third over approved project funding.


The project presented Mead & Hunt with an opportunity to use Bentley’s OpenRoads technology. The application enabled the team to visualize the problem, reduce design time, evaluate maintenance of traffic alternatives and identify drainage and utilities issues. While delivering an accurate product was paramount, maintaining the budget and schedule were also very important. Mead & Hunt accomplished all three, hitting all time and budget targets, using the OpenRoads technology and design processes throughout. Mead & Hunt was able to use the 3D model to eliminate 2,125 feet of road and over 20,000 square feet of retaining walls from the preliminary design. Moreover, Mead & Hunt used the model for detail design of the intersections, driveways, utilities, structures, and detecting and resolving clashes.


Implementing this innovative software on the SR 309 project allowed Mead & Hunt to save time and costs, both in design and construction. The 3D model allowed designers to quickly discover an improved maintenance-of-traffic design that saved the bulk of the USD 3.2 million that was eliminated from the preliminary design. The schedule constraints would not have allowed such analysis utilizing previous design techniques. And, although the process did not greatly accelerate the schedule, the quickness with which the modeling could be done provided the design team with the ability to scrutinize the design and prevent construction questions that might have arisen previously.


While Mead & Hunt had some prior experience using OpenRoads technology, this project gave the organization a great opportunity to use the application across all project team members. Power GEOPAK, utilizing OpenRoads technology, helped the team visualize the project. OpenBridge Modeler helped the team model the structure over the rail spur and obtain accurate quantity information. During construction, ContextCapture was used to create a reality mesh from aerial images taken using drone technology.

Project Playbook: ContextCapture,OpenRoads, OpenBridge Modeler

  • OpenRoads technology allowed the team to meet the budget and reduce the project schedule.
  • The project was estimated at preliminary design to cost USD 9.8 million but came in at USD 6.6 million upon design completion.
  • Mead & Hunt used the model for detail design of the intersections, driveways, utilities, structures, and resolving clashes.