The Mobile River Bridge Project

The Alabama Dept of Transportation (ALDOT) successfully used LumenRT on the highly acclaimed Mobile River Bridge project. The bridge will span the Mobile River near downtown Mobile with a minimum vertical clearance height of 215 feet making it the second highest clearance bridge in the United States -- just below the famed Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Here, J.D. D'Arville, GIS Administrator for the Alabama Department of Transportation, who led the project, shares with us his insights on how LumenRT was utilized to deliver real-time immersive visualizations for the important public involvement meetings.

Explain a bit about the Mobile River Bridge Project?

J.D. D'Arville: The I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project is a proposal to increase the capacity of I-10 by constructing a new six-lane bridge with 215 feet of Air Draft Clearance (ADC) across the Mobile River and widening the existing I-10 bridges across Mobile Bay from four to eight lanes.

The proposed project would be located in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, Alabama. In the Mobile area, there is a need to increase the capacity of I-10 to meet existing and predicted future traffic volumes and to provide a more direct route for vehicles transporting hazardous materials, while minimizing impacts to Mobile’s maritime industry.

How was LumenRT used on this project?

J.D.: The ALDOT had already completed still renderings, Photo-matches, and animations for the MRB project to be used at our Public Involvement meetings, but I was still looking for something to really visually communicate with our stake holders.

LumenRT gave ALDOT the opportunity and ability to ask the public where they wanted to go in the project and we could take them there virtually on the fly in “LiveCube” immersive visualization area we had setup at the Public Involvement meeting.

What are thoughts about LumenRT?

J.D.: LumenRT is a great visual assessment and communication tool that is very easy to use and creates realistic Live Cubes which can be used to sell, or generate “buy in” for ALDOT’s projects. With LumenRT, we were able to quickly generate composite interactive 3D visualizations of the bridge and surrounding area using a variety of input sources and models including Esri CityEngine, Bentley MicroStation, and Trimble Sketchup models along with VISSIM and Bentley Traffic vehicle animations.

Any other ideas/thoughts on how you plan to use LumenRT in the future?

J.D.: ALDOT will continue to use LumenRT to communicate our high priority projects to our stake holders, and to generate and entice economic development within the State of Alabama. We really liked how the public interacted with the Live Cube station at the Mobile River Bridge public involvement meeting. The one thing we would like to see in the future is to have LumenRT provide a mechanism to fly to a geo-location or address to take people to their house or place of business within the LumenRT LiveCube model. This will allow people to view our projects from the point of view of the individual or business.

About J.D. D’Arville

J.D. began his career with the Alabama Department of Transportation 24 ½ years ago in the Materials & Tests Bureau before being promoted to ALDOT’s Design Bureau in the Preliminary Design Section.

In 1996 J.D. became involved in creating 3D Models for ALDOT, and currently manages ALDOT’s Virtual Design and Visualization Section, which is responsible for providing visualization requests such as Renderings, Photo-matches, and Animations that are presented at Public Involvement meetings, Design Hearings, and ROW litigations.

He continues to play an important and innovative role in bringing 3D Renderings and Models to the ALDOT organization. J.D. was recently promoted to GIS Administrator and will oversee the implementation of ALDOT’s new enterprise GIS (EGIS) system.