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Software switch

Roads; Abu Dhabi highway

In 1994 Parkman was asked to carry out a road upgrade contract in Abu Dhabi; the refurbishment of a 17km stretch of the road to Al Ain. This too was to be carried out to AASHTO standards. After surveys and investigations, Parkman's designers began to generate long section drawings direct from 3D data using MOSS version 10.3.

First step in formulating the horizontal alignment was to redesign the centre line for the two lane highway. From there the engineers moved on to the vertical design which proved complex and time consuming as no two cross-sections were the same.

Midway through the design process, concern over the rising water table in the area caused the client to call for an increase in overlay to 1m, and a widening to four-lane dual carriageway configuration. This late stage change could have resulted in considerable delays. Happily, the Parkman team had attended a conference, which provided an introduction to Infrasoft's MXRENEW road refurbishment program.

At the time this was still being tested, but Parkman was able to obtain a beta version of the product. All the existing data from MOSS was imported into MXRENEW without a hitch and the new program was used to design the alignments for both north and southbound carriageways.

The intuitive nature of the software meant that complex calculations and human error could be avoided. Using the program's interactive vertical profile optimisation the required overlay of 1m was calculated automatically. Once overlay depths and cross fall tolerances were set a fitted profile was produced to form the basis of the design. The design process was further automated with the calculation of the exact volume requirements to maximise the use of existing materials and minimise the importation of new.

Parkman design engineer Alan Mather calculates that the time saving against classical MOSS was around 30%, or around one and a half weeks in the design process itself.

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