3D Visualization Helps Design, Move and Install World’s Largest Pre-Assembled Rail Truss Bridge

Categories: Engineering Infrastructure

Kapur &
, a multi-discipline consulting engineering firm, recently helped
with the planning and installation of a new 4.3 million pound commuter railroad
bridge outside of Chicago. The project is part of the city’s “Building
a New Chicago
” program that is designed to update critical infrastructure.
Kapur & Associates used Autodesk
Building Information Modeling
(BIM) for infrastructure solutions to create 3D intelligent models for site
construction layout and survey control, and to generate compelling visuals to
help communicate to 40 government departments how the enormous, pre-assembled
truss bridge could be moved and installed.

“We believe this project includes the largest pre-assembled
truss bridge ever moved into place,” said Dan Kucza, P.L.S., of Kapur &
Associates. “With help from Autodesk’s Building Information Modeling solutions,
we were able to visually demonstrate how the entire process of moving and
hoisting the truss would unfold.  We planned and modeled everything right
down to the Self Propelled Mobile Transporters (SMPT’s) to simulate the 400
foot long, and 2,350 ton truss being rolled 800 feet into position, which
helped secure approval from all of the agencies involved.”


AutoCAD Civil 3D and

Autodesk 3ds Max Design software helped communicate to stakeholders how the
massive bridge would be transported and set input place.  Image courtesy
of Kapur & Associates

The massive new rail bridge is part of the “Torrence
Avenue Grade Separation Project
,” which involved a complete redesign and
rebuild at the intersection of Torrence Avenue and 130th Street in
Chicago. The goal of the project was to help allow traffic to pass below two
new bridges for the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railroad, thus eliminating the
current at-grade crossing of these tracks and improve traffic flow to the
surrounding areas. The entire project included six new bridges, realignment of
the commuter railroad tracks and roads, a new drainage system, retaining walls,
lighting, traffic signals, a mixed-use pedestrian path and extensive
landscaping. The project is the first major milestone of a $101 million
infrastructure project designed to make the city’s urban rail network run more

To help visually communicate the entire project’s scope to
technical and non-technical stakeholders, including clients, 40 government
departments and the general public, the Kapur & Associates team used
Autodesk BIM for infrastructure software solutions included as part of the Autodesk
Infrastructure Design Suite