OpenRoads and RM Bridge Pinpoint Ideal Design Solution with Generative Design Workflows
Revamping a Congested Interchange
The city of Ribeirão Preto, located in the state of São Paulo in Brazil, is an epicenter of agribusiness and a hub of commerce, generating an influx of people to the city, boosting the population and increasing traffic congestion. The Waldo Adalberto da Silveira, the major access interchange to Ribeirão Preto, is a roundabout constructed in 1972. With a daily traffic volume of around 80,000 vehicles joining it from five different highways, many collisions occurred on the access interchange due to inefficient transit interconnection. The government of São Paulo initiated a BRL 120 million project to design a roadway network able to reduce congestion and car accidents as well as meet predicted traffic demands over the next 30 years. The government requested that Arteris, a private company licensed to manage the highway, include the project as part of its ongoing administration in the locality.
To improve the interchange, Arteris retained SETENGE and Beta 2 Engenharia to completely remodel the highway system. Founded in 1999, Beta 2 Engenhariais a privately-owned company that specializes in the development of structural design and analysis projects, concentrating on airports, bridges, and the oil and gas industry. SETENGE is a company that offers road topography and all types of geometric projects, focusing on highways, railways, and urban roads across Brazil. Both companies collaborated due to their expertise in this kind of project.
Population Boom Makes Interchange Obsolete
The population of Ribeirão Preto grew exponentially in recent years as the city is a hub for national agribusiness, specifically sugar cane, and a regional economic center, with Brazilians from other cities coming to Ribeirão Preto for health services and education. The population boom led to an increase of vehicles on the roadways. The main roundabout entering Ribeirão Preto was 420 meters and merged vehicles from five highways and four cities, which saw about 8,000 vehicles per hour during peak periods. This high traffic volume led to inappropriate weavings of cars and many vehicular collisions. Consequently, the government recommended a total renovation of the roundabout.
SETENGE and Beta 2 were tasked with creating a design able to handle the traffic capacity approaching from five highways, eliminate interweaving traffic, and renovate the drainage, lighting, and sewage in the area. The construction of the new roundabout needed to be scheduled and sequenced in a manner that ensured the old roundabout remained operational and as the new complex was required to be located in the same area, with the least amount of expropriation of land.
Analyzing Models with OpenRoads
SETENGE used Descartes to combine aerial photographs with drawings and integrated everything within a single image in order to decipher the optimal geometry of the complex. Then, SETENGE conducted a topographic study of the area where the roundabout was located and used OpenRoads to create a digital terrain model, before mapping out and studying all possible scenarios. The horizontal alignment of the highway connections were examined in relation to the digital terrain model, before the engineers analyzed the vertical alignment and application of super elevation using roadway design functionality in the application.
OpenRoads allowed the teams to view and evaluate the project, integrating geometry, structure, drainage, ground leveling, pavement, geotechnics, and traffic diversion, which allowed for more flexibility in the work.
“OpenRoads was very important to us because it is a very dynamic software,” Walter Hirai, a civil engineer at SETENGE, said. “We could study a lot of different alternatives and see the impact of each on the whole project. We were also able to see all of the interferences and correct them before they happened.” As a result, choosing the optimal solution was done swiftly and services began only after a definite conclusion of all project activities, saving the project team significant time.
Once the project team chose the best solution based on recommendations with OpenRoads, the software provided high-quality results in a very short period of time, was versatile, and handled the data with ease. The data managed through OpenRoads allowed for production of materials necessary for the interrelated projects and disciplines involved, including drainage, geotechnical, special artwork, earthworks, traffic signs, and street lighting. OpenRoads was also used to prepare final deliverables, record data display preferences, create report models, and use the library of templates adapted to the project to generate reports, service notes, and calculations of ground leveling volume, optimizing time.
Structural Design of Viaducts with RM Bridge
Then, Beta 2 used RM Bridge, Bentley’s bridge design and analysis software, to design the eight overpasses, totaling 630 meters; 191 drawings of the extensions were created. The project team used the plot files created by RM Bridge to start their own drawings, which led to a significant time savings compared to the team generating the designs manually from the beginning.
RM Bridge uses a generative design workflow for the modeling steps and the analysis stages, so when one change is entered into the software, all of the correlating data is updated to reflect that change. Through this application, the project team calibrated the models with real-world information from the construction team, such as concrete strength, and modifications were handled quickly and efficiently, saving significant time. Additionally, RM Bridge generated the calculation log, eliminating time spent issuing project documents.
Collaboration Leads to a Design Solution
OpenRoads and RM Bridge enabled the structure and geometry teams to interact efficiently and study the alternatives to find the best solution. Functionality with OpenRoads helped in the analysis of varying options for the remodel and sped up the search for the optimal result. The collaboration among teams and the applications’ optioneering capabilities led to a streamlined project execution and saw the project delivered four months ahead of schedule.
Not only was the proper design solution realized as a result of achieving optimal geometry and structural reconfiguration, Bentley’s integrated applications found the solution that had the least impact on the road users, local population, and environment during construction, and at the minimum cost.
The newly remodeled interchange includes eight overpasses totaling 630 meters and 20 access and return ramps situated within a 11,800-meter extension complex. The remodel considered all inward and outward intersections and ensured that there was no weaving of traffic in any direction, while several of the intersections were diverted away from the roundabout, forming straight links positioned under or over other roadways. The model was designed with projected traffic volumes and road capacity spanning 30 years and a 440-meter bike lane and footbridge was also constructed for pedestrians and cyclists.
A Safer Roundabout Saves Lives and the Environment
The new roundabout is completed and operational, taking 19 months to be finished, and it is currently benefiting the 1.5 million people who use the complex system—visiting, living, or working within Ribeirão Preto. Traffic and vehicular accidents have been reduced as a result of the more streamlined design that eliminates interweaving traffic. A reduction in traffic on local roads is also an advantage of the new interchange, as people avoiding congestion on the previous roundabout would seek alternative routes.
Additionally, higher level security devices were put in place on the roads and high efficiency LED illumination was provided via street lighting, reducing energy consumption. The environment was further helped because decreased traffic stalling reduces toxic gas emissions and sound pollution.
STEVE COCKERELL, Industry Marketing Director, Rail, Bentley Systems
@EPC World Media