• Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT)

    Mobile River Bridge

    Mobile, Alabama, United States

Project Summary

Improving Congestion in Highly Trafficked Area

Running between Mobile and Baldwin counties in southern Alabama, Interstate 10 travels over Mobile Bay to connect the two counties. However, the bridge between the existing Wallace Tunnels and the Eastern Shore experiences some of the worst congestion in the state. Therefore, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) was tasked with increasing capacity so that commuters, freight transporters, and tourists experienced a less-congested trip. The area is also expected to grow, making this bridge a key connector. The estimated USD 2 billion project includes constructing a new six-lane bridge with 215 feet of minimum clearance across the Mobile River to allow ships to proceed unimpeded. To ensure the success of this project, ALDOT knew that traditional modeling and visualization methods would be insufficient.

Seeking to Improve Project Visualization

ALDOT decided to use integrated 3D modeling and visualization applications. However, they needed software that would make it easy for stakeholders and the public to see and understand the proposed plan. The plan includes replacing the existing I-10 bridges across Mobile Bay from four to eight lanes at an elevation above the 100-year storm surge, which would help reduce the potential for loss of access across the bay after major storm events. The plan also calls for re-modifications to downtown Mobile with added ramps. Therefore, they sought software that would allow them to create an immersive virtual presentation so that users could experience the project as if it was already a reality.

Creating Immersive Environment of Proposed Plan

After considering their options, ALDOT chose Bentley applications to deliver and communicate the plan via a digital twin. They began by capturing 3,075 photos using ContextCapture, producing a 3D reality mesh of the city. OpenRoads helped model the project by creating detailed roadway surfaces, allowing them to quickly make changes to the 3D models. The team then exported all models into LumenRT to enhance visibility, creating rendering and animations for a 360-degree virtual tour. This virtual experience helped explain the proposed project and its changes on the local community.

Streamlining Decision-making and Project Delivery

By using OpenRoads’ advanced modeling capabilities, ALDOT reduced project delivery by 30 days. The ability to quickly make changes reduced resource hours and keeping the project on schedule. Additionally, by using ContextCapture, they reduced visualization production time by 80%. The digital twin environment streamlined decision-making by both stakeholders and the public. When completed, the new bridge will facilitate access to and from major industries and freight destinations in Mobile, as well as provide hazardous material vehicles a direct route away from the downtown district. The project will benefit the environment by increasing capacity to meet existing and future traffic volumes, while also protecting the Mobile Bay so that future generations can enjoy the view and natural beauty from the bridge. ALDOT is on track to complete the project in 2026.

Project Playbook: ContextCapture, LumenRT, MicroStation, OpenRoads

  • Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) was tasked with constructing a new six-lane bridge along Interstate-10 with 215 feet of minimum clearance across the Mobile River.
  • With OpenRoads’ advanced modeling capabilities, ALDOT shortened project delivery by 30 days.
  • Using Bentley applications to create a digital twin of the proposed plan helped explain the proposed project and its changes on the local community, streamlining approvals.
  • "ALDOT was able to reduce visualization production time 80% by utilizing Bentley ContextCapture and producing animations with LumenRT.”

    Matt Taylor Visualization Engineer Alabama Department of Transportation