The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in the US has selected Autodesk, a cloud-based design and engineering software company, for the design of road and highway projects.

NMDOT has become the latest US state transportation department to use the Autodesk software, which includes the Building Information Modeling (BIM) system, for road design projects.

The department has recently used Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler software, which assisted engineers in creating 3D visualisations of the Cambray Bridge replacement and I-10 roadway rehabilitation projects.

NMDOT cabinet secretary Alvin Dominguez said that the department expects to pay for the BIM solutions within two years of full implementation through cost savings due to a reduction of change orders.

"The use of 3D modelling capabilities will improve our public input on projects promoting positive customer relations and needed transparency throughout our project development process," Dominguez added.

Autodesk BIM software for infrastructure comprises AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013, Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler 2013, Autodesk BIM 360 cloud services, Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2013, AutoCAD Raster Design 2013 and AutoCAD 2013.

With the implementation of BIM, NMDOT expects a range of benefits such as convenience of analysing every project irrespective of size; the ability to use intelligent 3D models and visualisations to ascertain and resolve environmental concerns; and the capability to integrate quantities of materials and cost estimates to design models, and then automatically have the data updated when model changes are made.

The software will help in virtual construction and verification of building methodologies, improved analysis, and simulations of construction sequencing so that traffic can be managed in an efficient way all through the road development process.

BIM systems are also expected to support Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) site preparation, which will speed up the construction process by reducing the survey labour time and fuel consumption costs of equipment.

"NMDOT has become the latest US state transportation department to use the Autodesk software."

Autodesk Engineering and Infrastructure vice president Lisa Campbell said that New Mexico’s decision to standardise on Autodesk solutions adds them to a growing list of major US departments of transportation, such as Caltrans, that have made the move to Autodesk BIM for infrastructure solutions.

"We’re seeing rapidly expanding interest within the transportation community for the Autodesk BIM for infrastructure solutions, which help designers and civil engineers in both consulting firms and government agencies plan, design, build and manage more sustainable infrastructure," Campbell added.

NMDOT intends to initiate training on the Autodesk BIM software in early 2013 and expects to receive application on projects from mid-2013.

Image: The New Mexico Department of Transportation used Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler software to generate 3D visualisations for the I-10 roadway rehabilitation project. Photo: courtesy of New Mexico Department of Transportation.