Roadway Reality

    Image taken in LumenRT live cube with DRMB Stage 2 mainline and junction design option.

    Transport Scotland is upgrading 177 kilometers of the A9 from single to dual carriageway by 2025. As part of this GBP 3 billion project, the CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture (CFJV) is designing and supervising construction of the 43 kilometer section between Glengarry and Dalraddy. The upgrade will facilitate safe travel, enhance the road’s performance, and support economic growth. A foremost challenge for CFJV was addressing stakeholder concerns about the project’s visual and environmental impacts.

    CFJV used Bentley’s reality modeling technology to create 3D visualizations, fly-through videos, and interactive models that explained the design scheme and presented accurate views of proposed roads and bridges at specific locations. Based on actual geometry, topography, and imagery, the models’ authenticity reassured stakeholders and addressed misunderstandings around design options. The reality models also helped the CFJV team develop detailed schemes that fit into the landscape and adapted to physical constraints.

    Reality modeling demonstrated how the road design fit into the mountain landscape of Cairngorms National Park and other sensitive areas. Bentley LumenRT halved the time required to create the interactive 3D models, which were superior to visualizations rendered as movies. The models were essential tools for optimizing the design to blend into the surroundings and minimize long-term impacts. Upon completion, dualling the A9 will shorten journey times, reduce accidents, and improve access to public transport.


    ProjectWise supported the BIM approach to the A9 Dualling Program by providing a connected data environment, cross-discipline information sharing, and integrated workflows. Multiple disciplines used MXROAD models to “optioneer” solutions for sensitive sites. Fully interactive live cubes were created in Bentley LumenRT based on actual design models from a single data source. High-resolution 3D reality meshes created in ContextCapture allowed the team to visualize the terrain, reducing the number of site visits.

    Compared with traditional methods for creating visualizations, using Bentley LumenRT reduced costs by shortening the time spent on the task. CFJV created an interactive 3D model of an 11-kilometer section with four junction options and seven mainline options in just one and a half months — a process that previously would have taken three months and only produced a non-interactive movie.

    Bentley LumenRT live cubes engaged stakeholders and helped them understand the differences between the design options presented by the CFJV team.

    “From the experience of our A9 Dualling team, we are in no doubt that the use of Bentley’s LumenRT/ContextCapture 3D visualization models has been a tremendous step forward in communications and stakeholder engagement,” said Neil Stewart, contract manager, A9 Glengarry to Dalraddy, CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture. “We believe these models will become the norm for major projects in the future.”

    The CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture project was a 2016 Be Inspired Finalist for Innovation in Reality Modeling.

    Information provided by Bentley Systems, Inc. (