OMAHA, Neb. — Goodbye, printed plan sheets. With the continued adoption of building information modeling and 3D design, those building transportation projects should be prepared for a sea change in how they access project information and plans. Models are becoming more prevalent and replacing traditional plan sheets. In some states, transportation agencies are already moving to adopt the models as the new legal documents used for design and construction.

This change means more accuracy, improved collaboration and better efficiency. But it also means large changes in the daily work and processes of on-site professionals. Alexa Mitchell, HDR’s highways and roads BIM director, explained some of the changes that are already taking place in a recent Experts Talks interview.

Mitchell shared a glimpse of how staff will access these new plan versions, how they will be used by those in the field, the benefits and challenges that agencies and staff should be aware of, and the implications for contractors, construction inspectors, owners and designers.

“New skills will be needed to use these tools to access information that is being presented in a different medium,” she said. The ongoing change “involves shifting thinking away from plan-centric work to data-centric work, where information can be accessed and used in multiple ways.”

Mitchell has a background in national-level research and regional implementation, helping transportation leaders across the United States to deliver projects more effectively through BIM technology. She works closely with design and construction inspection staff to improve interdisciplinary coordination, proactively manage project risks and optimize constructability.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

Read Mitchell’s interview, and then explore previous articles about HDR’s expertise and market leadership in BIM for infrastructure, including:

About HDR

For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit www.hdrinc.com.

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