EXTON, Pa.—The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), which serves a state and local highway system that annually handles more than 100 billion vehicle miles, won a 2006 BE Award for its project, Traveling to Pinehaven—An Examination Into Effective Transportation Solutions. The award category was Civil: Visualization.

The BE Awards of Excellence, which are selected by an independent jury of industry experts and presented during the annual BE Conference, honor the work of Bentley Systems software users. According to Bentley, the winning projects set benchmarks for their industries and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of the organizations that created them.

NYSDOT’s project focused on regulatory signs and pavement markings for entering and exiting roundabouts. To fulfill the test procedures required by the Federal Highway Administration, NYSDOT installed new "fish-hook" symbology in several constructed roundabouts to evaluate its effectiveness. In addition, the department created an interactive multimedia simulation to evaluate driver response in a controlled environment. All of the 3-D modeling, material assignments, scripting, and frame generation was done directly in MicroStation.

Thomas Fischer, a visualization technician at NYSDOT, said, "I’ve repeatedly seen how renderings and animation more quickly communicate project goals and objectives than conventional CAD drawings. Visualization brings a project to life long before the construction process begins. It can add vision and value to virtually any project. Imagination is one’s only limitation."

The majority of participants in the simulation favored the new symbology compared with the old. As a result, it was approved for inclusion in the updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices slated for publication in 2008.

For more information on NYSDOT’s winning project and all of the other 2006 BE Award projects, visit www.be.org/awards.