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Capitol Expressway at Story Road Photosimulations

VTA, San Jose, California

The Capitol Expressway Light Rail Transit (LRT) line is an extension of the Santa Clara County Valley Transit Authority (VTA) rail transit network. The design called for a median running double tracked mainline that included two long viaducts, an elevated station, several grade level stations, a bus transfer station and a redesigned major arterial.

POITRA was asked to prepare a series of visual simulations to address anticipated visual impact and design concerns from public and local government stakeholders. Photo-simulation was the obvious medium for accurate and convincing presentations.

Take a closer look! The entire facility was created using POITRA's custom and stock 3D Models (click to magnify).

Photo-realistic photo simulation and design visualization services by POITRA Visual

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A roadway level simulation was prepared to help evaluate visual impacts of the Story Road Station Viaduct. The view allowed the design team to present the cast-in-place post-tensioned viaduct's variable depth superstructure and the asthetic appearence of the piers. A public art progam was initiated for the pier and wall decoration and the simulation offered opportunity to explore those options as well. Much of the volumes of civil, structural and architectural plan study that was a major part of POITRA's work was already done. POITRA had earlier created an aerial view of the station. The Engineer provided photograph however still required major changes to accurately represent the proposed design changes to Capitol Expressway and Story Road.

left quotation markAfter completing the Story Road aerial view, the ground level photosimulation posed a new set of unique challanges, but a great chance for POITRA artists to show off their technical comprehension of the project.”

Matt Poitra, POITRA Visual
Visual Simulations Project Manager

Existing frontage roads, curb and gutter, sidewalks, driveways, signage, landscaping, fencing, street lights, pedestrians and even lanes of traffic had to be reconfigured on the photo to precisely match the Engineer's design. This work would provide the proper locations for proposed piers, stairs, elevators and even a new pedestrian crossing to be placed. POITRA artists performed this work using traditional digital painting techniques.

POITRA modelers then used the accurate 3D site model constructed for the earlier aerial view simulation to a which already included these elements. The model was expanded to include curbs and walks and exspecially the under viaduct median. POITRA relied upon its principal's previous career experience in bridge and highway design to complete the project efficiently.

The site model was then camera matched, lighted, rendered and composited with the base photograph to finish the visual simulation.

Special effort was required to make sure that all of the elements of all of the various design diciplines, such Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Traffic Control, Signing and Striping, Utilities, Lighting and Landscaping from final design plans came together correctly in the final photo simulation. The simulation was modified as the design progressed. Modifications to the LRT fencing, pedestrian fencing, traffic bollards, median treatments, colors and even the orientation and heights of the elevator towers were all accomodated at various times.

The finished simulations were used in meetings with VTA stakeholders meetings and, with modifications, in discussions during evaluation of the public art program.end of article


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