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I-25 South Broadway Access Ramp Photosimulations

CDOT, Denver, Colorado

Interstate 25 is the primary north south artery through the Denver metropolitan area. Many of its bridges and viaducts dated to the early interstate era and were in need of upgrade and replacement. The I-25 Broadway interchange included a major viaduct spanning the Broadway, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) and Regional Transportation District's (RTD) Southeast Corriodor. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) already had the first half of the viaduct in the construction stage. POITRA Visual was selected to provide design visualization services.

The Broadway Viaduct itself spanned the RTD Park-n-Ride with managable impacts to the parking lot below. The proposed south-bound exit ramp however bisected the large section of parking area. CDOT proposed two alternatives. The first, called for the ramp to remain on structure preserving much of the open area and access underneath. The second, placed the ramp on retaining walls dividing the space into smaller but potentially desirable parking areas.

POITRA Visual custom 3D Model EMU commuter vehicle in wire frame.
POITRA Visual custom 3D Model DMU commuter vehicle with potential RTD colors and marking combinations.

POITRA created an aerial view photosimulation of the proposed viaduct at an earlier stage in the project.

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

Photosimulations | Mouse-over images below to toggle:

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POITRA illustrated both concepts with photosimulation in order to compare the alternatives in context.

POITRA photographers collected multiple views that would allow the differences in the alternatives to be best described. The Project Engineer made the final view selection. The base photograph was prepared by removing the existing viaduct and restoring the background using traditional digital painting techniques. The piers for the new viaduct that were then partially constructed were left in place to guide the placement of the model viaduct and the ramp alternatives.

Modelers at POITRA then created 3D site models that included the ramp on bridge structure and the ramp on walls. Since the main viaduct was not yet constructed the entire viaduct superstructure also needed to be modeled. The site models included concrete jersey barriers, chain-link splash fencing and mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall panels. These models were camera matched, lighted, rendered and composited with the base photograph to create a final photosimulation for each alternative.

CDOT used the finished simulations in meetings with the City and County of Denver and RTD.end of article

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