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US550 near Durango Photosimulations

CDOT, Durango, Colorado

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) conducted an Environmental Assessment (EA) for upgrading a rural segment of US550 near Durango in southwestern Colorado. The plan called for expanding the existing two lane road to a four lane divided highway.

POITRA was contracted to provide a series of photosimulation design visualizations for the EA. The simulations included important intersections and areas sensitive to the expanded right-of-way. POITRA also provided the CADD drawing services for the highway expansion and for the several bridge stuctures that were required at different phases of the project.

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Mouse-over images above to toggle between the existing photo and the photosimulations.

At this location designers explored the best way to lay the expanded highway cross-section accross a prominent land feature. Several alternatives were worked up and three of the most promising were the subjects of photosimulations.

Each alternative differed in the location of the additional lanes but the primary environmental issue concerned how each option delt with the mountain. The first alternative followed the existing alignment and expanded to outside using retaining walls, The second expanded to the inside making large mountainside cuts necessary. The third alternative abandoned the existing alignment altogether and crossed new ground on the opposite slope.

The Engineer provided the base photograph from a corridor photo survey. Power lines and right-of-way fencing was removed.

POITRA artists carefully laid in the new highway alignments for each alternative including retaining walls, grading, pavement markings and local access where applicable. The simulations were completed using only traditional digital painting techniques.

The previous bridge and roadway design experience of the POITRA Visual principals made the process quick and smooth.

The final existing and proposed alternate photosimulation images were used in the public outreach process conducted by the CDOT and in the EA Document. article end


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