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I-70 East at 47th Avenue & Baldwin Court Photosimulations

CDOT, Denver, Colorado

Interstate 70 is the primary east west 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. A large portion of I-70 just east of I-25 was elevated on one of these aging viaducts badly in need of structural and capacity improvements. Half of this viaduct had been rebuilt by an earlier project. Major questions remained as to exactly how to replace the second half. The precise alignment was one these questions.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) conducted the I-70 East Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to determine the answers. POITRA Visual was selected to provide design visualization services and a comprehensive public information website for the project.*

Photo-simulation was thought to be the best medium for accurate and convincing view impact presentations.

POITRA Visual aerial simulation of I-70 Viaduct existing view.
POITRA Visual aerial simulation of I-70 cover proposed view.
POITRA Visual aerial simulation of I-70 cover proposed view.
POITRA Visual aerial simulation of I-70 cover proposed view.

POITRA created aerial view visual simulations of the propsed alternatives for I-70 at a later 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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The early alternatives that the EIS looked at included two alignments that re-routed I-70 with a long out of direction loop to the north. A visual simulation was required to show the proposed structure which would displace the National Western Stock Show Complex on the more western of the two alignments. The Stock Show is a major Denver attraction.

POITRA modelers created an accurate 3D model of the viaduct and ramps which was camera matched with the base photograph. Artists cound then determine what areas of the background would need to be restored.

left quotation markWe have a background in actual highway and bridge structure design so detailed plans and projects are no problem for POITRA.”

Matt Poitra, POITRA Visual
Visual Simulations Project Manager

Several stock show buildings were to be removed from the path of the new viaduct. In the simulation view these removals would exposed views of the mountains beyond. POITRA artists carefully reproduced the view as they removed the appropriate foreground buildings. New curb, gutter and walks were included in the alternative where the project changed traffic patterns of local streets. This was accomplished in the simulation using traditional digital painting techniques. The 3D model was then lighted to match the photograph, rendered and composited with the base photograph to create the final simulation.

The complex arrangment of ramp alignments and profiles required special effort. POITRA was able to call on its principal's previous career experience in bridge design to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

The finished simulations were used by CDOT in the I-70 East EIS public meetings, newsletters and as exhibits in the Draft EIS Document.end of article

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Take a closer look! The highly developed skills of the Artists at POITRA Visual make your concept a reality. (click to magnify)

Take Another Look! POITRA created an animated 3d model of the I-70 East SDEIS Preliminarily Identified Preferred Alternative at a later stage in the project. (click to magnify)