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I-70 East Corridor 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 presentations.

POITRA Visual ground simulation of I-70 SDEIS Alternative.
POITRA Visual ground simulation of I-70 SDEIS Alternative.
POITRA Visual ground simulation of I-70 SDEIS Alternative.
POITRA Visual ground simulation of I-70 SDEIS Alternative.
POITRA Visual ground simulation of I-70 SDEIS Alternative.

POITRA created a series of ground level visual simulations describing the full range of proposed SDEIS alternatives.

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

Photosimulations | Mouse-over images below to toggle:


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All of the Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS) alternatives followed the existing alignments with variations that shifted that alignment to the north or to the south each preserving different existing business and 4f properties. An aerial visual simulation was made to give stakeholders a good overview of the differences between the most likely alternatives.

The most viable alternatives included the north shift alignment for a new viaduct and the alternate known as the partial cover which located I-70 below grade with a cover. Two options were developed for the cover which was to be uses as a public park.

left quotation markIts always a challenge to lay out such a large area of new roadway in an aerial simulation and keep everything in correct alignment with existing streets. We literally have to study and build the entire project in our mind within a few days and spill it out as organized pixels.”

M.P., POITRA Visual
Visual Simulations Project Manager

CDOT used their remote controlled aircraft mounted camera to provide the base photograph for the simulation.

POITRA plotted the varrious alternatives onto the base photograph using the existing streets and structures as landmarks. The existing viaduct was removed for all of the alternatives.

The conceptual plans were then used to determine which properties would be affected and to what extent. Each alternative affected a different set of residences, commercial buildings, trees, walks, medians and streets.

The new highway was painted as concrete and local streets were painted as asphalt providing a useful contrast. Pavement markings were applied as indicated by the Engineer. Automobiles and trucks helped give the simulated areas scale and believability.

Special effort and advance planning was required as POITRA artists created the illusion of depth when finishing the subgrade alternative of I-70 with the retaining walls and ramps.

POITRA later created a complete 3D model of the entire two mile subgrade prortion of the final Preliminarily Identified Preferred Alternative for the SDEIS public hearings.It was used to quickly expliain the design to the non-technical public.

POITRA displayed the simulations on the I-70 East EIS public involvement website at the request of the Engineer. The finished simulations were also used by CDOT in the I-70 East EIS public meetings, newsletters and as exhibits in the SDEIS 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. (click to magnify)