As in the Supplemental DEIS the FEIS preferred alternative removed the existing viaduct and lowered I-70 below grade. A large cover over the highway provided space for a public park to help connect the neighborhoods. Numerous street and rail crossings spanned the lowered highway. The 3D model was the primary tool used to easily communicate the complex multi-level design concept to the public.
The 3D model included all the residential, commercial and industrial properties within one block of either side of I-70, the FEIS 3D Model included five interchanges, four overpasses and the cover, two rail crossings and five large detention basins.
Since the commercial and industrial buildings served as great orientation landmarks we paid a lot of attention to their detailing.”
M.P., POITRA Visual
Visual Simulations Project Manager
Since the public needed to quickly recognize the locations within the 3D model a fairly high level of detail was called for. POITRA included fencing, retaining walls, soundwalls, curbs, traffic signals, soundwalls, barriers, walks, islands, medians, traffic, pavement markings and vegetation.
POITRA modelers laid out the project from concept level plans. Profile grades of I-70 and the interchange ramps as well as connections to cross streets had to be carefully managed to ensure that all vertical clearances were correct and the roadway surfaces met up as planned. Changes to the design during construction of the 3D model were cause for major concerns.
POITRA's extensive collection of stock 3D transportation models, such as locomotives and rolling stock, trucks and automobiles and even houses and trees were used to populate the model.
The Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) crossing carries the railroad's main north south traffic. A UPRR storage yard is situated just south of the crossing so the structure is wide to accommodate expected expansion. Due to the required deep girders of the UPRR structure main spans the I-70 profile is at its lowest point at this location. The 46th Avenue ramps and the sidewalks pass under at slightly higher profiles because they utilize the more shallow UPRR structure end spans.
Once the FEIS 3D model updates were complete POITRA modelers rendered a large series still views for each major node: interchanges, overcrossings and the storm water system. A series of animations were also rendered for each node which included moving traffic and even flowing water. The animations were created in High Definition (HD).
POITRA created an interactive tour of the 3D model on the I-70 East EIS public website using a 3D map navigation system for each node that included still views and animations chosen to best describe the project (see: www.i-70east.com/viz).
The 3D model tour was published just prior to the I-70 East SDEIS public hearings and republished for the FEIS Public Hearings.