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I-70 Mississippi River Gateway Bridge 3D Simulations

MoDOT, St. Louis, Missouri

In a proposal to the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation, POITRA Visual used 3D design visualization to demonstrate the ability of the Sverdup and JMI Team to communicate multiple bridge design concepts during the public involvement process. The project called for a new Gateway Crossing over the Mississippi River near downtown Saint Louis.

The very short production schedule for the proposal, coupled with the need to illustrate several different structure types from multiple viewpoints, made a 3D model the visualization medium of choice.

POITRA Visual artists utilized digital terrain modeling software to create a quick and detailed 3D model representation of the city of St. Louis.

POITRA Visual artists utilized digital terrain modeling software to create a quick and detailed 3D model representation of the city of St. Louis.

3D design visualization and simulation in presentation board layouts by POITRA Visual

3D Simulations


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Mouse-over thumbnail images above to toggle between 3d visualizations.

POITRA modelers went to work creating the bridge structure models beginning with 3D roadway surfaces and rough bridge design plans provided by the Teamís engineer. In order to ensure that the proposal schedule could be met, care was taken to limit the detail included in each structure to only what would be visible. The bridge design backgrounds of the POITRA Visual principals expedited this 3D modeling process.

The biggest challenge lay in creating a believable 3D model of the recognizable landmarks, downtown Saint Louis and the Mississippi River, under the constraints of the proposal schedule.

A simple existing 3D model of the downtown Saint Louis buildings was quickly expanded by POITRA artists to include the Saint Louis Arch and river front buildings. A Saint Louis street map provided a local roadway grid and the river, which could be used to create a color map for the digital terrain modeling program. The terrain modeler was given parameters that filled non-roadway areas with grass and trees.

Each of the 3D structural alternatives were combined with a copy of the 3D terrain model and select views were rendered to create final images. POITRA artists then designed presentation boards to effectively display the final 3D simulations. These boards were used by the Engineers in support of the proposal presentation. article end

POITRA Visual artists used a Saint Louis street map with the river to create a color map to control placement of grass and trees in the 3D terrain model.

POITRA Visual artists used a Saint Louis street map with the river to create a color map to control placement of grass and trees in the 3D terrain model.

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