Three-Dimensional Parametric Data Exchange for Curved Steel Bridges

Karaman S. G., Chen S. S., Ratnagaran B. J.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, no.2331, pp.27-34, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.3141/2331-03
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.27-34
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Improved software interoperability is key to realizing more fully the potential benefits of integrated and accelerated project delivery in a way that also somehow ensures product quality. The increasing appeal of three-dimensional (3-D) building information modeling (BIM) notions applied to bridges [known as bridge information modeling (BrIM)] motivates the need for principled prescriptions of associated electronic data exchanges between various project stakeholders and the various software applications that they use. Such data exchanges must be sufficiently precise to facilitate detailing for fabrication and construction while being sufficiently concise to facilitate parametric modeling and thereby avoid needless data duplication. The highway geometry to which bridges must conform distinguishes BrIM from the building column grid orientation of BIM at the outset of the bridge life cycle. In contrast to the overdefined highway geometry in the LandXML data exchange standard, a 3-D control curve is defined, presented, illustrated, and recommended as the basis for parametric data exchange suitable through the life cycle of steel I-girder bridges on (straight and) curved alignments. This 3-D control curve combines in a single curve the traditional horizontal control line and profile grade line that bridge structural engineers receive from highway designers to define bridge geometry. Data exchanges associated with three distinct stages in the life cycle of a steel bridge are defined and illustrated: analysis and design, detailing for fabrication, and erection and construction. The data exchange based on a 3-D control curve provides the data integrity required through the life cycle of a steel bridge.