Fire officials in New Brunswick, N.J., recently used AutoTURN technology, a CAD-based turn simulation software made by Transoft Solutions . LGA Engineering Inc., a subsidiary of Birdsall Services Group Inc., was contracted by Devco/Keating to prepare a site plan for the Rutgers Public Safety Building and parking garage.
Currently under construction, the project consists of a four-story, 76,000-sq-ft facility for the Security Division of Rutgers University on a 1.7-acre site. Also included are a six-story, 385-stall parking garage and 4,500 sq ft of retail space.
The project was designed, approved and under construction when a “flare-up” occurred. The project was designed to eliminate the entrance to a vacated one-way street, Abeel Street, and a new access road was proposed. Closure of Abeel Street was required for construction to proceed. The city’s fire marshal would allow closure of the street only upon confirmation that emergency vehicles, specifically large, three-axle fire trucks, could operate on the narrow temporary access road.
During the construction phase of the project, only 18 ft of the access road would be paved (after construction, the road would be widened to 32 ft). The fire marshal told the client that he would not allow the project to continue until the smoldering question of whether or not the access road could accommodate emergency vehicles was reconfirmed.
The client then called LGA Engineering, asking how to put out this fire. LGA said AutoTURN had the ability to confirm the accessibility of the fire truck through the access road. LGA proceeded, using limited fire truck specifications as provided by the fire marshal.
The data provided was insufficient to design a fire truck with the software, so additional data was obtained from a local fire apparatus manufacturer. LGA then designed a usable fire truck template by using this data with the tools provided in AutoTURN. They were able to use the parameters calculated by the program to draw the travel path on the access road. With some minor path adjustments specified by the software, LGA determined that the vehicle could safely operate on the road without contacting utility poles or burning rubber wheels on curbs.
The plan was presented to the fire marshal for approval. “The Fire Marshal, needing absolute verification, had our client complete the temporary access road and then had his men run the truck through the access road,” said Danny Seymour, project manager for LGA. “The truck acted as the software predicted, and the project was allowed to proceed.”
Using the software, LGA confirmed that emergency vehicles could use the access road. Consequently, additional plans and the subsequent approvals from various governmental agencies were not required. Many days—possibly weeks—were saved, and the project was allowed to proceed on time.
“AutoTURN was the only software considered for this project and was the correct choice,” Seymour said. “It is straightforward and easy to use and has now been proven to be accurate. LGA Engineering depends upon [the software] and has used the software to complete a number of projects.”
He reported that no other major flare-ups have occurred during the project.