Graphics Software Helps Washington Road Widening Plan

Case Studies
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Traffic Graphics Software was used for designing traffic control diagrams on the relocation of an underground gas main under I-405 as part of a Washington State DOT (WSDOT) road widening plan for 116th Street, a major east-west arterial in Kirkland, Wash. Pilchuck Contractors, a major natural gas installation and repair company based in Kirkland, did the work.

Project Manager Tom Liong was responsible for coordinating all of the various aspects of the work. There were a few challenges related to the traffic control for this job: there were two large traffic generators in the vicinity, a large hospital to the east of I-405 and a large residential area on the west side of I-405. The proposed rerouting of major traffic flow around a natural gas pipeline relocation had to be shown in a detailed traffic control plan. It was important to coordinate with not only WSDOT, the engineers and contractors, but also make sure businesses and emergency services are well informed of traffic control decisions. The final approved traffic control diagrams needed to be distributed to all involved parties.

Pilchuck's project manager relayed the initial traffic control concept to Rob Inglis, a traffic control designer working in Seattle. Inglis used Traffic Graphics software because of the software’s versatility and ease of use to create all of the traffic control drawings over the course of the project.

For this project, Inglis chose to start with a color aerial photo of the area to show an overall view of the worksite. The color signs, symbols and details were imported and laid out according to MUTCD standards. Inglis also spotlighted various details of the larger drawing using the pre-built roadway configurations from Traffic Graphics Advanced Roadways directory. He added all the details such as signs, devices and the distances between the traffic control devices.

As the project coordination continued it was determined that left turns onto the west I-405 onramp would be prohibited. A detour was proposed to allow traffic access to southbound I-405. Traffic Graphics software helped Inglis make the modifications to the traffic control diagrams fast and easy.

As the drawings were completed, Inglis used Traffic Graphics to convert the drawings to Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format for ease of e-mail distribution to all interested parties. The final drawings were approved by WSDOT and permits were issued, and Pilchuck was able to get the construction, which lasted 2 1/2 weeks and was completed on schedule.

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