Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Kelly C. Strong
Visualization is a relatively recent tool available to engineers for enhancing transportation project design through improved communication, decision making, and stakeholder feedback. Current visualization techniques include image composites, video composites, 2-D drawings, drive-through or fly-through animations, three-dimensional (3-D) rendering models, virtual reality, and four-dimensional (4-D) CAD. These methods are used mainly to communicate within the design and construction team and between the team and external stakeholders. Use of visualization improves understanding of design intent and project concepts, and facilitates effective decision making. Visualization tools, however, typically are used for presentation only in large-scale urban projects. Visualization is not accepted widely due to a lack of demonstrated engineering benefits for typical agency projects, such as small and medium size projects, rural projects, and projects where external stakeholder communication is not a major issue. Furthermore, there is a perceived high cost of investment of both financial and human capital in adopting visualization tools. The most advanced visualization technique of virtual reality has been used only in academic research settings, and 4-D CAD has been used on a very limited basis for highly complicated specialty projects. However, there are a number of less technically sophisticated visualization methods available that may provide some benefit to many agency projects. Survey results show that respondents have neutral ideas of adopting visualization techniques used in work zone construction. However, t-test analyses of survey results show that the younger generation and persons familiar with technology believe visualization techniques can be useful more so than people of older generations or those who are not familiar with technology. In this dissertation, a work zone visualization model was developed by creating 3-D models linked with scheduling data. The visualization file was saved as a .kmz format file to be used and sent over the Internet. After viewing the developed work zone visualization, a focus group and project team members of the 24th Street Bridge Project believed the visualization would be useful as a low cost technique for communicating during construction and was adopted as an alternative visualization tool on the construction project website. In this dissertation, results of a feasibility study are presented examining the use of visualization applications for improving work zone planning, design, construction, safety, and mobility.
Kaewmoracharoen, Manop, "Feasibility of visualization and simulation applications to improve work zone safety and mobility" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10543.