URS Australia was commissioned to carry out road design and realignments with
a creek diversion to allow for the continuing expansion of an open cut mine. The
section the project concentrated on was a 4km section of the open cut mining
This project was designed to allow the progression of this section of the
open cut mine high wall. The outcome of the works lessened the haul travel times
for the removal of coal and spoil material.
A new heavy vehicle haul road was to be constructed north of the high wall
with a creek diversion that re-routes an existing creek around the south of the
high wall to allow for the high wall advance.
There were also minor road diversions, detours and new roads to construct as
well as design of a spoil site for approximately 1.3 million cubic meters of
material excavated for the creek diversion. The road works were designed to
achieve a cut/fill balance.
The existing survey data was stored in a separate 12d Model project with
models and tins shared to the design projects. This removed any issues of
supplied data being altered or deleted as well as the having the latest survey
being read by the design projects as they opened.
Parts of the new infrastructure either intersected, or passed over or under,
meaning that the design of some roads was relying on geometry from adjacent or
intersecting new and existing roads. In addition, the design of earth berm walls
was dependent of vertical grades, proximity to intersections and clearance
heights above existing roads.
A snapshot of the complete design:
138 functions - consisting of Apply Manys, Contour creation, TIN
re-triangulations, Removal of Strings, and recolouring of triangles for
62 Super Alignment resolves. Some were re-run several times to allow, first
horizontal computations and then later to get vertical geometry tie-ins from
34 Longsection plot PPFs
22 Cross section plot PPFs
50 Setout Table recalculations
73 Volume Calculation outputs
It would not be possible to run all these entities manually to update the design
and expect all of the above to complete successfully.
This is where the 'Chains' functionality in 12d Model software proved invaluable
as a design tool.
Within all of the chains, the team was able to insert comments that headed
sections of the chain for ease of reading and understanding, and notes on what
was done at certain stages to alter computator reference points. This helped
them remember what they had done some three months earlier, and also consider
the work of other designers who had to alter/check design methodology at a later
The project was split into discrete chains to run parts of the design, to reduce
recalculation times. If road redesign was taking place, then just the road
design chain was run, rather than all chains.
Chains in 12d Model made the design process both simple and complex:
The simplicity of pressing one button to carry out a hundred or more
commands in seconds updating designs and outputs
The complexity of design interaction could be handled in a logical manner,
giving the designer a flow process as well as a record of what the design
elements are and how and where they fit together.
There were 11 chains in total that carried out the complete design operation.
These discrete chains were:
There was an overall design chain that ran all the chains above to carry out the
complete design from start to finish. This took about 7.5 minutes running over
the computer network. This was reduced to about 3.5 minutes if all data was
stored on the workstation.
The team also created several other chained chains, including a chain that only
ran the Creek design and then the Road design. These two designs crossed paths
at the coal haul road realignment, so for every creek diversion alteration, the
road design was required to rerun as the creek tin was part of the road design's
existing surface tin, and vice versa for the creek design.
This process enabled the designer to run two interconnecting parts of the design
only, without running plotting, setout and other design elements. The innovative
use of 12d Model software on this project saved the team a huge amount of time,
and simplified processes.
Download this Case Study as a PDF