InfraWorks helps SCODI design in context

Civil 3D

The Panzhihua-Yanyuan highway in China starts at the west end of Panzhihua City and ends in Yumen Town. The project is connected with Lijiang-Panzhihua Highway at the Ban Bian-jie interchange.

Sichuan Transport Surveying & Design Institute (SCODI) used model-based workflows to design all the elements of the highway including roads, tunnels, bridges and more.


Interchange Model of Panzhihua-Yanyuan highway – Adopting the Cross type of interchange is confirmed to the requirement of the traffic volume. Image courtesy of SCODI.

This project was submitted to the 2015 Excellence in Infrastructure Awards Program.  To learn more about the program and submit for 2016, visit the awards program site – AEC Excellence Awards.

Project summary

Its full length  is 36.81 kilometers. Four lane roads are employed in the 24.5 meters wide subgrade. Its design speed  is 80 kilometers per hour. This 4-lane highway will cross through the mountainous terrain of this area and includes numerous tunnels and bridges through and over mountain slopes, as well as a large bridge over the Jinsha River in Panzhihua. And finally, it includes a complex interchange connecting the project to the Lijiang-Panzhihua highway. The Total cost of the project is 6.11 billion RMB and 166 million per kilometer.

The challenge

The unique challenge to this project is the complex topography and high tunnel ratio throughout this 36+ kilometers. This makes it key to reduce unnecessary design changes, optimize the routes early and keep everyone collaborating.

The solution

SCODI used a variety of Autodesk® software products on this project, including Autodesk® InfraWorks, Civil 3D, Revit,  Raster Design, Subassembly Composer,  Map 3D, and  Navisworks Manage.

The team defined the route using existing conditions information and by creating an intelligent 3D preliminary design.

Existing conditions

To make the best decisions early, they used InfraWorks 360 design tools (roads, drainage and bridge) to optimize the route.


They used Civil 3D to design cross-sections and interchanges.

interchange design

They used Revit to design the bridges and create drawings.


They used Navisworks Manage to simulate construction.


And InfraWorks was used to support model integration for communication with all stakeholders.


The results

By combining aerial images with topographic data, SCODI created a virtual 3D model of the project area, which it used to lay out proposed road alignments and add details such as bridges, tunnels, and highway interchanges. The ability to visualize the emerging design in the context of the surrounding topography gave SCODI engineers a more intuitive understanding of the engineering challenges they faced and helped them optimize their highway design.

Benefits of model-based workflows

  • Reduced unnecessary design changes and improved work efficiency.
  • Visual analysis used in optimization of route design which helped the team consider traffic safety early in preliminary engineering.
  • Visualization provided an intuitive approach to observe and understand the project – for technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Cloud services helped to change traditional workflows creating a cooperative design environment that improved design efficiency.

Project results

  • Time savings: time consuming work decreased relatively.
  • Money savings: Labor costs decreased relatively.
  • Project performance: 3D models of the highway project change the traditional impression of the civil engineer, which provided an intuititve display of the engineering situation, topography and geomorphology.

Sustainability impact

  • Strategies that minimize impacts on the ecosystem and water resources: nature refuge was more easily considered in the route design.
  • Strategies that promote sustainable neighborhood developments: models helped to promote economic development


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1 comment

  1. Avatar

    NICE, very Good! Muito Bom!

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