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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Practices for Construction-Ready Digital Terrain Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26085.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Practices for Construction-Ready Digital Terrain Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26085.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Practices for Construction-Ready Digital Terrain Models. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26085.
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Practices for Construction-Ready Digital Terrain Models A SYNTHESIS OF HIGHWAY PRACTICE Gabriel B. Dadi Hala Nassereddine Rachel Catchings Makram Bou Hatoum Melanie Piskernik University of KentUcKy Lexington, KY 2021 Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Subscriber Categories Highways • Data and Information Technology • Design N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP SYNTHESIS 560

Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.nationalacademies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP SYNTHESIS 560 Project 20-05, Topic 51-01 ISSN 0547-5570 ISBN 978-0-309-67381-5 Library of Congress Control Number 2021931561 © 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Cover illustration credit: Graphical representation of Digital Terrain Model for a proposed bridge replacement design by Aaron McCown (KYTC) NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the FHWA; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers’ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed, and implementable research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing state departments of transportation (DOTs) administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local or regional interest and can best be studied by state DOTs individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transporta- tion results in increasingly complex problems of wide interest to high- way authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniques—the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), United States Department of Transportation, under Agree- ment No. 693JJ31950003. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRB’s recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRB’s relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs iden- tified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the FHWA. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&I’s recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs.

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.

C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP SYNTHESIS 560 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Jo Allen Gause, Senior Program Officer Deborah Irvin, Program Coordinator Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications NCHRP PROJECT 20-05 PANEL Joyce N. Taylor, Maine Department of Transportation, Augusta, ME (Chair) Socorro “Coco” Briseno, Sacramento, CA Anita K. Bush, Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City, NV Joseph D. Crabtree, Kentucky Transportation Center, Lexington, KY Mostafa Jamshidi, Nebraska Department of Transportation, Lincoln, NE Cynthia L. Jones, Ohio Department of Transportation, Columbus, OH Jessie X. Jones, Arkansas DOT, Little Rock, AR Brenda Moore, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, NC Ben T. Orsbon, South Dakota Department of Transportation, Pierre, SD Randall R. Park, Avenue Consultants, Taylorsville, UT Brian Worrel, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames, IA Jack D. Jernigan, FHWA Liaison Jim T. McDonnell, AASHTO Liaison Stephen F. Maher, TRB Liaison TOPIC 51-01 PANEL George C. Lukes, Utah Department of Transportation, Salt Lake City, UT Ghada Moustafa Gad, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, CA Rachel L. Lewis, Ohio Department of Transportation, Columbus, OH Wei H. Johnson, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Columbia, SC Dion Ho, KCI Technologies, Inc., Sparks, MD Nicholas B. Dutil, Maine Department of Transportation, Augusta, ME Katherine A. Petros, FHWA Liaison Nancy M. Whiting, TRB Liaison

ABOUT THE NCHRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day- to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evalu ating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State High- way and Transportation Officials—through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program—authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-05, “Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices,” searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Jo Allen Gause Staff Officer Transportation Research Board Digital terrain models (DTMs) are three-dimensional (3D) models of the ground surface showing natural features such as ridges and breaklines. NCHRP Synthesis 560 documents processes and strategies used by state departments of transportation (DOTs) for the use and transfer of DTMs from design into the construction phase of highway projects. Information for this study was gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies. Six case examples provide additional information on DOTs’ experiences using DTMs during construction. Gabriel B. Dadi, Hala Nassereddine, Rachel Catchings, Makram Bou Hatoum, and Melanie Piskernik of the University of Kentucky collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. NCHRP Synthesis 560 is an immediately useful document that records practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions. 1 Summary 3 Chapter 1 Introduction 3 1.1 Background 5 1.2 Synthesis Objective 5 1.3 Study Approach 7 Chapter 2 Literature Review 7 2.1 Digital Terrain Models 7 2.2 Reality Capture Technologies for Creating DTMs 8 2.3 3D Models in Highway Construction 9 2.4 Building Information Modeling for Infrastructure 11 Chapter 3 State of Practice 11 3.1 General DTM Use 18 3.2 Project-Specific DTM Use 20 3.3 User/Non-User Experience Feedback 23 3.4 Legal Aspects 25 3.5 Designer/Contractor Interface 27 Chapter 4 Case Examples 27 4.1 Alabama 30 4.2 Maine 32 4.3 Ohio 34 4.4 Oregon 36 4.5 Pennsylvania 37 4.6 Utah 39 Chapter 5 Summary of Findings 39 5.1 Extent of DTM Use in Construction and Inspection 40 5.2 Policy Guidance for DTM Use 40 5.3 Model Verification Processes 40 5.4 Benefits and Strategies for Effective DTM Use in Construction 41 5.5 Challenges and Knowledge Gaps 43 References 45 Appendix A Survey Questionnaire 65 Appendix B Survey Results 80 Appendix C Case Example Questions C O N T E N T S

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Digital terrain models (DTMs) are three-dimensional (3D) models of the ground surface showing natural features such as ridges and breaklines.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 560: Practices for Construction-Ready Digital Terrain Models documents processes and strategies used by state departments of transportation (DOTs) for the use and transfer of DTMs from design into the construction phase of highway projects.

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