SDS/2 Software Solutions for
Bridge Projects

SDS/2 software solutions bring steel model intelligence to Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM). BrIM is simply applying the same BIM philosophy in the structural world to the construction of bridges. The core of the philosophy is that by using a 3D model for the bridge, loss of information is eliminated. By sharing a 3D model, the information is then shared, taking advantage of knowledge added to the project by all partners involved and improving the construction cycle and delivery of the bridge.

Bridge geometry can be quite complex; the modeling capability of SDS/2 Detailing makes inputting these unique structures easy by generating complex connection joints and all material requirements.

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SDS/2 BIM can help project managers supervise the bridge work through an interactive model and interoperability features that allow that model to be shared with other contractors involved in the project.

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SDS/2 Erector helps with shipping scheduling and project phasing. Users generate the views and information needed to determine how to best assemble members in the shop to ship modules to the site.

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Ben Sawyer Bridge

Originally constructed in 1945, the Ben Sawyer Bridge — located on Intracoastal Waterway in South Carolina — consists of a movable swing truss bridge with plate girder approach spans at each end. The South Carolina Department of Transportation scheduled rehabilitation of this historic structure and awarded the structural steel contract to Florida Structural Tampa Tank Inc. VectorShades provided the shop and erection drawings for the approach spans and swing bridge.

VectorShades modeled the 500-ton approach spans and 375-ton swing bridge — which had more than 15,000 bolts and over 100 custom joints. After calculating the geometry for the approach spans, it was relatively simple to input the plate girders and diaphragm members. Even after a few geometry redevelopments, the framing was easily re-input into the model.

The latest enhancements added to SDS/2 were essential for the success of this project.