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HDR Receives Honors for Open-Technology Database Created for Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

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Connor Christian (right) accepts bSI award.

buildingSMART International has named HDR the winner in its “Operation and Maintenance Using Open Technology” category for the database HDR created for the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York. Connor Christian, HDR’s director of digital implementation services, accepted the award at the awards ceremony in London, United Kingdom.

The 3.1-mile-long twin-span Mario Cuomo Bridge is replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge crossing over the Hudson River, located less than 20 miles north of New York City. Project requirements included creating an as-built crossing database for maintenance and planning, which meant connecting different software models of drawings, certifications, reports, photos and other data. The database also needed to be capable of connecting operations and maintenance data throughout the bridge’s life cycle.

HDR’s digital services implementation team used open-source IFCs (Industry Foundation Classes) to create a common data environment and automatically connect disparate project data from more than 500 models. “IFCs are to data models what PDFs are to documents,” Christian explained. “They’re an open-file format that allow different models to use a common format, and they’re also a standard approved by the International Organization for Standardization.”

To date, the database has created more than 400,000 automatic data connections and the team estimates there will be more than a million connections made by the end of the project. “To connect these data elements manually would take staff roughly 11 years,” Christian said.

The buildingSMART International Awards recognize projects that demonstrate and inspire the use of open standards developed by the buildingSMART International community to overcome interoperability challenges in the industry.

“This is as big an award in the data modeling world as you can get,” Christian said. “Everyone on the project team was very honored to receive it.”

“The open-technology database was the right solution for the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge because it allowed efficient organization of vast amounts of design and construction-related data, and provides an adaptable long-term maintenance environment for the owner,” said Jeff Han, HDR principal project manager, Bridges & Structures.

About HDR’s Bridge Experience

In 2017, Engineering News-Record ranked us number one in their “Top 25 Bridges” design firms. We have a passion for all types of bridges, and offer every bridge-related service you can think of and a few you might not. We work on some of the largest and most complex bridge programs in the United States, including being the general engineering consultant for SR 520 — the world’s longest floating bridge — and our third prestigious ACEC Grand Conceptor Award winner. We also serve as lead designer on the Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Program, the Bayonne Bridge navigational clearance project and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, formerly known as the New NY Bridge, which is replacing the Tappan Zee.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.