Runway Rehab: A Case for CADD

by Stephen M. Benz, Technology Director; Sea Consultants, Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 6, Pg. 50-51

Document Type: Feature article


Hired to design and monitor construction at Boston's Logan Airport, engineers at S E A Consultant's quickly realized that they would have to supplement their CADD packages with additional programming. At a point in the process when projects are often taken off CADD they developed quick and dirty applications to assist in the design phase. Massachusetts Port Authority (MASSPORT) hired the firm to oversee improvements: Texturing the pavement milling to remove grooves, laying a 3 in. thickness of bituminous concrete, and adjusting the grade for more than 700 runway lights. S E A engineers and designers operate the CADD system directly, rather than deferring to a separate drafting or CADD group. The designer responsible for this design is on the system and in full control of the data. This eliminates much conflict. CADD system advances have left the design industry in a quandary. Most firms have a design gap when it comes to CADD use. Usually, the best CADD operators are the least experienced designers and the more experienced design engingeers and managers have the least CADD knowledge. This gap must be bridged in order to realize the promise of CADD. At S E A, senior designers are working closely with younger CADD-literate junior engineers, who are, in turn, gaining experience from working closely with senior staff.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Airport and airfield pavements | Rehabilitation | Computer aided design | Consulting services | Construction management | Ports and harbors | Thickness | Massachusetts | United States

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