Automating Design of Boston's Artery

by Brian R. Brenner, Sr. Str. Engr.; Parsons Brinckerhoff, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 6, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


Boston's Central Artery project is being designed with in-house programs that are helping to overcome problems caused by the sheer volume of diversified data being handled by great numbers of computers. Much of the early work has been done at PC workstations, and much of the innovative programming to date has linked the PCs to a central VAX-based CADD system. Other programs have been written to customize commercially available software and to deal with the many specialized tasks that make up this monumental project. Expected to cost $4.4 billion, the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel project was approved in 1985 and will be completed in 1996. Major components are an immersed tube tunnel under Boston Harbor to handle airport and seaport traffic, and the 8-10 lane depressed artery that will replace the existing 6 lane artery viaduct in Boston's business district. This will be constructed beneath the overhead expressway while it remains in service. The computers being used by separate consultants for various parts of the total project design are coordinated in the central office CADD system.

Subject Headings: Computer aided design | Ports and harbors | Automation | Tunnels | Innovation | Construction costs | Airports and airfields | Air traffic | Boston | Massachusetts | United States

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