Featured in The Connector: ACEC Illinois Newsletter

Brian Hecht, PE I EXP I Chicago, IL

The transportation industry continues to evolve to meet the growing demands of safety and technology. With requirements for transportation projects to be completed faster and with stricter budgets, it becomes crucial to minimize margins for error, eliminate duplicated efforts and streamline processes for our teams, clients and the end users – drivers. To do this, our teams assessed how new tools could merge our multi-step design review method into a more effective and manageable process – ultimately increasing efficiency, quality and accuracy for the transportation networks we support.

As a Civil Department Manager at EXP, my main objective is to actively seek and engineer solutions for successful project outcomes. We support projects that increase accessibility to airports and tollways, improve mobility and create safer and more effective routes of travel. To meet these requirements for our clients, it requires improving our working style. Recently, when beginning work on a large and complex Illinois Tollway interchange, we saw an opportunity to increase the efficiency of our design review process – simultaneously increasing quality assurance and control.

We began using Bluebeam Revu, a tool designed to create, edit and markup PDFs in real-time. Our new process quickly eliminated the use of multiple PDFs, providing a simpler, yet comprehensive overview of our progress. The use of Bluebeam resulted in one living document for a project and the ability to make decisions with up-to-date information in one location – changing our standard operating procedure. We are now able to collaborate more effectively, working together in one location, even when physically not able to walk through a solution. Bluebeam allows us to walk through it in the document.

For our clients, including the Illinois Tollway, who provide safe and effective systems of highways across Illinois, the integrity of our design process is vital to the result of a project. We must adapt to the evolving needs in the transportation industry and continue to measure the success of our tools to make sure they meet those evolving demands. We now use Bluebeam Revu and look forward to positive contributions we will see on the roads in the near future as a result.