Updated: Apr 8, 2020
AEL, an engineering firm started by co-founders Majed Agha and Juan Romero, continuously develops solutions to improve drainage design on TxDOT roadway corridors. AEL is implementing the powerful tools behind Bentley's ORD software and GIS to their full capacity.
One solution allows AEL to analyze existing and proposed ditch capacity and ditch volumes in less than half the time compared to conventional methods. In increasing times of flood awareness and updates to the NOAA precipitation frequency estimates (Atlas 14), an additional weight is added to make sure future TxDOT corridors have accurate capacity and mitigation to offset additional runoff from roadway construction. In Houston, additional measures are taken to analyze whether runoff from roadway offsite drainage areas or a calculated 150 ft development strip outside the ROW is allocated for conveyance inside the proposed corridor, widening or reconstruction.
OpenRoads and GIS
One example of implementing AEL's solution is a workflow where existing ditch volumes and capacity are automatically calculated, thus speeding up the time to analyze and allowing the engineers more time to improve the drainage design. Analyzing ditch volumes and conveyance capacity accurately for a 3 mile corridor used to take a few days, especially when looking at the PS&E level of analyzing the corridor at every station. With the new technique results are produced in as little as a day or even hours, allowing AEL to analyze more design alternatives than previously possible and improve the overall drainage design.
With AEL's past experience in InRoads and SS4 OpenRoad tools, a library of templates is developed for different types of roadway corridors. In areas such as Houston, where we deal with high water surface elevations, many times it is appropriate to flood the outside shoulder or lane depending on the frequency rainfall design event. Templates have been developed to allow in-line ditch volumes to be calculated based on the 3D model geometry and constraints of flooding the outside lane, thus not oversizing the storm sewer systems and allowing for a more efficient design.
Combining AEL's modeling experience with some coding, implements an innovative workflow, coupled with help from GIS, to spearhead innovation in Civil Engineering. AEL is excited to continue on this path.
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