OpenRoads Designer
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OpenRoads Designer

Walkthrough videos

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8


Starting June 1, 2022, all design projects (PS&E and schematics) that haven’t kicked off yet must be completed in ORD or MicroStation CONNECT Edition. This applies for both consultant‐designed projects and TxDOT‐designed projects. Following are some hypothetical scenarios to provide examples of when the mandate would apply to projects that have already kicked off but are still in early stages:

  • Scenario: There have been some preliminary discussions/briefings pertaining to the project, but a Kickoff Meeting hasn’t been held and no DGN’s have been created yet.
    • Impact of ORD mandate: Project will need to use ORD and/or MicroStation CONNECT Edition (MS CE, refer also to FAQ #3).
  • Scenario: Project has kicked off (for example, had a Kickoff Meeting) and some preliminary tasks have been completed but no DGN’s have been created yet.
    • Impact of ORD mandate: Project will need to use ORD and/or MS CE.
  • Scenario: Project has kicked off and some “Geometric DGN’s” or Sheet DGN’s have already been created using version SS10, but the project hasn’t reached the 30 Percent milestone yet. Examples of “Geometric DGN’s” are alignment or profile DGN’s.
    • Impact of ORD mandate: Project will not need to use ORD or MS CE and can be completed in SS10.
  • Scenario: Project has kicked off and some “Preliminary/Sketch” DGN’s have already been created using version SS10, but no “Geometric DGN’s” or Sheet DGN’s have been created and the project hasn’t reached the 30 Percent milestone yet. Examples of “Preliminary/Sketch” DGN’s are DGN’s created for just conceptual or visual purposes in the infant stage of a project, that are not used for milestone deliverables.
    • Impact of ORD mandate: Project will need to use ORD and/or MS CE.

Since any design project that hasn’t kicked off prior to June 1, 2022, will be required to use ORD or MS CE, consultants will also be required to follow this directive even if their Work Authorization and/or parent contract have already been executed. Standard Scope Templates provided by PEPS Divisions starting in 2019 for Attachment C and Attachment G state that design should be done using OpenRoads tools/technology using the version of the software that is currently in use by TxDOT. If that language is present in the project‐specific final Attachment C or G, new Work Authorizations can require ORD without supplementing the contract.

Contracts older than 2019 would need to be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis to see what specific language was used in Attachment C or G to determine if a supplemental agreement would be necessary to change the scope language to show ORD.

MS CE is the CAD version of ORD that doesn’t include the Civil tools or 3D modeling. Projects that don’t contain any geometric design (i.e., new or revised horizontal/vertical alignments) may be designed with MS CE. DGNs are also interchangeable in ORD and MS CE, so project teams can be comprised of a mix of members that only know and use MS CE while more specialized or experienced members do the civil or modeling work via ORD.

OpenRoads Designer modernizes and improves the way transportation designs are developed and communicated across disciplines/stakeholders. It retires the GeoPak platform that TxDOT has used for approximately 25 years. ORD is a native 64‐bit application that improves the performance of the software relative to the 32‐bit SS10 and is built on the same Power Platform as all Bentley CONNECT Edition software, improving integration and interoperability. It also has a more modern graphical user interface and everything intrinsic to the design is stored in a single design file (DGN) rather than requiring additional standalone supporting files as SS10 does (e.g., GPK files for GeoPak data). ORD is the foundational step TxDOT has taken to move towards Digital Delivery and creating a Digital Twin of the TxDOT system.

Digital Delivery is the delivery of models for bidding and construction of projects rather than traditional paper plan sheets. Designers will provide a digital model to the contractor who will use it to build the project, rather than plans. PDFs in sheet format can be attached to models for items such as Standards. A Digital Twin will be a virtual representation of a TxDOT asset (for example, a segment of highway) that spans it lifecycle and is updated from real‐time data. The design 3D model will be one component of the Digital Twin, but it will include other components from the asset’s lifecycle, such as as‐built information or inspection information.

OpenRoads technology and tools were developed to incorporate Building Information Modeling practices into MicroStation and were added to the software beginning in 2013. In previous and current versions of MicroStation, OpenRoads technology was introduced via new tools, but legacy GeoPak tools also remained. ORD maintains many of the OpenRoads technology tools and processes that were first introduced in 2013, but also adds new tools and processes and retires GeoPak tools.

In the short term, the biggest changes will be in appearance of the font used on schematics and plan sheets (ORD/MS CE uses Engineering true type font rather than Leroy) and greater emphasis on the accuracy and detail of the 3D model that is required for geometric projects. The review, delivery, and construction process will be mostly unimpacted by the implementation of ORD alone. However, after the implementation milestone has been achieved, Design Division will continue focusing on the future implementation of Digital Delivery and Digital Twins, which will have far‐reaching impacts on preparing, reviewing, and delivering transportation designs and how contractors construct the design.

DGN files created in SS10 can be opened read‐only and attached as references in ORD/MS CE. They can also be edited/revised in ORD/MS CE after following a process to upgrade the files. DGN files created in ORD/MS CE should not be used in the SS10 environment.

Design Division will continue offering DES750: OpenRoads Designer for Plan Development throughout calendar year 2022 and will be developing a supplemental advanced class for ORD, targeting offering the class in 2023 (along with continued offerings of DES750). For information on current and future offerings of drainage‐oriented, bridge‐oriented, or survey‐oriented trainings accompanying ORD implementation, please contact:

  • DES752: OpenRoads Designer for Drainage Utility: Rose Marie Klee and Ab Maamar‐Tayeb with Design Division
  • Bridge training: On‐demand training is being developed and will be in PeopleSoft soon. Contact Courtney Holle and Edgar Cuellar with Bridge Division
  • DES751: OpenRoads Designer for Survey: Ben Rhoads and Kris Hartley with IT Division

More information can be found on the Bentley CONNECT edition data page.


Civil Labeler for automated sheet labeling has NOT been developed, however, text favorites to annotate sheets by element selection have been developed for use and will continue to be advanced and updated. Civil Labeler will be available in Release 3 or 4. Currently, DU does not have a field for storm sewer “System” names. The “System” name must be manually edited into the dropped text favorite label.

A sheet production workflow tutorial for DU is being developed and will be posted on TxDOT’s Design Division H&H Section external website.

Inlet and pipe cells to perform a storm sewer analysis are fully complete. This includes all the TxDOT standard inlets and pipes.

The TxDOT Type II - 6” standard gutter typically used in urban storm sewer sections has been included. TxDOT H&H section will consider and explore other curb and gutter sections if needed.

The headwall cell library for box and pipe culverts includes most sizes, wingwall slopes, and skews from TxDOT standards. Larger structures and multiple box headwalls have not been completed.

Although, TxDOT has included the majority of single barrel headwalls, currently headwall cells are not required. Please be advised and keep in mind that TxDOT recommends that HECRAS is used for culvert analysis.

Please be advised every single combination of elements (headwalls, etc) must have a separate feature definition and cell (if the goal is to have distinct scaled cell/digital twin to match every feature definition). Currently, it is not feasible to have a comprehensive cell library of every combination of headwall. TxDOT and Bentley are researching and considering plans to include all feature definitions for all TxDOT drainage features as we move toward a digital delivery.

A current list of all hydraulic cells will be developed as an index and reference.

For Districts that requested drainage cells, Division is currently planning and scheduling the build of District cells. Inclusion of District cells will be in Release 3 or 4.

Clash Detection is set up and ready for use. Updates will be included with the ORD regular release schedule.

The hydraulic engine behind ORD DU is “StormCAD”. Bentley purchased StormCAD from Haestad and incorporated the software into DU. Bentley updated Haestad’s user manual which can be used as a reference for terminology and as a general guide.

Video Recorded Training will be developed and posted on TxDOT Design Division H&H website.

Specific ORD DU training is currently underway (DES752). TxDOT Design Division H&H and Bentley have completed 9 training courses. More classes are being added to the schedule.

The training materials from the training will be posted on TxDOT Design Division H&H section website.

The rainfall is based on Atlas 14 partial duration intensities. Partial duration intensities are recommended for storm sewer analysis. All Texas County IDF curve tables have been pre-set and embedded in ORD DU for automated use.

Yes, however, only a few cells and feature definitions were created. The combinations of ditch longitudinal slope, front and back slopes are in the tens of thousands. Therefore, it is not economically feasible to create every combination of ditch. Keep in mind DU ditches are not roadway elements. Ditches are for hydraulic design only.

The current workflow for designing ditches will remain the same. An excel spreadsheet developed for ditch design using Manning’s equation is one workflow that is efficient for analyzing ditches.

Yes Axiom (which includes Microsoft Office Importer) will still be available in ORD DU.

Yes, the hydraulic parameters and losses are based on HEC-22 for inlets and HDS-5 for headwalls.