J.L. Patterson & Associates, Inc. (JLP)

CA: J.L Patterson Wins Bentley's 'Be Inspired' Award

J.L. Patterson & Associates Inc. (JLP) has received the prestigious 2013 Bentley “Be Inspired” award for their innovation in point cloud processing and management. 

The award is part of the recently concluded The Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference, held in London. Since its inception in 2004, the Be Inspired awards have recognized more than 2,000 of the world’s most outstanding infrastructure projects. JLP earned the award for its innovative work on the longest railroad tunnel in the United States, the nearly eight-mile long Cascade Tunnel which serves as a vital corridor for shipping cargo from the Port of Seattle and for Amtrak’s Empire Building scenic route.

Built in 1928 near Stevens Pass, Washington, long before the introduction of intermodal containers, the tunnel was retrofitted in the 1970’s to accommodate the additional heights of double-stack containers. However, unwanted interactions between the train and the tunnel walls have been observed recently.

BNSF Railway retained JLP to survey and model the tunnel for alignment and clearance envelope improvements. Due to tunnel access time constraints, JLP combined control and LiDAR survey techniques to create a map using MicroStation and its powerful point-cloud management tools. Bentley products and LiDAR technology modeled the 7.8 mile interior tunnel surface, including both track and notch alignments. Without track realignment, the cut was estimated at 177 cubic yards. Calculating the realignment using powerful regression models in Bentley software reduced the cut to 8.3 cubic yards, thereby reducing construction duration and cutting costs by 90 percent.

“I’m extremely honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of the entire JLP team. We bring inspiration, along with sound engineering principles and advanced technology, to every project we undertake, and it’s exciting to receive international recognition for our work,” said JLP President Jacqueline Patterson.