CTDOT CONNECT DDE Transition Plan Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Answer:
  • Why is CTDOT upgrading to the CONNECT Suite of Products?

    CTDOT is currently migrating its CAD software from Bentley Systems V8i Select Series platform to the CONNECT Edition platform (this includes the transition from InRoads to OpenRoads Designer).  One of the main drivers of this transition is due to Bentley Systems discontinuing support for its V8i products. This means that although V8i versions will still function in its current configuration, Bentley will not continue to certify it on future versions of the Windows Operating System. 


    In addition, CTDOT sees the advantage and the need to move into a 3D model-centric environment.  This will allow CTDOT to increase productivity, reduce design errors, and adhere to industry trends of AMG (Automated Machine Guidance), eConstruction and Asset Management.  As the transportation industry worldwide adapts to new technology, Transportation Agencies must ascertain their readiness to adapt to these industry trends.  FHWA has elevated 3D modeling through its Every Day Counts initiative and has encouraged Transportation Agencies to adopt policy for delivering a digital product in lieu of a set of plans (paper, mylar or PDF). When a project is designed using current civil design software, it is created within a 3D model.  Contractors across the world are utilizing 3D models for Automated Machine Guidance to perform activities such as grading, paving and drainage installation. In between these steps, projects are often flattened to convey design intent in a 2D medium such as a PDF or paper plan set.  During this conversion, data is lost, precision is reduced and design intent is nullified.  Looking forward, CONNECT Edition products will allow designers to produce a product that retains the civil data and design intent through construction.  This data, also known as Electronic Engineering Data (EED), can be consumed further downstream in Asset Management and Maintenance.  However, for now, CTDOT recognizes that the contract document shall remain a PDF set of plans.

  • What is Bentley OpenRoads Designer, OpenBridge Modeler and OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition Products?

    Bentley Systems is a software vendor that provides, among many things, civil and building design and CAD software.  State Transportation Agencies and their industry partners utilize some combination of Bentley software in their workflows to deliver their transportation program.  Historically, CTDOT has used MicroStation for their CAD software and InRoads for their civil design software. Along with Design Files (DGN), InRoads users would produce the following database files that store the civil data associated with their work:

    InRoads OpenRoads
    Geometry files (ALG) DGN
    Digital Terrain Model files (DTM) DGN
    InRoads Template Library files (ITL) DGN
    InRoads Roadway Designer files (IRD) DGN
    InRoads Storm & Sanitary files (SDB) DGN

    As the software has evolved, an emphasis has been placed on integrating this civil and structure data into the CAD files. With CONNECT Edition Products Bentley Systems has combined traditionally layered products (such as InRoads) and MicroStation together to provide one product for designing roadways (OpenRoads Designer), another for designing bridges (OpenBridge Modeler) and yet another for designing buildings (OpenBuildings Designer) along with storing and exchanging civil data downstream. This data exists as CAD elements within the DGN file without relying on the database files such as InRoads. These 3D elements have properties that convey how they are to be displayed, how they were created in relation to other elements and how they will be used for building the 3D model.

    Expected benefits of developing and delivering projects in this manner include:

    • Better reflection of the engineer’s design intent in areas traditionally not well defined in plan sets (e.g. between cross sections, pavement transitions and intersections).
    • Delivering a higher quality product to the contractor with an accurate project footprint related to earthwork and construction limits, with the goal of reduced change orders by better communicating design intent.
    • Creating a better visualization tool for engineering analysis (e.g. sight distance, clear zone) and coordination with other design disciplines.
    • Creating a product to facilitate clash detection.
  • Can users access the same project in both SELECTseries and CONNECT?

    NO, the project/file should never be opened with the other program. This will cause issues because of changes that come with newer versions.  All data in a SELECTseries dgn file may not be backwards compatible after it is opened with CONNECT Edition products.

  • Is there Bentley training available for CONNECT Products?

    Yes. The Bentley LEARN site has non-CTDOT Bentley training for OpenRoads Designer CONNECT Edition, OpenBridge Modeler CONNECT Edition, OpenBuildings Designer CONNECT Edition and other CONNECT Edition applications.

  • When will CTDOT provide instructor-led training for CONNECT Products?

    AEC has begun training in-house staff and will continue as we move forward with the CONNECT Edition implementation. The courses offered and lengths will be discipline specific.  These classes will be open to in-house employees only. Consultants working on CTDOT capital projects need to seek out their own CONNECT Edition Product training.

  • Has the required project deliverables changed with the CONNECT DDE?

    There will be changes to the project deliverables. Please refer to The Digital Project Development (DPD) Manual for the new requirements.

    The Department reserves the right to request design information at any time during the design process. This information would contain High Value Data (HVD) such as: 3D and 2D DGN Models containing Terrains, Alignments, and 3D Storm Drainage in conformance with the DDE.

    Methods shown on this site have been developed for productivity and project data confluence, and are constantly evolving. Comments and suggestions are welcomed, and the Department will support any questions and issues with the DDE; however, we do not have the resources to support Consultant Engineers for CAD technical support outside of direct issues with the DDE.

  • How long will V8i and InRoads be supported by CTDOT?

    It’s anticipated that CTDOT will continue to provide updates to the V8i SELECTseries DDE as needed on a limited basis. 

  • Can a project already in the Design Phase use the CONNECT DDE?

    Yes, with the following conditions:

    • In-house staff should check with the project manager (PM) and AEC Applications before using the CONNECT DDE on a project already using V8i.  AEC and the PM will assess the user base knowledge and the project schedule to determine the course of action.  Keep in mind that all new DGN files will need to be created and other data will need to move to the new CONNECT WorkSet (Project) location.  This will need to be done for all disciplines involved including all design units, property maps and survey.
    • Consultant Engineers will not be compensated for extra work or time if they elect to restart in CTDOT’s CONNECT DDE.  This will be at their own discretion.

  • When will CTDOT CONNECT Edition specific training material be available?

    CTDOT’s AEC Applications Unit has begun writing a new DDE Guide, which will include new workflows and training material. Many sections are now available.


  • When will projects be required to use the CONNECT Edition Products and the CTDOT CONNECT DDE?

    A formal directive has been issued, please use the link provided to review the details. CONNECT Digital Design Environment (CAD Standards) for Capital Projects - July 20, 2020


  • Is there compatibility issues with ORD and Civil 3D?

    AEC Applications is unsure of the compatibility issues when converting files between Bentley Products and Autodesk Products. Due to potential unknown complications that may occur AEC Applications will not provide support for these types of workflows.