• 3D Visualization aids Topsail Island Bridge decisions

    ​This project involved the replacement of a swing span bridge in Surf City, which actually connected 3 beach communities (Surf City, Topsail Beach, and North Topsail Beach) to the mainland in Pender County, NC.  The project had up to 17 bridge options, including low-level draw bridges and high-rise fixed bridges.  At the various public meetings for the project, NCDOT utilized large 3D visualization boards with three different views of each bridge option to aid the general public in making informed comments on each alternative.  The response by the community and local officials was overwhelmingly positive.  They verbalized on several occasions on how effective the 3D images were to help them understand how each bridge option would affect their communities.   

    The visualizations and other project information can be seen at: http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/TopsailIslandBridge/

 Lessons Learned using Primary Technique:

  • 3D Visualization


​The 3D images were easy to understand. 


Large in scale; hard to move to meetings.  ​


​While the expense might prohibit the use of 3D visualiation on every project, it was very effective and worth the cost to gain approval/ buy-in from the community. 

 Project Attributes

Project Primary Purpose
Safety Improvement
Target Communities
Established Neighborhood
Target Populations
Project Planning
Highway or Interchange

 Primary Technique

  • 3D Visualization

 Other Techniques used

  • 6;#Advertisements;#36;#Focus Groups;#63;#Open Houses/Open Forum Hearings ;#67;#Presentations;#70;#Public Meetings/Hearings;#71;#Public Opinion Surveys

 Contact Info

Charles Cox
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