• • • NCDOT OpenRoads Designer (ORD) February 2021 Update

    ORD Implementation Initiative Overview

    As Bentley is scheduled to discontinue support for its legacy MicroStation software that NCDOT currently utilizes, the NCDOT is underway with a statewide, technology-focused, OpenRoads Designer (ORD) Implementation Initiative.  The initiative aims to move the Department's computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) operations to ORD, a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, three-dimensional (3D) modeling application that will advance our transportation projects' delivery from conceptual design through construction.  ORD is replacing GEOPAK as Bentley's next-generation civil design technology platform.

    As a benefit to the state, ORD utilization will lay the groundwork for a future transition to all-3D digital deliveries and workflows.  Its advanced model creation will eventually eliminate most printed plans; potentially reduce design errors and construction costs resulting from design-related changes; and support digital deliverables' benefits, including automated machine grading (AMG) and eConstruction.  In addition, ORD is a software platform that Bentley will provide support and maintenance services for years to come.

    The ORD Implementation Initiative project has a statewide impact in fostering a culture for innovation and making this innovative, modern software the tool for standard design practice for the NCDOT.  The Move to ORD is a significant transition that requires training and testing for several hundred NCDOT engineers and private engineering firm consultants who work with the NCDOT.
    ORD Piloting Work

    NCDOT staff have identified and are working on several test/pilot projects in various design phases utilizing ORD during the first half of 2021.  In some cases, the pilot project work will be conducted in addition to the usual (geopak) design and plans production process for these projects for learning and comparison purposes.  Through the piloting process, the NCDOT will be working towards determining (1) ORD software readiness and enhancement needs, (2) potential design workflow changes necessary for ORD and 3d modeling, and (3) impacts of converting projects from SS2/SS4 to ORD.

    NCDOT Connect WorkSpace

    NCDOT staff continue to test and refine the NCDOT Connect ORD WorkSpace, enabling PEFs and the NCDOT to work in a single or multiple discipline environment.  This workspace utilizes standard Bentley configurations and is designed to be compatible with other State DOT workspaces.  NCDOT plans to continue to maintain the current MicroStation V8i WorkSpace for use with SS2/SS4 projects.  NCDOT continues to coordinate internally and with Bentley to develop / refine guidelines and directions on utilizing ProjectWise and managed WorkSpaces.

    To download and test the current NCDOT Connect WorkSpace, reference the file included on this page titled "NCDOT Connect Workspace Update."  NCDOT welcomes any comments/questions/input regarding the current version of this workspace that we continue to test.

    Current Version of Bentley ORD

    NCDOT is currently evaluating the 2020 Release 3 (Version 10.09) of ORD and is working closely with Bentley to identify and address some software issues, mainly related to Drainage and Utilities (formerly known as SUDA).  The next maintenance release of ORD (2021 Release 1) is expected shortly.  Once released, NCDOT will continue to test workflows and evaluate production readiness.

    Implementation Timeframe
    NCDOT is currently working towards and targeting being prepared to utilize ORD to generate production designs and plans for new projects starting July 1, 2021.  As a note, the current ORD Implementation Initiative work is being performed during an incredibly challenging time in the world, the United States of America, and North Carolina as social distancing is being exercised throughout our society to combat the current Coronavirus Pandemic.  As such, it is recognized that certain milestones and timeframes for this initiative may be delayed.
    At this time, NCDOT continues to pursue both general, and discipline-specific training options for NCDOT staff regarding ORD through internal CADD services options and Bentley LEARN online training materials.

    No general ORD training for external (PEFs) is available at this time.  PEFs are encouraged to explore the capabilities of Bentley LEARN online training as a resource for ORD training.   There may be NCDOT specific ORD workflow training provided at NCLUG events or at any time as deemed necessary by such Units in the future.

    For questions or more information:

    For any questions about the current NCDOT ORD Implementation Initiative, please send an email to:


Why are we moving to OpenRoads Designer (ORD)
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