· NCDOT OpenRoads Designer (ORD) August 2020 Update
ORD Implementation Initiative Overview
As Bentley is scheduled to discontinue support for its legacy MicroStation software that NCDOT currently utilizes as of January 1, 2021, the NCDOT is underway with a statewide, technology-focused, OpenRoads Designer (ORD) Implementation Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to move the Department's computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) operations to ORD, which is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, three-dimensional (3D) modeling application that will advance the delivery of our transportation projects from conceptual design through construction. ORD is replacing MicroStation as Bentley's next-generation civil design technology platform.
As a benefit to the state, the utilization of ORD 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 the benefits of digital deliverables, including automated machine grading (AMG) and eConstruction. Also, 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. ORD is a major transition that requires training and testing for several hundred NCDOT engineers, and for the private engineering firm consultants who work with the NCDOT.
ORD Piloting Work
NCDOT staff are currently identifying and will be working on many pilot projects in various design phases utilizing ORD throughout the remainder of 2020. 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.
Current Version of Bentley ORD
NCDOT is currently evaluating the (May) 2020 Release 2 of ORD and is working closely with Bentley on identifying and addressing a number of software issues, particularly as they relate to Drainage and Utilities (formerly known as SUDA). The next maintenance release of ORD (2020 Release 3) is expected in the Fall of 2020. Once released, NCDOT will continue to test workflows and evaluate production readiness.
NCDOT is currently working towards being prepared to utilize ORD to generate production designs and plans for new projects starting in 2021. As a note, the current ORD Implementation Initiative work is taking place during an especially challenging time in the world, the United States of America, and North Carolina as social distancing is being exercised throughout our society in efforts to combat the current Coronavirus Pandemic. As such, it is recognized that the milestones and timeframes for this initiative are expected to 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 planned 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: