Application of PLATEIA software solution on large infrastructure projects in the Republic of Serbia - European route E 80, Niš – Dimitrovgrad
Dušan Savković, B.Sc. (Civil Engineering)
Director of the Design Department
Institut za puteve a.d., Beograd (The Highway Institute, Belgrade)
Founded in 1950, The Highway Institute is the regional leader in the field of highway engineering – planning, design, construction, expert supervision of construction worksites and protection of the environment.
It holds over 150 engineering licenses issued by the Serbian Chamber of Engineers. Numerous preliminary and main projects have been prepared (for approximately 5,000 km of motorways, 4,500 bridges and overpasses, and 150 road tunnels). More than 800 scientific and technical studies in the fields of traffic engineering, geology, hydraulic engineering, and environmental protection have been carried out in Serbia and abroad.
The main feature for which the Institute was famous was its teamwork involving precise division of labour in each project team. In most cases, a project team included a lead engineer, a junior engineer, a technical specialist and a team of technical drafters. As technology evolved, the technical drafters have been completely supplanted by printers and with the emergence of new software the need for technical specialists has also declined.
First experiences with CAD Software
In 1990, as the computer-aided design software started being broadly used, AutoCAD version 9 was purchased. Later on in 1992, Softdesk 7 - the first specialised "road-construction" software - was purchased. In time, a natural transition to Softdesk 8, Land Desktop and Civil 3D occurred.
However, none of these specialised pieces of software has ever been able to meet all the requirements of the road designers. In the years that followed many Lisp programmes have been written, some employees even started developing their own software in order to adapt one of the most renowned international products to their methods of work.
Introduction of Plateia in 2006
In January 2006, the Institute concluded an agreement with CGS plus and through Focus Computers, an authorised dealer in Serbia, purchased a specialised piece of software for road design - PLATEIA with its 5 modules.
The initial positive feedback from the engineers focused on the user interface, design and intuitive flow of commands (in the Serbian language), i.e. the overall features of the user-friendly environment. Compared to the previously used tools, a great step forward has been made in terms of compatibility with the Serbian regulations and standards. The last and possibly most important advantage of the PLATEIA software relative to its competitors is that through the organisation of its files and modules it facilitates the kind of teamwork for which the Institute is known. Namely, a particular project may be very efficiently divided among multiple team members; in the early versions of PLATEIA it was done through working with files, nowadays it is done interactively through the now-popular data refreshing.
The most relevant competitor products are generally based on the so-called "one-man-show" principle meaning that one engineer is in charge of one project through a single drawing from draft to completion.
Projects realized with Plateia
The use of PLATEIA software spread rapidly and it soon became an indispensable tool on virtually all of the significant projects the Highway Institute carried out in the last 7 years. One of the largest infrastructure projects in the Republic of Serbia in the last 30 years has been the construction of the road Corridor X.
The road route E 80, Niš - Dimitrovgrad (Trupale – Prosek – Crvena Reka – Bela Palanka - Pirot – Dimitrovgrad - Bulgarian border) is immensely important and has an essential traffic function in terms of being the shortest route connecting Western and Central Europe with the Near and Middle East. It is part of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) in the pan-European Corridor Xc.
During the period from 2006 to 2012, the Main project has been prepared combined with the preparation of the Preliminary project for the Valley section variant in the Pirot zone.
The project value has been estimated at 583 million EUR. All sections are under construction at varying degrees of completion.