Banner Image

Bridge Design


Bridge Design Workflow with the AEC Collection

Design firms now have a way to work more collaboratively on bridge designs to meet the urgent need for bridge design and maintenance. Bringing together five of our design tools — Autodesk® InfraWorks®, Autodesk® Civil 3D®, Autodesk® Revit®, Autodesk® Structural Bridge Design and Autodesk® Inventor® — the bridge design workflow connects the road design, bridge design, fabrication and documentations team into one project model. Using this solution, your teams learn model authoring for concept design and detailed design to determine the best route and location for a bridge using InfraWorks and Civil 3D. During the detailed design phase, the bridge designer and CAD technician take advantage of Inventor to build custom bridge parts. Next the team learns how to do quantification and scheduling in Revit and Civil 3D to ensure the bridge stays within the project budget. The structural engineers learn how to analyze the bridge and document both the bridge and road designs.

Click here to view a diagram of this process.


IT Readiness

Make sure you have tools you need

The software that you will need depends a lot on who you are and what part of the design process you are responsible for.

As a road designer, you will spend most of your time in InfraWorks and Civil 3D. Learn more

If the bridge requires custom parts, the CAD technician or fabrication expert will use Inventor to create the customer parts, then take them into InfraWorks. Learn how

As a bridge designer, you will use all the software above. In addition, you will also take InfraWorks models of the bridge into Revit for publishing the design and take the same model into Autodesk Structural Bridge Design software to run a bridge analysis. Learn how

Concept Design

  • Establish the InfraWorks Model

    We start in InfraWorks where you can create a model of the existing environment within a matter of minutes using the Model Builder. This automatically brings in roads, waterways, ground imagery, buildings and more. Then you can enhance the model with additional GIS data and run some initial analysis for constructability using Themes and Styles.

  • Conceptual Road Alignment

    Next you’ll layout the conceptual road alignment and bridge location using InfraWorks Component Roads. Component roads provide several advantages. One is the mathematical foundations that ensure you do not layout a road or bridge that is mathematically impossible to create. Second is that the horizontal and vertical design of the roads are automatically converted to alignments and profiles when the InfraWorks model is opened in Civil 3D.

Detailed Design

Now that you have a good idea of where the bridge will be laid out, you can start to do a more detailed design. The tools you will use depend upon which part of the design you are responsible for.

  • Detailed Bridge Design in InfraWorks

    For the bridge design, you will continue to work in InfraWorks to modify the pier locations, girder spacing, lane widths, clearance height, and add shoulders and barriers. In addition, you can manipulate bridge components using a spreadsheet.

  • Create Custom Bridge Parts

    Most bridge components are pre-fabricated offsite, then assembled together onsite to build the bridge. Inventor makes creating custom bridge components more efficient for both design and manufacturing purposes. The fabrication expert will use Inventor to create parametric girders, foundations, and piers.

  • Incorporate Parametric Bridge Parts From Inventor

    Being able to see the custom parts in context with the rest of the design makes it much easier for all stakholders to understand the design. So, the next step is to take the custom parts into InfraWorks. Here, their dimensions can be modified as needed to meet the design requirements.

  • Exchange 3D Modeled Objects - InfraWorks and Civil 3D

    Learn how to use the InfraWorks model in Civil 3D and modify the cross-section that came in from InfraWorks to add details to the corridor model. Finally, you update the Civil 3D model with changes that were made in InfraWorks.

  • Preliminary Road Quantities and Schedules in Civil 3D

    To ensure the road design stays within the project budget, take the design into Civil 3D. Here you create a surface from the corridor model so that you can then run quantities takeoffs along the road and add tables showing the results.

  • Exchange 3D Modeled Objects - InfraWorks and Revit

    Revit is used to complete the details for the rebar placement and scheduling. In order to take the bridge into Revit without losing anything you already modeled in InfraWorks, you must install the Civil Structures add-in.

  • Reinforce the Bridge

    Adding rebar to a bridge design is most efficiently done in Revit. Learn how to reinforce bridge piers and configure your visibility graphics to clearly see the rebar that was placed.

  • Preliminary Bridge Quantities and Schedules in Revit

    To ensure the bridge design stays within the project budget, you can create rebar schedules inside Revit. Here you can calculate the total rebar length for each rebar size and export the schedules to Excel.


  • Analyze the Bridge in InfraWorks

    Learn how to run a line girder analysis and a refined analysis before sending the bridge to the Autodesk Structural Bridge Design software for a detailed analysis.

  • Structural Bridge Design

    Use Structural Bridge Design to load and analyze the bridge using grillage and finite element methods and justification of the girders with the design tools.


  • Project Visuals in InfraWorks

    Creating compelling visuals for stakeholders streamlines the approval process. Use InfraWorks tools to create both rendered images of the bridge in context of its surroundings and animated walk throughs to help you better communicate the design intent.


  • Use Civil 3D to Document the Road Design

    When you have the design right where you want it, you can document the design. Taking advantage of Sheet Set Manager can speed up the creation of plan and profile sheets.

  • Documenting and Scheduling Bridge Components

    Next you will export the InfraWorks bridge to Revit for documentation. Here you can tag, dimension, detail and schedule the bridge components.

To do

0 courses

20 min. avg.

Recommended one course per day