Digital As-Builts

Highway construction projects produce massive amounts of valuable data. Historically, information such as materials tickets and as-built plans were communicated via paper. Today’s transportation agencies are improving on these paper processes by integrating them into electronic and digital workflows. While electronic ticketing (e-Ticketing) improves the tracking, exchange, and archiving of materials tickets, digital as-builts, and other digital information such as 3D design models and other metadata, can enhance the value of contract documents and the future usability of the as-built plans for operations, maintenance, and asset management. Both can increase project safety and quality through efficient data gathering and sharing.

What are Digital As-Builts?

Using digital data such as 3D models to build road projects is becoming an industry standard. Sharing the design model and associated digital project data allows agencies and contractors to streamline project delivery and contract administration and to collaborate on challenges “virtually” before they get to the field. The digital information is further leveraged when the model is updated, and other data incorporated, to reflect the project’s as-built condition for future maintenance, asset management, and rehabilitation activities.


Safety. Construction using digital information can lead to safer projects and shorter work zone traffic impacts.

Time Savings. Digital information provided to construction enhances planning and can streamline project delivery. Digital as-builts including utility locations and other asset information will improve post-construction decisions and shorten future project delivery.

Quality. Digital as-builts can provide enhanced historical data, enabling State DOTs to better maintain the transportation infrastructure and develop future projects.

Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

Digital As-Builts in NJ

Stage of Innovation:
(December 2021)

New Jersey is currently exploring strategies for implementing this innovation.

Research. NJDOT has met with the Pennsylvania DOT to learn about their digital as-built program and delivery plan and has contacted the consultant developing FHWA guidelines for 3D As-Builts.

Pilot Development. NJDOT is investigating with department Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and other stakeholders potential digital as-built pilot projects that will meet various functional and business requirements. The agency is also coordinating with local FHWA office to additional assistance.

Building Support. NJDOT is working with internal and external stakeholders to advance digital as-built and 3D digital delivery. Collaboration with Local Public Agencies (LPA) will occur with support from NJDOT Local Aid.

What’s Next?

The NJDOT EDC team has added representation from in-house roadway design staff, traffic engineering, geodetic survey and the CADD Unit along with Local Aid, Construction, Project Management Office (PMO), and the consultant industry.  Before digital as-builts can be advanced, the new CADD platform of Open Roads Designer (ORD) and Open Bridge Designer (OBD) need to be in place and in full use. NJDOT's CADD unit has been working with Bentley on a new workspace for ORD and OBD.  Several key steps must be completed before the new software can be fully implemented by in-house and consultant designers including development of a new CADD Manual. The EDC team will provide assistance to the CADD unit for this and other activities.


Innovation Spotlight: How DOTs Are Moving Toward Digital As-Builts

Innovation Spotlight: How DOTs Are Moving Toward Digital As-Builts

This article reports on a brief Digital As-Builts Literature Scan and provides references to a select bibliography of research reports, strategic plans and other resource ...

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