New Mexico Department of Transportation uses MicroStation Productivity Toolkit to fight file corruption and gray hair.

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SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, USA — Due to the ever-changing world of technology, the New Mexico Department of Transportation implemented a CAD support team that uses MicroStation Productivity Toolkit to handle issues such as file corruption, cell management and project specification adherence. Silas Salazar, CAD Support Unit Manager, was available to tell us a bit about his team and their success over the past eight years implementing Toolkit in the department. Read on to see what he had to say about Toolkit, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the future of CAD.

The New Mexico DOT CAD support team. Front row, left to right: Tina Ruiz, Val Salazar and Jessica Roybal. Back row, left to right: Steve Trujillo, Ricardo Lopez and Silas Salazar

MicroStation Today: How was your team assembled?
Silas: Our group was created ten years ago to begin the transition from our mainframe CAD system to PC-based workstations. Our group, as it exists today, supports over 120 MicroStation and InRoads users throughout the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The strength of our staff is the result of the wide range of experiences they bring to the table as former bridge, roadway and traffic designers and technicians. As in all drafting and design environments, we are constantly fighting a battle to control the quality of the digital data flowing in and out of our department of transportation.

MST: How have Axiom products helped solve the problems that you encounter in your position?
Silas: Our department of transportation has been using Axiom products for nearly eight years. At the user level, we attempt to simplify drafting workflow so the staff can concentrate on design issues. Microsoft Office Importer and CellManager have served us well in this arena. Our traffic section especially loves the ease of cell creation and maintenance that CellManager offers due to the sheets no longer being a merging and scaling battle.

The bulk of MicroStation Productivity Toolkit is used by the support group as a maintenance and quality control tool. FileFixer and Problem Element Viewer have saved our department of transportation countless hours and dollars by simply not having to recreate corrupted design files. These tools along with SpecChecker are used to review our consultant electronic deliverables as part of the project closeout process.

MST: Where do you see yourselves in ten years?
Silas: In ten years, three of us will be retired and probably spending our days fishing while letting others fight the gray hairs. At this point in all our careers I do not believe we would rather be doing anything else. For me personally, it takes an extreme amount of energy to keep up with this workload and ever changing technology. I hope ten years down the road I find myself in good health and able to enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle.

MST: What book do you wish you had written?
Silas: My son will turn two years old next month, so I wish I had written A Two-Year-Old’s Guide to Raising a 40-Year-Old Dad.

MST: What do you predict will be the “next big thing” in CAD?
Silas: In the transportation CAD field, I believe the “next big thing” will be GIS [Editor’s note: GIS or “geographic information systems” is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information]. The ability to easily interface and manipulate GIS datasets for transportation projects will determine which companies will continue to do business within department of transportation environments.

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