The Aerospace Parkway project was developed to increase roadway capacity in an industrial corridor near the Tucson International Airport in Pima County, AZ. This additional capacity would facilitate economic development in the area.



To meet the terms set by Pima County, the project needed to be completed on a tight schedule. Kittelson was part of the project team working closely with the County to complete the concept development and final design for this accelerated project in 10 months, producing a performance-based and value engineered design that achieved the project objectives within the available budget.

A Kittelson-led team applied an integrated design process that focused on developing a robust 3D design model in the concept stage. We used this 3D design model to rapidly produce, evaluate, and cost roadway and drainage alternatives, as well as assess value engineering suggestions and other ideas that were generated throughout the design process. In addition, the visualization capability with the 3D model enhances the ability to convey complex design alternatives (i.e., drainage inlets/outlets, detention basins) to team members, decision makers, and the public.

While a formal value engineering exercise was not conducted, we identified and evaluated opportunities throughout the design. Cost savings and increased value was achieved for:

Detention Basin — A detention basin was included to provide borrow for roadway embankment, mitigate the impact of increased runoff on an undersized UPRR drainage structure, and accommodate off-site runoff from properties being developed by Pima County. The basin design allows the capacity to be easily increased by adding a berm to accommodate future development of Pima County property within the corridor.

Joint Utility Trench (JUT) – Several options were evaluated to mitigate the impact of the new roadway on existing JUT facilities. Considering long term maintenance requirements, our team determined that relocating the JUT outside of the roadway provided the highest value to Pima County.


The Outcome

Using 3D Models To Visualize Complex Design Alternatives

The project’s completion will ultimately strengthen regional connectivity and the potential for economic development. In addition, the design modeling approach applied in the project will be of substantial value for similar local projects, in which it may be necessary to evaluate a range of alternatives to optimize the drainage and roadway design elements.




Pima County DOT


Pima County, Arizona