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Highways England NOMS Project Wins Award for BIM Advancements

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Highways England’s Network Occupancy Management Systems (NOMS) project won Bentley Systems' 2017 Be Inspired Award for BIM Advancements in Road & Rail Asset Performance.

I sat down with Simon Came, head of asset management for the East Midlands, to discuss the award winning project further and learn more about how Bentley applications helped create NOMS.

Highways England is an organization that operates, maintains, and improves England’s motorways and major roads. It is responsible for the management of road closure events across England’s Strategic Road Network (SRN), which begins at the Scottish border and continues throughout England. Highways England wanted to create a free-flow network that would eventually allow drivers to do “a mile a minute,” as well as reduce the amount of road closures per month.

To complete these objectives, Highways England is developing a Network Occupancy Management System (NOMS). The system will allow the project team to input and view data from scheduled and unscheduled events, figuring out the best way for everyone to access the network without delays. It will visualize network events across the entire SRN and show which events are major and which are small, allowing Highways England to prioritize its work.

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Christine Byrne: What can you tell me about the Highways England’s NOMS project?

Simon Came: Our project is the network occupancy management. In Highways England, we are a relatively small place. We’ve also got a high number of users. And, it means that there’s a lot of congestion. The system is designed to come out with an optimal way of getting everybody on the network, carrying out all the road works that we need while creating the minimal impact on the customer.

CB: Can you tell me what the purpose of your network occupancy management system, otherwise known as NOMS Project?

SC: If it’s a statutory undertaker or ourselves cleaning out storm drains, gullies, projects—whatever it may be—people still need to gain access to our network or our traffic management. The purpose of the project is to understand all of those needs and then find out savings by bringing projects together and putting less traffic management out on the ground, saving people time, money, and frustration, as well as putting less road workers at risk.

CB: How did you use Bentley software in the project?

SC: When we were developing the system, we based it on AssetWise. So, this is really the first step to what Highways England will be doing with Bentley Systems. The next step is to bring all our asset information into one place and manage all our business processes end-to-end, based mainly through AssetWise.

CB: Can you tell me about the challenges of this project?

SC: The major challenge for this project included creating an entirely new network system that would cover about 21,900 miles of roads, 18,500 miles of bridges and build structures, 22,800 hectacres of soft estate, and much more. The team used Bentley’s AssetWise and Bentley Map to develop NOMS, which went live in August 2017 with great success. Highways England estimates that it will save GBP 7.02 million for an ROI of 1,651 percent in the first year. It also estimates that it will save about 14,400 hours of challenging night work per year, increasing the safety of their workers. Highways England hopes to eventually achieve 97 percent network free-flowing availability and clear 85 percent of motorway incidents within one hour. 

For more details, watch Highways England’ video presentation from The Year in Infrastructure 2017. Read more about Bentley’s 2017 Be Inspired Awards and projects.

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