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Design Summary

The intent of this document is to outline the process of designing a project using MX. It is only a summary and not intended to cover every situation.

Beginning an MX Project

For details of creating a new project, see Creating a New MX Project.

Drawing Topo Detail

In MX plan drawings are displayed with style sets. A number of style sets have been created for various uses. Many of them are used to generate drawings for transfer to MicroStation. Style sets have a .pss file extension and are stored in the imperial_styles and styles directories of the MX network workspace. Refer to Style Sets for details about the proper style set assignments.

Before drawing the existing ground detail, create a new DPW from File > New Plan Display. Then select the Plan with Style Set... option from the Display menu. Select the model to be drawn. The default Style Set should be EXD.pss. If not, then the model default should be changed to be EXD.pss. Uncheck the Display All Strings box and then click OK.

For more information about creating those drawings, see Storing MX Data In MicroStation v8i.

Drawing Additional Details

Other project details can be drawn over the existing detail by repeating the above process and selecting other models to be drawn and the appropriate style set for that model.


Alignments can be created by a number of methods as described below. The naming convention must be followed for alignments to draw properly.

  • Quick Alignment - Does not have all the functionality of Alignment. No Point Selection Methods (PSM's) are available for splitting existing pavement or erecting points normal to existing lines.
  • Major option Alignment - More complicated, however this option is the most thorough.
  • Drafting in MicroStation - Allows you all of MicroStation's drafting functionality for creating the alignment string. Your alignment must be a complex chain and on the correct level. Be sure that you have a valid alignment, just because the curve appears tangent to the tangent doesn't mean it is. The drafted line then requires transfer to MX. Refer to Transferring MicroStation Alignments to MX for greater detail.
  • Regardless of the method used to create the alignment in MX, they should be transferred to MicroStation by using the Creating Alignment Drawings add-in.


There are two primary options for profiles: Quick Alignment Vertical and major option VERAT.

  • Quick Vertical Alignment - Quick Vertical is the graphical method of generating a profile. It requires the interactive specification of VPI coordinates and the associated curve length of each element of the profile. Be aware that Quick Vertical wants to work on the entire alignment. Quick Vertical does not show alignment stationing on the working drawing.
  • VERAT - Verat is the input file method of generating a profile. It requires the specification of the VPI coordinates and the curve length of each element of the profile. The profile would typically be designed on paper before developing the VERAT input.

Refer to Transferring MX profiles to MicroStation.

Road Design

For relatively standard templates the MX design wizards should be used. For more complex designs involving lane tapers, turning lanes, or other non-standard features it might be easier to develop an input file.

Superelevations are done with the Superelevation Wizard. This wizard works well unless the alignment begins and/or ends on a curve. In those instances the wizard will attempt to define transition points beyond the limits of the alignment.

Shoulder Design is the next item on the Road Design sub-menu. The shoulder rollover option provides a solution that closely resembles NHDOT standards.

Once shoulders have been designed, the next step would be to add Curbs and Sidewalks where necessary. Found in the Queen's English, Kerbs Verges and Footways... is the last item on the Road Design submenu.

Before developing slope lines, a level datum string (EH) must be created to form the outermost edge of the roadway. This string is typically 1 foot (0.3m) beyond the edge of shoulder and is used by the Earthworks wizard. For more details, see Earthworks Level Datum Strings.

Slope Lines

The Earthworks Wizard creates slope lines based on user-defined criteria. Earthworks styles can be customized to meet a specific need. See the MX Earthworks Wizard for more details.

Refer to Storing MX Data In MicroStation v8i to transfer to MicroStation.

Cross Sections

Cross Sections are generated with the Cross Section Viewer. This can be found from within MX by selecting Analysis > Sections > Cross Sections. The Cross Section Viewer has a toolbar for options available with in the Viewer, a graphics area in which the sections are displayed, and a station selector for navigating to other sections. The process of creating the sections is described in detail in Creating MX Cross Sections.

Once the sections are created, detail information can be added and then they can be transferred to MicroStation. To prepare them for eventual transfer, please read the Summary of CAD/D Cross Section Procedures.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483  |  7 Hazen Drive  |  
Concord, NH  |  03302-0483
Tel: 603.271.3734  |  Fax: 603.271.3914