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Transferring an OpenRoads Alignment to MX

OpenRoads Alignments still need to be transferred to MX for:

OpenRoads development should eventually eliminate these needs.

This process assumes you have already created an OpenRoads alignment(s) and that you want to transfer it (them) to MX to create a profile or scan the TOPO model to create the XSdetail information. Create a Sect ExistElev feature prior to transfer for the Existing ground profile or use an input file to create one.

OpenRoads drawings are seeded with 3 DGN models:

  1. Default
  2. Default-3D
  3. MX

It is imperative that the proper DGN model be active.

Export the OpenRoads Alignment to Create MX Alignment Strings

Transferring OpenRoads alignments to MX will create a link that associates them together. This association can create problems if you need to rename, restation or retransfer them at a later time. For this reason, all transfers should be done from a copy of the original MicroStation geometry drawing. To do this, using Windows Explorer open the project's MX directory. Select the Geometry *.dgn and *.dpw files. Next, Right click on the selected files and choose Copy. Move the cursor away from the selected files and then Right click again. This time choose Paste to create the Geometry - copy.dgn and the Geometry - copy.dpw files.

Open the Geometry - copy.dgn that was just created. Working in the Default model, use Element Information to check that the Feature Definition is set to Alignment, also change the Feature Name to MCxx, the xx being any 2 character alphanumeric you desire such as MC1M. Check out MX Design String Names for standard MX string naming conventions. If not renamed, then OpenRoads will assign the name of MC00 for the first transfer. Subsequent transfers will increment the Feature Name by an interval of 10, the second transfer will be assigned the name MC10.

Until further notice, use of the Design Standards contaminates this transfer process. Either don't use it when creating the Civil Geometry or Remove the Design Standard prior to transferring to MX. Also check the Design File Settings and make sure that the Export To Native is set to Manual. This can be found from the MicroStation menu under Settings > Design File > Civil Formatting > Export Settings > Export To Native.

Create an MX Design Model to receive the OpenRoads alignment to be transferred. To do this, from the MX menu select Modify > Edit Models > Create Model... Set the Model Defaults to Road.pss/Road.fns. Suggested Model names include GEOMETRY, PALIGN or FALIGN.

Open the Feature Definition Toggle Bar. Do this from either the General Geometry or the Horizontal Geometry Task menu. Learn more about the basic operation of the Feature Definition Toggle Bar in the OpenRoads Geometry page. From the first dropdown (the Model dropdown) of the Features Definition Toggle Bar, select the MX Model to receive the to be transferred alignment strings (this is the MX Design Model you just created).

feature definition toggle bar

From the General Geometry Task menu, select the Export to Native command. Follow the Heads-Up prompt and select each Civil Alignment to be transferred. When the selection is complete, click Reset to transfer.

Check the MX Model file and verify that all the alignments were transferred successfully. Either use MX Explorer or an MX Report option of your choice. Each alignment in the receiving MX Model should have a Master alignment string (MCxx) and a corresponding Geometry string (GCxx). Check the Master alignment string for valid elevations and for null elevations (-999), if they should be there. Check each string that was transferred. This concludes the transfer of the OpenRoads alignment(s). Advance to Export_the_Old_Ground_String_to_MX to transfer the Existing Ground Strings.

Still a Bug with Version 08.11.09.789 (general info)

The Export to Native command also creates 3 input files in the MxData sub-folder for each alignment transferred to MX. These MX input files are in the following format:

  1. HALGN
  2. VALGN
  3. VERAT

A bug exists such that the HALIGN file will not work correctly if the Starting Station is anything other than 0+00. If this file is needed in the future, then edit the HALGN file of each transferred alignment and set the CF= variable to the same value as the SC= variable. Remember that if the HALGN is manually inputted, then the alignment will no longer have elevations on it. Therefore it will be necessary to run the corresponding VERAT file. Before running the Verat file, open the it with the PFE Editor and Delete the Design commands.

Export the Old Ground String to MX

From the Geometry - copy.dgn once again and working in the Default model, Open a Profile Model of the first Alignment. Set the Existing Ground profile to be the Active Profile. Return to the Plan View (Default model) and use Element Information to change the Feature Name of that alignment from MCxx to OCxx. Repeat for each alignment transferred.

From the General Geometry Task menu, select the Export to Native command again. Follow the Heads-Up prompt and select each Civil Alignment to be transferred. When the selection is complete, click Reset to transfer.

Check the MX Model file and verify that all the Existing Ground Strings were transferred successfully. Either use MX Explorer or an MX Report option of your choice. Each alignment in the receiving MX Model should now have three associated strings:

  1. MCxx
  2. GCxx
  3. OCxx

When all transfers are finished, reset the Model dropdown in the Features Definition Toggle Bar back to <No Model>. This concludes the transfer of the Existing Ground strings.

Remove the Design Standard (if needed)

To Remove the Design Standard from an OpenRoads Alignment after it's creation, use the Element Information tool. Next, Expand the Element Tree to expose the Design Standard Entry (shown below). Right Click on the Design Standard entry and select Remove Design Standard.

element information tree

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