I know I’m dating myself by saying, “I remember a time when there was a back office or HecRas computer. Places where old, outdated software resided. Not to die, but rather to be eternally preserved for future generations of engineers to harness the raw power of DOS.”
You might think I’m kidding, but ask any of us “Old Timers” about such things and this was the unfortunate reality. Fortunately for the younger generation, HecRas is now available in a free download that works rather nicely with the latest windows environment.
Fast forward to our current time, engineers still have not found a simple way of doing flood mapping efficiently. By efficiently, I mean in a single software that can be easily brought into AutoCAD or Civil 3D for plan production. I have seen a lot of duct tape and gum hold together various software to put together this analysis. Some would even export the stationing backwards from HecRas while others would import the stationing backwards. There is typically a lot of extra work that needs to be accounted for to fix the short comings of the other software, especially to get the flood lines into Civil 3D for plan production.
As engineers, we often get caught up in doing things our own way, which can often be outdated. Once we have “our” way of doing something, we adhere to the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” This motto works much of the time, but unfortunately causes us to miss great tools like the River and Flood analysis module in Civil 3D. It’s been out for several releases, but it is highly underutilized as many engineering companies don’t even know it’s there.
What the River and Flood module will allow you to do is run HecRas natively in Civil 3D. That’s right, no more having to export and import into and out of other software. We can run an authentic HecRas analysis without leaving Civil 3D and then export the HecRas project for submittal.
The best part about this module is you can show your flood elevations natively in Civil 3D, which is always the end goal of any River or Stream analysis. For all you H&H guys and gals out there, I would strongly suggest trying this module on your next project. If you happen to be one of the engineering companies still utilizing a back office or HecRas specific computer running DOS, reach out to ATG for training on this module and all modules related to H&H.