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JMC2 Civil Engineering

Downtown Pedestrian Improvement Project

Torrance, California, United States


User Project Profiles

Project Summary


The City of Torrance, California decided it was time for a facelift to a section of Cravens Avenue in the historic downtown area. The area, affectionately known as “Old Torrance,” was designed in 1912 by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The city’s vision was to create an “inviting and more unified pedestrian atmosphere” along the section of Cravens between Torrance Boulevard and Carson Street — while bringing the area into compliance with current Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. JMC2 Civil Engineering was hired to design the project around community needs by creating inviting spaces, safe crosswalks, wayfinding and code-compliant functionality. That required a careful analysis and roadway design plan first.


The project involved a complete rebuild of all driveways, sidewalks, drainage systems, water lines and street lighting. “To bring this street up to current ADA standards, the design team needed a highly accurate 3D design model,” says JMC2 President and CEO John Cruikshank. “We used OpenRoads Designer to analyze and plan joining of sidewalks to old building thresholds and to add ADA curb ramps
at every street corner.” It was decided that all large trees adjacent to sidewalks needed to be removed in order to be ADA-compliant. New trees were planted in their place. “We opened up 5-square-foot tree wells for better growth and sidewalk protection,” says Cruikshank. Bentley’s MicroStation was used for the core drafting tasks, including civil CAD basemap development, file referencing and plan sheet creation. For modeling water flow and pipe sizing, JMC2 used Bentley’s OpenFlows to produce a digital twin of the replacement water system along the half-mile stretch of Craven Avenue under redesign.


The City of Torrance had high standards. Cruikshank says, “The project manager was very particular about the way under-walk drains, driveways, ramps, utility vaults, alley aprons, door entryways and trees were shown on the plans. MicroStation allowed our engineering team to use precise linework, hatching and text callouts to make the plans easy to read and follow.” All design work was done in one civil basemap CAD file, then referenced in each individual plan sheet. The file exchange utility allowed easy transfer of information back-and-forth between the basemap and the sheet files, which saved JMC2 considerable amounts of time. The project also emphasizes the benefits of being able to work remotely during a pandemic “Work was completed right when the State of California ‘Safer at Home’ orders were being issued for the COVID-19 outbreak. Client coordination was possible by working remotely since Bentley design files and models can be made compact and efficient.” Not only was design time reduced by 20 percent, but Cruikshank estimates his firm saved about $50K in costs over prior design methods, a cost saving that was passed back to the client. Furthermore, JMC2 never had to go out to the construction site to respond to constructability questions.

Project Playbook

MicroStation, OpenFlows, OpenRoads


  • A complete rebuild of all driveways, sidewalks, drainage systems, water lines, and street lighting, brought the street up to current ADA standards.
  • For modeling water flow and pipe sizing, JMC2 created a digital twin of the replacement water system along the half-mile stretch of Cravens Avenue under redesign.
  • Bentley’s highly accurate 3D design software helped JMC2 to decrease design time by 20% and save USD 50,000, a cost-saving that was passed back to the client.


“The innovative design including 3D models and digital twins allowed the City of Torrance to remake a historic old street in disrepair into an active transportation and ADA-compliant corridor through a refreshed and vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.”

John Cruikshank
President and CEO, JMC2 Engineering 

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