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Highways_Location Design Construction & Maintenance

Highways_Location Design Construction & Maintenance

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When designing a new road the total flow of commercial vehicles in one direction per
day at the road’s opening, and the proportion of these vehicles in the Other Goods
Vehicle (OGV2) class (see Subsection 9.3.12), are normally required in order to deter-
mine the cumulative design traffic over the design life, using the standard method of
traffic assessment. In the UK a commercial vehicle is defined as one whose unladen
weight is more than 15kN. For new road schemes the traffic flow is determined from
traffic studies using the principles described in the Traffic Appraisal Manual9

except
that, for Scotland, the principles are set out in the Scottish Traffic and Environmental
Appraisal Manual10

. If the traffic studies suggest that the flow at the road opening is not
a good basis for forecasting the cumulative flow over the design life (e.g. if an adjacent
link is to be built after a few years) an adjustment must be made to reflect this situation.
If the traffic flow figures available are for a two-way flow, the directional split is
assumed to be 50:50 unless traffic studies show otherwise.
Either Fig 14.2 or Fig. 14.3 is then used to obtain the cumulative design traffic in
millions of standard axles (msa) for flexible- and rigid-type pavements, respectively.
A minimum cumulative design traffic of 1msa is assumed for lightly-trafficked roads.
Note that the figures are based on the high growth prediction from the National
Road Traffic Forecasts (NTRF)11

, and that average growth rates have been
assumed for PSV+OGV1 and for OGV2 vehicle classes. The average design life
flow divided by the flow at opening (i.e. the proportional flow increase) is calculated
on the basis that the year of opening is 1995.
The curved shapes of the relationships shown at Figs 14.2(b) and 14.3(b) are
due to the greater proportion of traffic carried by the outer lane(s) of a dual
carriageway at high vehicle flows.
The distribution of commercial vehicle traffic between lanes can be expected to
vary at particular points along a road, e.g. where lanes leave/join a carriageway, or
at traffic signals or at roundabouts. Nonetheless, the design of new roads is based
on the traffic distribution away from junctions, and all lanes – including hard shoul-
ders, so that they can be used by traffic during subsequent maintenance activities –
are designed to carry the heavily-trafficked left-hand lane traffic load.
Note also that the figures assume a 20 year life for flexible composite pave-
ments, 20 or 40 years for fully-flexible pavements, and 40 years for rigid and rigid
composite pavements. Recent research work12

has indicated that, from a whole-life
cost aspect, it is more cost effective to design flexible pavements, especially those
at heavily-trafficked locations, for at least 40 years so as to obviate the need for
an interim (after an initial 20 years) structural strengthening/major maintenance
and its associated traffic delays. Consequently, an option to design a thicker fully-
flexible pavement with a 40 year design life is permitted for (i) road locations where

382Highways

the design traffic is heavy in relation to the capacity of the layout, and (ii) in all
cases where whole life costing is required to be taken into account. In normal
circumstances, however, the first stage design for flexible (and flexible composite)
pavements assumes that investigatory conditions (see Subsection 9.3.3) will arise

1000

100

1

0

0

%

O

G

V

2

7

5

5

0

2

5

1000

10000

30000

100

10

1

(a) Single carriageway

Design traffic (msa)

Traffic flow at opening – 1 direction (cv/d)

1000

100

1

0

0

%

O

G

V

2

7

5

5

0

2

5

1000

10000

30000

100

10

1

(a) Dual carriageway

Design traffic (msa)

Traffic flow at opening – 1 direction (cv/d)

Fig. 14.2Cumulative design traffic for flexible (20 year life) and flexible compo-
site pavements2

Current British thickness design practice383

1

0

0

%

O

G

V

2

7

5

Design traffic (msa)

Traffic flow at opening – 1 direction (cv/d)

Traffic flow at opening – 1 direction (cv/d)

1000

100

10

1
100

5

0

2

5

1000

10000

(a) Single carriageway

1

0

0

%

O

G

V

2

7

5

Design traffic (msa)

1000

100

10

1
100

5

0

2

5

1000

10000

30000

30000

(b) Dual carriageway

Fig. 14.3Cumulative design traffic for rigid, rigid composite and flexible (40
year life) pavements2

384Highways

after a 20 year design life, at which time it can be expected that major maintenance
will need to be carried out to ensure a further 20 years of design life.
The steps involved in carrying out a full traffic assessment (see Table 14.2)
follow. It should be noted that this approach is not normally applied to new roads
but is primarily intended for use in structural assessments and in the design of
maintenance measures. It is summarized here for completeness.

Step 1.Estimate the present one-way commercial vehicle flow, or the traffic flow at
the opening in the case of a new road design, F, for each of the seven classes shown
in Fig. 9.13. In many instances, however, it will be sufficient to group the traffic
into the same two categories, PSV+OGV1 and OGV2, as in the standard method.
Step 2.Select the initial design period, Y.
Step 3.Determine the ‘growth factor’,G, for each category of vehicle (see Fig. 9.15).
In practice, the grouped PSV+OGV1 and OCV2 growth lines are commonly used
unless actual growth rates are known for specific vehicle groups.
Step 4.Determine the approximate national average wear factor, W, to be used
with each vehicle class (from Fig. 9.13). Alternatively, weighted average wear
factors of 0.6 and 3.0 may be assumed for the grouped categories PSV+OGV1 and
OGV2, respectively; these are based on the proportion of vehicles in each class (as
determined from the 1992 statistics).
Step 5.Calculate the cumulative design traffic in each vehicle class for the design
period, using Equation 9.1. In the case of a two-way single carriageway pavement
the total design traffic, T, is the summation of the cumulative design traffic in each

Table 14.2Example of carrying out a full traffic assessment for a 20 year
design and NTRF growth2

*T=365F×Y×G×W×10−6

msa as defined by Equation 9.1

Vehicle class

AADF
(F)

Design period
(Y)

Growth factor
(G)

Wear factor
(W)

Cumul. traffic
(T)*

Either

PSV:
Buses and coaches 398

20

1.0

1.3

3.8

OGV1:
2-axle rigid

2084 20

1.0

0.34

5.2

3-axle rigid

196

20

1.0

1.70

2.4

3-axle articulated

95

20

1.0

0.65

0.5

OGV2:
4-axle rigid

209

20

1.5

3.0

9.2

4-axle articulated

912

20

1,5

2.6

36.0

5-axle articulated 743

20

1.5

3.5

28.5

Or

OGV1+PSV

0.6

OGV2

3.0

Total cv/day

4637
Total traffic load (all lanes)

85.6msa

Proportion of commercial vehicle traffic in left hand lane (P)

79%

Design traffic load in left hand lane (=P× Total/100)

67.6msa

Current British thickness design practice385

category in a given direction. In the case of a dual carriageway road the proportion
of vehicles in the most heavily-trafficked lane is normally obtained (from Fig. 9.14)
and applied to the total accumulation to derive the design traffic; note, however,
that if the flow is greater than 30000 cv/day, the proportion is assumed to be 50 per
cent. When carrying out maintenance, it is sometimes necessary to estimate the
traffic load in the other lanes separately. Thus, for three-lane carriageways it is
assumed that all commercial vehicles not in the left-hand lane are taken by the
middle lane and, for a four-lane carriageway, the number of commercial vehicles
not in the left-hand lane is assumed to be evenly distributed between the two
middle lanes (unless, in either instance, specific data indicate otherwise). In each
such case, however, the outer lane is designed to carry the same traffic as the
middle lane(s).

In the case of maintenance or widening work to areas about junctions, consid-
eration will need to be given to non-standard traffic distributions when determin-
ing the design load.

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