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www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.

Mansour, PE

Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves 225

Chapter 10

Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves

Topics to be covered

- Types of Horizontal Curves
- Deflection Angles, Chord and Offset Calculations
- Compound and Reverse Curves
- Spiral Curves
- Vertical Curves
- Geometric Properties of Vertical Curves
- High and Low Points on Vertical Curves
- Asymmetrical Vertical Curves

16 Sample Problems with Detailed Solutions

10 Supplemental Practice Problems with
Detailed Solutions










www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A. Mansour, PE


Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves
226
Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves

10-1 INTRODUCTION

Horizontal curves may be simple, compound, reverse, or spiral. Compound and reverse
curves are treated as a combination of two or more simple curves, whereas the spiral curve
is based on a varying radius.

Curves of short radius (usually less than one tape length) can be established by holding
one end of the tape at the center of the circle and swinging the tape in an arc, marking as
many points as may be desired. As the radius and length of curve increases, the tape
becomes impractical and the surveyor must use other methods. The common method is to
measure angles and straight-line sight distances by which selected points, known as
stations, may be located on the circumference of the arc.
a) Simple Circular (b) Compound (c) Reverse (d) Spiral

Figure 10.1 Types of Horizontal Curves

10-2 TYPES OF HORIZONTAL CURVES

Table 10-1 Types of Horizontal Curves

Simple Circular Compound Reverse Spiral
The simple curve is
an arc of a circle.
The radius of the
circle determines
the sharpness or
flatness of the
curve. The larger
the radius, the
flatter the curve.
This type of curve
is the most often
used.
Frequently the
terrain will
necessitate the use
of a compound
curve. This curve
normally consists
of two simple
curves joined
together, but
curving in the
same direction.
A reverse curve
consists of two simple
curves joined
together, but curving
in opposite directions.
For safety reasons,
this curve is seldom
used in highway
construction as it
would tend to send an
automobile off the
road.
The spiral is a curve
which has a varying
radius. It is used on
railroads and some
modern highways.
Its purpose is to
provide a transition
from the tangent to a
simple curve or
between simple
curves in a
compound curve
www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A. Mansour, PE

Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves 227

10-3 TERMINOLOGY OF HORIZONTAL CURVES
Following are the main elements of a simple curve; see Fig.10.2
1. Point of intersection: the point of intersection (PI) is the point where the back and
forward tangents intersect.
2. The radius(R): the radius of the circle of which the curve is an arc.
3. The point of curvature: the point of curvature (PC) is

the point where the
circular curve begins. The back tangent is tangent to the curve at this point.
4. The point of tangency: the point of tangency (PT) is the end of the curve. The
forward tangent is tangent to the curve at this point.
Note: The terms BC (Beginning of Curve) and EC (End of Curve) are referred to
by some agencies as PC (point of curvature) and PT (point of tangency), and by
others as TC (tangent to curve) and CT (curve to tangent).
5. The length of curve (L): the distance from the PC to the PT measured along the
curve.



Figure 10.2 Terminology of Horizontal Curve


6. The tangent distance(T): the distance along the tangents from the PI to the PC or
PT. These distances are equal on a simple curve.
7. The central angle (A): the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of
the circle ( O) to the PC or PT. The central angle is equal in value to the
intersecting angle (A = I).
www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A. Mansour, PE



8. Long chord: The long chord (LC or C) is the chord from the PC to the PT.

9. External distance: The external distance (E) is the distance from the PI to the
midpoint of the curve. The external distance bisects the interior angle at the PI.

10. Middle ordinate: The middle ordinate (M) is the distance from the midpoint of the
curve to the midpoint of the long chord. The extension of the middle ordinate bisects
the central angle.

11. Degree of curve: The degree of curve (D) defines the "sharpness" or "flatness" of the
curve. There are two common definitions for degree of curve , as follows:

Table 10-2 Chord and Arc Definitions for Horizontal Curves

Chord Definition Arc Definition

The chord definition states that the
degree of a curve is the angle formed
by two radii drawn from the center of
the circle to the ends of a chord 100 ft
long. The chord definition is used
primarily for civilian railroad
construction and is used by the military
for both roads and railroads.


The arc definition states that the degree
of a curve is the angle formed by two
radii drawn from the center of the circle
to the ends of an arc 100 ft long. This
definition is used primarily for highways
and streets. Notice that the larger the
degree of curve, the "sharper" the curve
and the shorter the radius

R
ft D
Sin
50
)
2
( =
( 10-1)


R R
ft
D
o o
58 . 5729
2
) 100 )( 360 (
= =
t
(10-2)


The sharpness of a curve is determined by the choice of the radius (R); large radius curves
are relatively flat, whereas small radius curves are relatively sharp.





Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curves
228
www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE

Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve 229

10-4 GEOMETRY OF HORIZONTAL CIRCULAR CURVES

2
) (
A
= = Tan R T EC to PI OR PI to BC Tangent
(10-3)
) 2 ( 2
2
2 ) ( A =
A
= = Cos T Sin R C EC to B to BC Chord Long
(10-4)

|
.
|

\
|
A
= A =
A
=
D
ft radians R R L
EC to A to BC e i Curve the Along EC to BC Length Curve
) 100 ( ) (
360
2
: ) . . (


t
(10-5)

2 4 2
)
2
1 ( ) (
A
=
A
=
A
÷ = = Cos E Tan
C
Cos R M B to A Ordinate Middle
(10-6)

4 2 4
) 1
2
( 1
) 2 (
1
) ( .
A A
=
A
=
÷
A
=

÷
A
= =
Tan Tan R Tan T
Sec R
Cos
R E A to PI Dist External
(10-7)

Notes:
1-
) ( 2 .
2
1
E R
R
Cos e i
E R
R
+
= A
+
=
A
÷
Cos

2- versed sine (vers) → vers (∆/2) = 1 − Cos (∆/2)

3- external secant (exsec) → exsec (∆/2)= Sec (∆/2)− 1
4- A common mistake is to determine the station of the “EC” by adding the “T” distance
to the “PI”. Although the “EC” is physically a distance of “T” from the “PI”, the
stationing (chainage) must reflect the fact that the centerline no longer goes through the
“PI”. The centerline now takes the shorter distance “L” from the “BC” to the “EC”.










www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE


Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve
230

Sample Problem 10-1: Horizontal Curve Chord, Middle Ordinate & External Distance

Given: , R= 1000 ft , 8 3 16 ' = A
o
PI Sta. @ 6 + 26.57

Find: BC and EC stations, length of chord (C),
middle ordinate (M), and external distance (E)

Solution:
2
tan
A
= R T = 1000 tan 8.3167
o
= 146.18 ft
|
.
|

\
|
A
= A =
A
=
D
ft radians R R L ) 100 ( ) (
360
.) (deg
2t

=
360
6333 . 16
1000 2 × × t
= 290.31ft

PI at 6 + 26.57
–T 1 + 46.18
BC = 4 + 80.39 :
+ L 2 + 90.31
EC = 7 + 70.70 :

) 2 ( 2
2
2 A =
A
= Cos T Sin R C
= 2 × 1000 × Sin 8.3167
o
= 289.29 ft :
2 2
1
)
2
1 (
A
=
A
÷ = Tan C Cos R M
= 1000( 1 – Cos 8.3167
o
) = 10.52 ft :
4 2
) 1
) 2 (
1
(
A A
= ÷
A
= Tan Tan R
Cos
R E
= 1000 (Sec 8.3167
o
– 1) = 10.63 ft :




www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE

Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve 231

Sample Problem 10-2: Using Degree of Horizontal Curves

Given: 11

, degree of curve D = 6
o
,
PI Sta. @ 14 + 87.33
= A 5 3 1 2 ' ' '

Find: BC and EC stations


Solution:
R R
ft
D
o o
58 . 5729
2
) 100 ( ) 360 (
= =
t
(10-2)
¬
ft
D
R 93 . 954
58 . 5729
= =

2
A
= Tan R T = 954.93 Tan 5.6799
o
= 94.98 ft
|
.
|

\
| A
= A =
A
=
D
ft radians R R L ) 100 ( ) (
360
.) (deg
2t

=
6
3598 . 11 100 ×
= 189.33 ft
PI at 14+ 87.33
–T 00 + 94.98
BC = 13 + 92.35 :
+ L 01 + 89.33
EC = 15 + 81.68 :




































































Note: A common mistake is to
determine the station of the EC
by adding the T distance to the
PI station.
www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE


Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve
232
10-5 DEFELCTION ANGLES, CENTRAL ANGLE, & CHORD CALCUATIONS
The deflection angle is defined as the angle between the tangent and a chord.
The following two rules apply for the deflection angles for circular curves:

Rule 1: The deflection angle between a tangent and a chord is half the central
angle subtended by the arc i.e. the angle between the tangent “BC-PI” and the
chord “PC-A” is ½ the central angle “BC-O-A” i.e. α & 2α

Rule 2: The angle between two chords is ½ the central angle subtended by the
arc between the two chords i.e. the angle “A-BC-B” is ½ the central angle “A-
O-B” i.e. β & 2β

|
.
|

\
|
A
|
.
|

\
|
=
2 L
length arc
angle deflection
(10-8)
|
.
|

\
|
A
|
.
|

\
|
=
2 L
length arc
angle deflection
(10-9)
o Sin R A to BC Length Chord 2 ) ( = (10-10)
R
A to BC length arc
t
o
2
180 ) (
0
×
=
(10-11)
L
A to BC length arc ) ( 2
=
A
o
(10-12)








Figure 10.3 Deflection and Central Angles Realtionship


Abbreviations:

BC = Beginning of curve
PC = Point of curvature
TC = Tangent to curve

EC = End of curve
PT = Point of tangency
CT = Curve to tangent
www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE

Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve 233

10-13 GEOMETRIC PROPERTIES OF THE PARABOLA

1. The difference in elevation between the BVC and a point on the g
1
grade
line at a distance x units (feet or meters) is g
1
x (g
1
is expressed as a
decimal).

Figure 10.14 Geometric of a Parabola

2. The tangent offset between the grade line and the curve is given by ax
2
, where x is the
horizontal distance from the BVC (PVC); that is, tangent offsets are proportional to the
squares of the horizontal distances.
3. The elevation of the curve at distance x from the BVC is given by:
c bx ax y + + =
2
(general equation for a parabola) (10-24)

2
2
1
rx
x g y y
BVC x
+ + =
(10-25)
L
g g
r
1 2
÷
=
(10-26)
Where: x = the distance from BVC to a point on the curve
r = rate of grade change per station
4. The grade lines (g
1
and g
2
) intersect midway between the BVC and the EVC ; that is,
BVC to PVI = ½ L = PVI to EVC. This is only true for symmetrical vertical curves.

5. The curve lies midway between the PVI and the midpoint of the chord; that is,
A‒B = B ‒ PVI = d
o
which can be calculated as follows:
Either:
d
o
= ½ (difference in elevation of PVI and mid-chord elevation)
= ½ (elevation of BVC + elevation of EVC)

OR:
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Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve
234
d
o
=
8
2 1
L g g ÷
(10-27)
6. The slope S, in percentage, of the tangent to the curve at any point on the curve is given
by the following formula:

L
g g x
g S
) (
2 1
1
÷
÷ =
(10-28)


Figure 10.15 Crest and Sag Vertical Curves Terminology

7. The distance D in feet from Vertex to P
ʹ
is given as:
D =
) (
) ( 100
2 1
g g
Y Y
P H
÷
÷
'
(10-29)
8- The distance between the curve and the grade line (tangent) “d” is given as”


L
g g x rx
offset d
200
) (
2
1 2
2 2
÷
= = =
(L curve length in feet) (10-30)



10-14 HIGH AND LOW POINTS ON VERTICAL CURVES


The locations of the curves high and low points are important for drainage considerations;
for example, on curbed streets catch basins must be installed precisely at the drainage low
point. From equation (10-25), the slope ) ( dx dy is equaled to zero and solving for X:
(10-31) 0
1
= + rX g

www.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour, PE


Figure 10.16 Low Point on a Sag Vertical Curve
2 1
1
1 2
1 1
g g
L g
g g
L g
r
g
X
÷
=
÷
÷
=
÷
=
(10-32)

Where X is the distance from BVC to the low or high points.
It should be noted that the distance X in the above two equations is different from
distance x in equations 10-24 & 10-25.
Sample Problem 10-13: Low point on a vertical curve

Given: L = 300 ft, g
1
= ‒ 3.2%, g
2
= + 1.8%,
PVI at 30 + 30, and elevation = 485.92

Find: Location of the low point and
its elevation.
Solution:

ft Sta
g g
L g
g g
L g
r
g
X 00 . 192 . 92 . 1
) 2 . 3 ( ) 8 . 1 (
) 3 )( 2 . 3 (
2 1
1
1 2
1 1
= =
÷ ÷ +
÷ ÷
=
÷
=
÷
÷
=
÷
=

This means that the low point is located at a distance of 192.00 ft from BVC i.e. at
Station = [(30 + 30.00) − (1+ 50.00)] + (1 + 92.00) = 30 + 72.00



Remember: All distances used to located a low or a high point or used to determine an
elevation of a point on a vertical curve are measured from BVC.
2
2
1
rx
x g y y
BVC x
+ + =

| | 00 . 72 30 @ 65 . 487 )
2
92 . 1
)(
00 . 3
) 2 . 3 ( 8 . 1
( ) 92 . 1 )( 2 . 3 ( ) 2 . 3 )( 5 . 1 ( 92 . 485
2
+ =
÷ ÷
+ ÷ + + = Sta ft




Chapter 10- Horizontal, Spiral and Vertical Curve 235

Its purpose is to provide a transition from the tangent to a simple curve or between simple curves in a compound curve Chapter 10. the tape becomes impractical and the surveyor must use other methods. marking as many points as may be desired. whereas the spiral curve is based on a varying radius. may be located on the circumference of the arc. or spiral. The larger the radius. a) Simple Circular (b) Compound (c) Reverse (d) Spiral Figure 10. Spiral and Vertical Curves 10-1 INTRODUCTION Horizontal curves may be simple. this curve is seldom used in highway construction as it would tend to send an automobile off the road.www. Mansour. reverse.passpe. Spiral and Vertical Curves .com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. 226 Compound Frequently the terrain will necessitate the use of a compound curve. but curving in the same direction. Spiral The spiral is a curve which has a varying radius. PE Chapter 10. the flatter the curve. Reverse A reverse curve consists of two simple curves joined together.Horizontal. This type of curve is the most often used. Shahin A. Compound and reverse curves are treated as a combination of two or more simple curves.1 Types of Horizontal Curves 10-2 TYPES OF HORIZONTAL CURVES Table 10-1 Types of Horizontal Curves Simple Circular The simple curve is an arc of a circle. As the radius and length of curve increases. The common method is to measure angles and straight-line sight distances by which selected points. For safety reasons.Horizontal. The radius of the circle determines the sharpness or flatness of the curve. It is used on railroads and some modern highways. but curving in opposite directions. Curves of short radius (usually less than one tape length) can be established by holding one end of the tape at the center of the circle and swinging the tape in an arc. This curve normally consists of two simple curves joined together. known as stations. compound.

The point of tangency: the point of tangency (PT) is the end of the curve. Spiral and Vertical Curves 227 . The length of curve (L): the distance from the PC to the PT measured along the curve. The point of curvature: the point of curvature (PC) is the point where the circular curve begins. Note: The terms BC (Beginning of Curve) and EC (End of Curve) are referred to by some agencies as PC (point of curvature) and PT (point of tangency). see Fig. The tangent distance(T): the distance along the tangents from the PI to the PC or PT. 5.2 Terminology of Horizontal Curve 6. The central angle ( ): the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle ( O ) to the PC or PT.passpe. and by others as TC (tangent to curve) and CT (curve to tangent). Shahin A.10. 2. Point of intersection: the point of intersection (PI) is the point where the back and forward tangents intersect.2 1. The radius(R): the radius of the circle of which the curve is an arc. The back tangent is tangent to the curve at this point. The forward tangent is tangent to the curve at this point. 7. 4. Mansour.Horizontal. These distances are equal on a simple curve. PE 10-3 TERMINOLOGY OF HORIZONTAL CURVES Following are the main elements of a simple curve. Chapter 10. Figure 10.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. 3.www. The central angle is equal in value to the intersecting angle ( = I).

com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. The chord definition is used primarily for civilian railroad construction and is used by the military for both roads and railroads. Middle ordinate: The middle ordinate (M) is the distance from the midpoint of the curve to the midpoint of the long chord. Long chord: The long chord (LC or C) is the chord from the PC to the PT. 228 Chapter 10. There are two common definitions for degree of curve . Shahin A.58 o  2R R D 50 ft Sin( )  R 2 ( 10-1) (10-2) The sharpness of a curve is determined by the choice of the radius (R). Notice that the larger the degree of curve. whereas small radius curves are relatively sharp. as follows: Table 10-2 Chord and Arc Definitions for Horizontal Curves Chord Definition The chord definition states that the degree of a curve is the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle to the ends of a chord 100 ft long. External distance: The external distance (E) is the distance from the PI to the midpoint of the curve. This definition is used primarily for highways and streets.www.passpe. Arc Definition The arc definition states that the degree of a curve is the angle formed by two radii drawn from the center of the circle to the ends of an arc 100 ft long. 11. The extension of the middle ordinate bisects the central angle. Degree of curve: The degree of curve (D) defines the "sharpness" or "flatness" of the curve. 10. PE 8. The external distance bisects the interior angle at the PI. the "sharper" the curve and the shorter the radius D (360 o )(100 ft ) 5729.Horizontal. Mansour. Spiral and Vertical Curves . 9. large radius curves are relatively flat.

The centerline now takes the shorter distance “L” from the “BC” to the “EC”.external secant (exsec) → exsec (∆/2)= Sec (∆/2)− 1 4. Shahin A. Chapter 10. BC to A to EC ) :   L  2 R  R  ( radians )  (100 ft )   360 D (10-5) Middle Ordinate (A to B)  M  R (1  Cos    C )  Tan  E Cos 2 2 4 2 (10-6)   1  External Dist .A common mistake is to determine the station of the “EC” by adding the “T” distance to the “PI”.Horizontal.www.e   2 Cos 1 ( 1.versed sine (vers) → vers (∆/2) = 1 − Cos (∆/2) (10-7) 3. the stationing (chainage) must reflect the fact that the centerline no longer goes through the “PI”. Although the “EC” is physically a distance of “T” from the “PI”.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Spiral and Vertical Curve 229 .e.Cos  2  R E RE 2. PE 10-4 GEOMETRY OF HORIZONTAL CIRCULAR CURVES Tangent ( BC to PI OR PI to EC )  T  R Tan Long Chord (BC to B to EC )  C  2 R Sin   2 T Cos (  2) 2  2 (10-3) (10-4) Curve Length ( BC to EC Along the Curve i.passpe.Mansour. ( PI to A)  E  R   1  R ( Sec 1) 2  Cos ( 2)      T Tan  R Tan Tan 4 2 4 Notes: R R ) i.

Mansour.www.63 ft  2 4 Cos (  2) 230 Chapter 10.31ft 360 PI at –T BC = +L EC = 6 + 26.3167o = 289.3167o = 146. and external distance (E)  = 1000 tan 8.3167o – 1) = 10.57 1 + 46.passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr.39  2 + 90.29 ft  2  1  M  R (1  Cos )  C Tan = 1000( 1 – Cos 8.18 ft 2 L  2 R  (deg .70  C  2 R Sin   2 T Cos (  2) = 2 × 1000 × Sin 8. R= 1000 ft . Shahin A. length of chord (C). Middle Ordinate & External Distance Given:   16 o 38 . @ 6 + 26.6333 = 2  1000  = 290.)   R  (radians)  (100 ft )   360 D 16. Spiral and Vertical Curve .57 Solution: T  R tan Find: BC and EC stations.31 7 + 70. PI Sta. PE Sample Problem 10-1: Horizontal Curve Chord.52 ft  2 2 2 1   E  R(  1)  R Tan Tan = 1000 (Sec 8.Horizontal. middle ordinate (M).18 4 + 80.3167o) = 10.

Spiral and Vertical Curve 231 .33 00 + 94.passpe.)   R  (radians)  (100 ft )  360 D 100  11. @ 14 + 87. PE Sample Problem 10-2: Using Degree of Horizontal Curves Given:   11○ 21 35 .33 Solution: (360 o ) (100 ft ) 5729.98 ft 2 L  2 R =  (deg .33 15 + 81.6799o = 94.www.93 Tan 5.98 13 + 92.58  954.58o D  R 2 R 5729.Horizontal. Shahin A.68  Note: A common mistake is to determine the station of the EC by adding the T distance to the PI station. Find: BC and EC stations PI Sta.93 ft R D T  R Tan (10-2)  = 954.35  01 + 89. degree of curve D = 6o. Chapter 10.33 ft 6 PI at –T BC = +L EC = 14+ 87.3598 = 189.Mansour.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr.

Spiral and Vertical Curve .passpe.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr.Horizontal. α & 2α Rule 2: The angle between two chords is ½ the central angle subtended by the arc between the two chords i.e.www. the angle between the tangent “BC-PI” and the chord “PC-A” is ½ the central angle “BC-O-A” i. the angle “A-BC-B” is ½ the central angle “AO-B” i. & CHORD CALCUATIONS The deflection angle is defined as the angle between the tangent and a chord.Mansour.e. Shahin A. CENTRAL ANGLE.e. The following two rules apply for the deflection angles for circular curves: Rule 1: The deflection angle between a tangent and a chord is half the central angle subtended by the arc i. β & 2β  arc length    deflection angle     L   2   arc length    deflection angle     L  2   Chord Length ( BC to A)  2 R Sin  arc length ( BC to A)  180 0  2 R 2  arc length ( BC to A)   L (10-8) (10-9) (10-10) (10-11) (10-12) Abbreviations: BC = Beginning of curve PC = Point of curvature TC = Tangent to curve EC = End of curve PT = Point of tangency CT = Curve to tangent Figure 10. PE 10-5 DEFELCTION ANGLES.e.3 Deflection and Central Angles Realtionship 232 Chapter 10.

The grade lines (g 1 and g 2 ) intersect midway between the BVC and the EVC .passpe. 3. that is. tangent offsets are proportional to the squares of the horizontal distances.Mansour.Horizontal. BVC to PVI = ½ L = PVI to EVC. that is. Spiral and Vertical Curve 233 rx 2  g1x  2 . The difference in elevation between the BVC and a point on the g 1 grade line at a distance x units (feet or meters) is g 1 x (g 1 is expressed as a decimal). This is only true for symmetrical vertical curves. The tangent offset between the grade line and the curve is given by ax2. where x is the horizontal distance from the BVC (PVC). Shahin A. that is. 5.www. Figure 10.14 Geometric of a Parabola 2. PE 10-13 GEOMETRIC PROPERTIES OF THE PARABOLA 1. The curve lies midway between the PVI and the midpoint of the chord. The elevation of the curve at distance x from the BVC is given by: y  ax 2  bx  c (general equation for a parabola) y x  y BVC r (10-24) (10-25) g 2  g1 (10-26) L Where: x = the distance from BVC to a point on the curve r = rate of grade change per station 4. A‒B = B ‒ PVI = do which can be calculated as follows: Either: do = ½ (difference in elevation of PVI and mid-chord elevation) = ½ (elevation of BVC + elevation of EVC) OR: Chapter 10.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr.

the slope (dy dx) is equaled to zero and solving for X: g1  rX  0 (10-31) 234 Chapter 10. The slope S.www.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr. Shahin A.Mansour. From equation (10-25). for example. PE (10-27) 8 6. on curbed streets catch basins must be installed precisely at the drainage low point. Spiral and Vertical Curve . of the tangent to the curve at any point on the curve is given by the following formula: x( g1  g 2 ) S  g1  (10-28) L do = g1  g 2 L Figure 10. in percentage. The distance D in feet from Vertex to Pʹ is given as: 100(YH  YP ) D= ( g1  g 2 ) 8.The distance between the curve and the grade line (tangent) “d” is given as” (10-29) rx 2 x 2 ( g 2  g1 )  d  offset  (L curve length in feet) 2 200 L 10-14 HIGH AND LOW POINTS ON VERTICAL CURVES (10-30) The locations of the curves high and low points are important for drainage considerations.passpe.Horizontal.15 Crest and Sag Vertical Curves Terminology 7.

www.00) = 30 + 72.00 3.2) 1.  192.com Surveying for California Civil PE License © Dr.92  (1.8%. g2 = + 1.16 Low Point on a Sag Vertical Curve X  g1  g1 L g1 L   r g 2  g1 g1  g 2 (10-32) Where X is the distance from BVC to the low or high points.2)(3)     1.65 ft @ Sta 30  72. rx 2 y x  y BVC  g 1 x  2 1.  g1  g1 L g1 L  ( 3.Horizontal.00)] + (1 + 92.00 2 Chapter 10.passpe.Mansour.00) − (1+ 50.00 ft from BVC i.5)(3.92)  ( )( )  487.92 Solution: Find: Location of the low point and its elevation. g1 = ‒ 3.2) This means that the low point is located at a distance of 192.92 Sta.8  (3.2)(1.e. It should be noted that the distance X in the above two equations is different from distance x in equations 10-24 & 10-25. Spiral and Vertical Curve 235 .2)  (3. at Station = [(30 + 30.00 ft r g 2  g1 g1  g 2 ( 1.92 2  485. Shahin A. and elevation = 485. PVI at 30 + 30. PE Figure 10.2%.00 X  Remember: All distances used to located a low or a high point or used to determine an elevation of a point on a vertical curve are measured from BVC.8)  (3. Sample Problem 10-13: Low point on a vertical curve Given: L = 300 ft.

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