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Course Contents:
• Introduction to Transportation Engineering;
• Design controls and criteria;
• Elements of design;
• Fundamentals of traffic engineering;
• Airport plan and layout;
• Aircraft data related to airport classification and design;
• Design standards.
• Fundamentals of Transportation Engineering – Robert G. Hennes & Martin Ekse
• Transportation Engineering (Planning and Design) – R. J. Paquette, N. Ashford & P. H.
• FM! !ig"#ay Manual Part I – Design
• !ig"#ay Engineering – Paul H. Wright
• Policies on $eometric Design of %ural !ig"#ays & AA'!T(
Definition of transportation
Definition of Transportation Engineering
)lassification of transportation engineering namely Transportation Planning and Transportation
Transportation medium includes +and, Air and ater.
Transportation means includes -e"icles, Trains, '"ips, Pipelines, .elt )on*eyors and Aircrafts.
Transportation systems pro*ide t"e means of mo*ing from one location to anot"er.
Transportation planning consists of t"ose acti*ities t"at collect information on t"e
performance of t"e e/isting transportation system; forecast future performance le*els gi*en
e/pected c"anges to 0ey factors suc" as land use, price of fuel, and gro#t" in employment; and
identify solutions to e/pected pro1lems in system performance.
Bs!" E#e$ents o% Trns&ortt!on P#nn!n'
Transportation planning is a process t"at consists of #ell&defined tas0s t"at must 1e
accomplis"ed 1efore t"e final set of information is presented to t"ose #"o must decide #"ic"
course of action is 1est for a region or community. Fig. 2 1elo# presents a planning frame#or0 t"at
s"o#s 1asic tas0s as #ell as t"eir interrelations"ip.
(!') * – Bs!" e#e$ents o% trns&ortt!on &#nn!n'
As s"o#n in t"e Fig. 2 a1o*e, transportation planning is primarily a process of producing
information t"at can 1e used 1y decision ma0ers to 1etter understand t"e conse3uences of different
Monitor 'ystem
De*elop and Analy4e
Identify Deficiencies
and (pportunities
$oals and
and +and 6se
Implement Plan
courses of action. T"e tas0s t"at are part of identifying and assessing t"ese conse3uences include
t"e follo#ing7
In+entor, o% ("!#!t!es
Transportation engineers and planners must 0no# #"at t"e transportation net#or0 consists
of and t"e condition and performance of t"ese facilities. In a state or ur1an area, muc" of t"e
transportation in*estment is aimed at upgrading t"e p"ysical ondition of a facility (e.g., repa*ing a
road or 1uilding a ne# 1ridge) or impro*ing its !erfor"ane (e.g., 1uilding a ne# road to ser*e
e/isting demand).
Transportation agencies are e/pected to "a*e a *ery e/tensi*e in*entory of road system in
t"eir 5urisdiction including num1er of lanes, type of pa*ement, t"e last time t"e pa*ement #as
replaced, t"e capacity of t"e road, accident record, etc. Transit agencies are also e/pected to "a*e
an in*entory of t"e different assets t"at constitute a transit system (e.g., 1uses, stations, s"elters, rail
cars, etc.).
Co##e"t n- .!nt!n So"!oe"ono$!" n- Ln- Use Dt
+and use maps and ot"er sources can 1e used to collect information suc" as t"e num1er of
trips to sc"ools, s"opping centers, residential units, office comple/es, etc #"ic" can t"en 1e used in
transportation planning. 'pecial sur*eys and census can 1e used to collect data on different
socioeconomic c"aracteristics of residents li*ing in a community. 'uc" socioeconomic data include
le*el of income, num1er of mem1ers in t"e "ouse"old, num1er of autos in t"e "ouse"old, num1er of
c"ildren, age of "ead of "ouse"old, and "ig"est le*el of education ac"ie*ed.
De%!ne Go#s n- Ob/e"t!+es
Goals are generali4ed statements t"at indicate t"e desired ultimate ac"ie*ement of a
transportation plan. E/amples of goals statements mig"t 1e, 8T"e transportation system s"ould
meet t"e mo1ility needs of t"e population9 or 8T"e transportation system s"ould pro*ide en"anced
economic de*elopment opportunities9
(15ecti*es are more specific statements t"at indicate t"e means 1y #"ic" t"ese goals #ill 1e
ac"ie*ed. For e/ample, t"e goal of meeting t"e mo1ility needs of t"e population could "a*e t"e
follo#ing o15ecti*es associated #it" it7 8Pro*ide transit ser*ice to ma5or mar0ets in t"e region,9
8%educe congestion on ma5or "ig"#ays,9 and 8Promote 1icycle and pedestrian transportation.9
$oals and o15ecti*es define t"e e*aluation criteria t"at #ill 1e used later in t"e planning
process to assess t"e relati*e impacts of alternati*e pro5ects and strategies. T"ey also pro*ide an
important lin0age to t"e desires and *alues of t"e pu1lic t"at t"e transportation plan is ser*ing.
I-ent!%, S,ste$ De%!"!en"!es or O&&ortun!t!es
Transportation planning identifies and prioriti4es t"ose elements of t"e transportation system
#"ere pro1lems e/ist today or #"ere pro1lems #ill e/ist in t"e future gi*en gro#t" in tra*el.
Additionally, transportation planning can also identify areas #"ere significant pro1lems do not e/ist
today, 1ut #"ere c"anges to t"e system can pro*ide opportunities for en"anced efficiency of
De+e#o& n- An#,0e A#ternt!+es
(nce t"e planning process "as identified areas #"ere impro*ements are needed,
transportation planners define different strategies t"at could sol*e t"e pro1lem. In t"e past, t"ese
strategies "a*e focused on impro*ements to "ig"#ays, suc" as adding ne# lanes, impro*ing traffic
control t"roug" signals or signing, or impro*ing traffic flo# t"roug" c"anneli4ation.
!o#e*er, ot"er modern strategies t"at can 1e used to sol*e t"e transportation pro1lem
include reducing t"e demand for transportation t"roug" fle/i1le #or0ing "ours, and application of
ad*anced transportation tec"nologies to t"e operation of a road system, 0no#n as intelligent
trans!ortation s#ste"s. 'uc" systems mig"t include net#or0 sur*eillance t"roug" *ideo cameras,
centrali4ed control centers t"at can re&route traffic around incidents, and dynamic traffic control
de*ices t"at pro*ide coordinated traffic signal timings to ma/imi4e t"e amount of traffic t"at can
flo# t"roug" a set of intersections.
E+#ute A#ternt!+es
E*aluation 1rings toget"er all t"e information gat"ered on indi*idual alternati*es and
pro*ides a frame#or0 to compare t"e relati*e #ort" of t"e alternati*es. In addition, e*aluation
includes met"ods for comparing in an analytical #ay t"e relati*e *alue of t"e alternati*es. (ne of
t"e most used approac"es is t"e 1enefit:cost ratio, #"ic" compares t"e alternati*es on t"e 1asis of
discounted 1enefits and costs.
T"e earliest forms of roads ("ig"#ays) consisted mainly of "ard trac0s cleared of *egetation
and compacted 1y "uman and animal traffic. T"ese #ere later #idened 1ecause of "ea*ier traffic
and gra*els and 1ro0en co11lestones #ere poured onto t"e trac0s to ta0e *e"icular traffic. E*en
t"ese types of roads #ere found to 1e non&satisfactory in performance to e*er increasing traffic
In t"e face of modern de*elopment t"erefore, t"e need for more resistant "ig"#ay 1roug"t
a1out t"e idea of all&#eat"er roads. T"ese roads not only facilitate mo*ement 1ut also pro*ide more
resistant and dura1le trac0s for comforta1le ride.
In ;igeria today, unpa*ed roads (eart" and gra*els) are mainly in t"e rural areas and farm
settlements #"ile pa*ed roads (fle/i1le and rigid) are mainly in ur1an areas and 1et#een to#ns and
)lassification of %oads
%oads are classified into t"ree groups in ;igeria7
2. Trun0 A roads
T"ese are federally maintained roads and usually lin0 t"e state capitals to t"e central
<. Trun0 . roads
T"ese are maintained 1y indi*idual state go*ernments and include all t"e roads lin0ing t"e
to#ns #it"in t"e state to t"e state "ead3uarters.
=. +ocal roads
T"ese are roads under t"e care of t"e local go*ernment aut"orities.
T"e "ig"#ay types as defined in !ig"#ay Manual include t"e follo#ing7
• Arterial High$a# – a general term denoting a "ig"#ay primarily for t"roug" traffic,
usually on a continuous route.
• E%!ress$a# – A di*ided arterial "ig"#ay for t"roug" traffic #it" full or partial control of
• &ree$a# – An e/press#ay #it" full control of access and all grade crossings eliminated.
• Ma'or (treet or Ma'or High$a# – An arterial "ig"#ay #it" intersections at grade and
direct access to a1utting property, and on #"ic" geometric design and traffic control
measures are sued to e/pedite t"e safe mo*ement of t"roug" traffic.
• )hrough (treet or )hrough High$a# – E*ery "ig"#ay or portion t"ereof at t"e entrance
to #"ic" *e"icular traffic from intersecting "ig"#ays is re3uired 1y la# to stop 1efore
entering or crossing t"e same #"en stop signs are erected.
• *oal (treet or *oal Road – A street or road primarily for access to residence, 1usiness
or ot"er a1utting property.
• +i,ided High$a# – A "ig"#ay #it" separated road#ays for traffic in opposite directions.
• )oll Road, -ridge, or )unnel – A "ig"#ay, 1ridge, or tunnel open to traffic only upon
payment of a direct toll or fee.
• .ul/+e/(a (treet – A local street open at one end only, and #it" special pro*isions for
turning around.
• +ead/End (treet – A local street open at one end only, #it"out special pro*isions for
turning around.
Pr!n"!&#es o% 1!'45, Lo"t!on
'ome detailed guiding principles s"ould 1e 0ept in mind in selecting t"e location for a
"ig"#ay. T"e follo#ing outline is not in any particular order nor complete. In addition, some of
t"e elements tend to contradict one anot"er; in practice, t"e location is selected #"ic" represents t"e
1est compromise solution.
2. For t"e "ig"#ay to ser*e its function of allo#ing con*enient, continuous, free&flo#ing
traffic operation, it s"ould 1e located #"ere it can 1est meet t"e ma5or traffic desire lines
and 1e as direct as possi1le.
<. >eep grades and cur*ature to t"e minimum necessary to satisfy t"e ser*ice re3uirements
of t"e "ig"#ay.
=. A*oid sudden c"anges in sig"t distance, especially near 5unctions.
?. A*oid "a*ing a s"arp "ori4ontal cur*e on or ad5acent to a pronounced *ertical cur*e.
@. In ur1an areas, site t"e "ig"#ay t"roug" unde*eloped or 1lig"ted areas, along t"e edges
of large par0lands, and in general, a#ay from "ig"ly&de*eloped, e/pensi*e land areas.
A. In ur1an areas, locate t"e "ig"#ay as closed as possi1le to t"e principal par0ing
B. In rural areas, locate as muc" as possi1le of t"e ne# "ig"#ay on e/isting ones, so as to
minimi4e t"e use of farmland and reduce total initial and maintenance costs.
C. +ocate along t"e edges of properties rat"er t"an t"roug" t"e middle, so as to cause t"e
minimum interference to culti*ation and a*oid t"e need for su1#ay construction.
D. A*oid t"e destruction or remo*al of man&made culture.
2E. >eep t"e "ig"#ay a#ay from cemeteries, places of #ors"ip, "ospitals, sc"ools and
22. T"e effect of t"e proposed "ig"#ay on e/isting ro future utilities a1o*e, on or under t"e
ground s"ould 1e considered. It may 1e suc" as to #arrant c"anges in order to a*oid
e/pensi*e relocation of t"ese utilities.
2<. ;e*er "a*e t#o roads intersecting near a 1end or at t"e top or 1ottom of a "ill.
2=. In t"e case of a motor#ay, t"e need for an interc"ange #it" anot"er road may dictate an
alignment t"at #ill intersect t"e ot"er "ig"#ay at a place, at an angle and in terrain t"at
#ill 1est permit t"e interc"ange to 1e constructed.
2?. A*oid intersections at&grade #it" rail#ay lines. If possi1le "a*e t"e "ig"#ay pass o*er
t"e rail#ay #"ere it goes into a cutting.
2@. 'ee0 fa*oura1le sites for ri*er crossing. Prefera1ly t"ese s"ould 1e at rig"t angles to t"e
stream center line.
2A. Do not "a*e a 1ridge located on or ad5acent to a "ig"#ay cur*e.
2B. A*oid t"e need for deep cuttings and e/pensi*e tunnel construction.
2C. A*oid locations #"ere roc0 is close to t"e surface, as t"is #ill usually re3uire at least
some e/pensi*e e/ca*ation.
2D. In "illy terrain, 1e a#are of t"e possi1ilities of landslides.
<E. To minimi4e drainage pro1lems, select a location on "ig" ground in contrast to one in a
<2. A*oid 1ogs, mars"es and ot"er lo#&lying lands su15ect to flooding.
<<. +ocate t"e "ig"#ay on soil, #"ic" #ill re3uire t"e least pa*ement t"ic0ness a1o*e it.
<=. +ocate t"e "ig"#ay ad5acent to sources of pa*ement materials.
<?. "en t"e needs of all ot"er factors "a*e 1een satisfied, t"e 1est location is t"e one,
#"ic" results in t"e minimum total cost of eart"#or0s. T"is means t"at t"e minimum
3uantities of e/ca*ation s"ould 1e so 1alanced #it" t"e 3uantities of em1an0ment as to
re3uire a minimum of "aulage #it" little need for o*er"aul.
<@. In "illy terrain, t"e "ig"#ay s"ould cross ridges at t"eir lo#est points.
<A. A*oid t"e unnecessary and e/pensi*e destruction of #ooded areas.
<B. A*oid placing t"e "ig"#ay at rig"t angles to t"e natural drainage c"annels.
<C. To relie*e t"e monotony of dri*ing on a long straig"t road, it is an ad*antage to site it so
as to gi*e a *ie# of some prominent feature a"ead.
!a*ing t"ese guiding principles, t"e "ig"#ay engineer #ill t"en em1ar0 on route location,
#"ic" includes %econnaissance 'ur*ey, Preliminary 'ur*ey and Final 'ur*ey.
1!'45, Sur+e,s n- Lo"t!on
In t"e relocation or reconstruction of e/isting "ig"#ays and t"e esta1lis"ment of ne# ones,
"ig"#ay sur*eys are re3uired for t"e de*elopment of pro5ect plans and t"e estimation of costs.
!ig"#ay sur*eys usually in*ol*e measuring and computing "ori4ontal and *ertical angles, *ertical
"eig"ts (ele*ations), and "ori4ontal distances. T"e sur*eys can also 1e used to prepare 1ase maps
#it" contour lines and longitudinal cross sections, as re3uired.
!ig"#ay sur*eying tec"ni3ues "a*e 1een re*olutioni4ed during t"e past decade due to t"e
rapid de*elopment of electronic e3uipment and computers. T"ese tec"ni3ues can 1e grouped into
t"ree general categories7
a. )on*entional and traditional ground sur*ey met"ods
1. Digital ground sur*ey met"ods
c. %emote sensing tec"ni3ues.
T"e performance of good sur*eys re3uires #ell&trained engineers #"o "a*e an
understanding of t"e planning, design, and economic aspects of "ig"#ay location and #"o are
sensiti*e to t"e social and en*ironmental impacts of "ig"#ay de*elopment.
T"e tas0s in*ol*ed in t"e "ig"#ay location include7
(i) Des0 studies
(ii) %econnaissance sur*ey
(iii) Preliminary sur*ey
(i*) Final location sur*ey
6!7 Desk Stu-!es
A des0 study includes t"e preliminary steps of e*aluation of all a*aila1le data procured in
t"e form of maps, aerial p"otograp"s, mosaic, or c"arts and may re3uire t"e application of a large
*ariety of engineering, en*ironmental, social, and economic 0no#ledge. T"e type and amount of
data collected during t"is initial p"ase #ill *ary #it" t"e functional classification of t"e road and t"e
nature and si4e of t"e pro5ect.
T"e categories of desira1le data are as follo#s7
2. Engineering data
i) Topograp"ic and geological maps
ii) 'tream and drainage 1asin maps
iii) )limatic records
i*) Preliminary sur*ey maps of pre*ious pro5ects
*) Traffic sur*eys and capacity studies
<. En*ironmental data
i) Agricultural soil sur*eys indicating soil erodi1ility
ii) ater 3uality studies
iii) Air pollution studies
i*) ;oise and noise attenuation studies
*) Fis" and #ildlife in*entories
*i) !istorical studies
=. 'ocial data
i) Demograp"ic and land&use information
ii) )ensus data, etc.
?. Economic data
i) (*erall costs of pre*ious pro5ects
ii) 6nit construction cost data
iii) Agricultural, industrial and commercial acti*ities and trends
i*) Property *alues.
"en all t"e a*aila1le data "a*e 1een assem1led, a detailed analysis s"ould re*eal
information pertinent to t"e proposed pro5ect. For e/ample, analysis of t"e a*aila1le information
may allo# t"e engineer to determine t"e ad*isa1ility of selecting an entirely ne# location or
impro*ing t"e e/isting one.
After an e/"austi*e study of topograp"ic maps, drainage maps, soil maps, and ot"er data is
made in t"e office, a series of proposed locations may 1e selected for a field in*estigation.
6!!7 Re"onn!ssn"e Sur+e,
T"e reconnaissance sur*ey consists of a field in*estigation t"at usually pro*ides a means of
*erification of conditions as determined from t"e preliminary des0 study. For e/ample, 1uilding
sym1ols on maps do not indicate t"e true *alues of property under consideration, and t"is
information can usually 1e secured 1y field in*estigation. A study is made of t"e profiles and
grades of all alternati*e routes and cost estimates made for grading, surfacing, structures, and rig"t&
of&#ay. A comparison of alternati*e routes in t"is fas"ion #ill aid t"e final selection of t"e most
li0ely location.
6!!!7 Pre#!$!nr, Sur+e,
A preliminary sur*ey is made to gat"er information a1out all t"e p"ysical factors t"at affect
t"e tentati*ely accepted route. In general, a regular sur*ey party carries out t"e #or0. T"e ra# data
is normally ac3uired using some of t"e con*entional sur*eying e3uipment including7
a) Tapes, T"eodolite and le*el
1) T"eodolite and Electromagnetic Distance Measurement
c) )om1ined T"eodolite and EDM system
d) Total 'tation
Field s"eets or field 1oo0s are re3uired to record all o1ser*ations 1y "and. Data loggers are
a*aila1le for automatic recording of o1ser*ations #"en Total 'tation is used.
A primary tra*erse or 1aseline is esta1lis"ed as an open tra*erse consisting of tangent
distances and deflection angles follo#ing appro/imately t"e line recommended in t"e
reconnaissance report. Traditionally, con*entional ground sur*eys are carried out 1y t"e use of
T"eodolite to measure angles in 1ot" *ertical and "ori4ontal planes, t"e +e*elling instrument for
measuring c"anges in ele*ations ("eig"ts), and t"e tape for measuring "ori4ontal distances.
!o#e*er, #it" de*elopments in electronics, EDM mounted on T"eodolite or total station can no#
1e used more effecti*ely for most sur*eying pro5ects.
"en t"e preliminary line "as 1een esta1lis"ed, t"e topograp"ic features are recorded. T"e
e/tent to t"e rig"t and left of t"e tra*erse line to #"ic" t"e topograp"y s"ould 1e determined #ill
*ary 1ut s"ould not 1e less t"an t"e proposed #idt" of rig"t&of&#ay.
6sing t"e preliminary sur*ey as a 1asis, a preliminary sur*ey map is dra#n. T"e
preliminary map s"ould s"o# all tangents #it" t"eir 1earings and distances, all deflection angles,
ties to property corners, etc. )ertain topograp"ic features suc" as streams, #atercourses, la0es,
"ills, and ra*ines, and man&made features suc" as 1uildings, drainage structures, po#er lines, and
ot"er pu1lic facilities are s"o#n on t"e map.
6!+7 (!n# Lo"t!on Sur+e,
T"e final location sur*ey is t"e detailed layout of t"e selected route, during #"ic" time t"e
final "ori4ontal and *ertical alignments are determined and t"e final positions of structures and
drainage c"annels are also determined. T"e final location sur*ey ser*es t"e dual purpose of
permanently esta1lis"ing t"e centerline and collecting t"e information necessary for t"e preparation
of plans for construction. T"e line to 1e esta1lis"ed s"ould follo# as closely as is practical, t"e line
dra#n on t"e preliminary map, conforming to t"e ma5or and minor control points and t"e alignment
t"at #as pre*iously determined.
T"e first step in t"e final location sur*ey re3uires t"e esta1lis"ment of t"e centerline, #"ic"
is used as a sur*ey reference line, upon #"ic" property descriptions are 1ased for t"e purpose of
purc"asing rig"t&of&#ay. +e*el #or0 is of t"e utmost importance, 1ecause t"e grade line,
eart"#or0, and drainage are designed from t"e le*el notes. Finally, cross&sections le*els are ta0en
at inter*als ranging from 2 to @m in t"e trans*erse direction and longitudinally at regular inter*al of
<@m stations and at any intermediate points #it" a1rupt slope c"anges.
T"e essential design features of a road#ay or rail#ay are its location and its cross&section.
In t"e "ori4ontal plane, t"e locations of points are referenced to a coordinate system in #"ic" t"e
positi*e #&a/is is nort" and t"e positi*e %&a/is is east. Positions along t"e #&a/is are called latitudes
and t"ose along t"e %&a/is are called longitudes (departures).
)ustomarily, points along t"e route are identified 1y c"ainages (stations), t"e distance in
metres from some reference point, commonly t"e 1eginning point for t"e pro5ect. T"e location of
points in t"e *ertical plane (or along t"e 0&a/is) is gi*en as t"e ele*ation a1o*e mean sea le*el.
T"e cross section of a road#ay is descri1ed 1y its dimensions at a rig"t angle to t"e direction
of t"e alignment, including #idt"s, clearances, slopes, and so on.
A "ig"#ay route sur*ey is initially laid out as a series of straig"t lines (tangents). (nce t"e
centerline location alignment "as 1een confirmed, t"e tangents are 5oined 1y circular cur*es t"at
allo# for smoot" *e"icle operation at t"e speeds for #"ic" t"e "ig"#ay #as designed.
(!'ure * – C!r"u#r "ur+e ter$!no#o',
Figure 2 illustrates "o# t#o tangents are 5oined 1y a circular cur*e and s"o#s some related
circular cur*e terminology. T"e point at #"ic" t"e alignment c"anges from straig"t to circular is
0no#n as t"e .) (1eginning of cur*e). T"e .) is located distance T (su1tangent) from t"e PI
(point of tangent intersection). T"e lengt" of circular cur*e (+) is dependent on t"e central angle
and t"e *alue of % (radius).
T"e point at #"ic" t"e alignment c"anges from circular 1ac0 to tangent is 0no#n as t"e E)
(end of cur*e). 'ince t"e cur*e is symmetrical a1out t"e PI, t"e E) is also located distance T from
t"e PI. From geometry, t"e radius of a circle is perpendicular to t"e tangent at t"e point of tangency.
T"erefore, t"e radius is perpendicular to t"e 1ac0 tangent at t"e .) and t"e for#ard tangent at t"e
T"e terms .) and E) are also referred to 1y some agencies as P) (point of cur*e or
cur*ature) and PT (point of tangency), and 1y ot"ers as T) (tangent to cur*e) and )T (cur*e to
Most cur*e pro1lems are calculated from field measurements (∆ and t"e c"ainage of PI) and
from design parameters (%). $i*en % (#"ic" is dependent on t"e design speed) and ∆, all ot"er
cur*e components can 1e computed.
Analysis of Figure < #ill s"o# t"at t"e cur*e deflection angle (PI, .), E)) is

and t"at
t"e central angle at E is e3ual to ∆, t"e tangent deflection.
T"e line (E – PI), 5oining t"e center of t"e cur*e to t"e PI, effecti*ely 1isects all related lines
and angles. For t"e follo#ing deri*ation of e3uations, refer to Figure <.
Tn'ent: In triangle .), (, PI,
F tan

T : R tn

C4or-: In triangle .), (, .,
. < : 2
F sin

C : ;R s!n

(!'ure ; – Geo$etr, o% t4e "!r"#e
F cos

1- 2 R cos

.ut 1- 2 R 3 M
R / M 2 R cos

M = R

¸ ∆

cos 2
Extern#: In triangle .), (, PI, ( to PI F % G E
F cos

E : R
( )



< : cos
: R


(!'ure 3 – Re#t!ons4!& bet5een t4e -e'ree o% "ur+e 6D7 n- t4e "!r"#e
From Figure =,
π <


· R * π
#"ere ∆ is e/pressed in degrees and decimals of a degree.
From Figure =,
D n- R:
π <
@C . @B<D
π <
@C . @B<D
#"ere D (degree of cur*e) is defined as t"e central angle su1tended 1y 2EEft of arc.
(a) $eneral
T"e longitudinal profile of t"e proposed "ig"#ay is first dra#n as a series of intersecting
gradients. T"e straig"ts su1se3uently form tangents to *ertical cur*es, #"ic" are fitted to t"em.
T"e geometric proportions encountered in most cases point to t"e fact t"at t"e simple
para1ola is t"e most con*enient to use.
T"e *ertical alignment affects7
a. T"e construction cost of t"e pro5ect.
1. T"e operating cost of *e"icles using t"e road.
T"e *ertical alignment must "a*e good correlation #it" t"e "ori4ontal alignment and ensure
good sig"t distances o*er crests. )are must 1e ta0en to a*oid7
i. *ery s"ort sag *ertical cur*es
ii. s"arp drop immediately after a long up&grade
iii. s"ort grade 1et#een crest and sag cur*es
i*. com1ination of t#o *ertical cur*es in t"e same direction – t"ey must 1e replaced 1y
a single *ertical cur*e.
Gr-es n- Gr-e Contro#
T"e *ertical alignment of t"e road#ay and its effect on t"e safe and economical operation of
t"e *e"icle constitutes one of t"e most important features of "ig"#ay and rail#ay design. T"e
*ertical alignment, #"ic" consists of a series of straig"t lines connected 1y *ertical para1olic or
circular cur*es, is 0no#n as t"e grade line. "en t"e grade line is increasing from t"e "ori4ontal, it
is 0no#n as a plus grade, and #"en it is decreasing from t"e "ori4ontal it is 0no#n as a minus
Estb#!s4$ent o% +ert!"# #!'n$ent
2. An ideal situation is one in #"ic" t"e cut is 1alanced against t"e fill #it"out a great deal
of 1orro# or an e/cess of cut to 1e #asted.
<. All "auls s"ould 1e do#n"ill if possi1le, and not too long.
=. Ideal grades s"ould "a*e long distances 1et#een points of intersection, #it" long *ertical
cur*es 1et#een grade tangents to pro*ide smoot" riding 3ualities and good *isi1ility.
?. T"e grade s"ould follo# t"e general terrain and rise and fall in t"e direction of t"e
e/isting drainage.
@. In roc0 cuts and in flat, s#ampy areas, it is necessary to maintain "ig"er grades.
A. T"e presence of grade separations and 1ridge structures also control grades.
B. )"ange of grade from plus to minus (summit cur*es) s"ould 1e placed in cuts, and
c"anges from a minus grade to a plus grade (sag cur*es) s"ould 1e placed in fills.
C. 6r1an pro5ects #ill usually re3uire a more detailed study of grade controls and a fine
ad5ustment of ele*ations t"an do rural pro5ects.
D. In ur1an pro5ects, it is 1est to ad5ust t"e grade to meet e/isting conditions 1ecause of
additional e/pense #"en doing ot"er#ise.
2E. $rades are normally dependent on design speed and topograp"y.
-ertical cur*es are used in "ig"#ay and street *ertical alignment to pro*ide a gradual
c"ange 1et#een t#o ad5acent grade lines.
(!'ure < – 8ert!"# "ur+e ter$!no#o', 6&ro%!#e +!e5 s4o5n7)
From Figure ?,
g2 F slope (in percent) of t"e lo#er c"ainage grade line,
g< F slope (in percent) of t"e "ig"er c"ainage grade line,
.-) F 1eginning of t"e *ertical cur*e,
E-) F end of t"e *ertical cur*e,
+ F lengt" of *ertical cur*e. T"is is same as t"e pro5ection of t"e cur*e onto a
"ori4ontal surface and as suc" corresponds to plan distance.
A F alge1raic c"ange in slope direction i.e. A F g< – g2
T"ere are t#o types of *ertical cur*es *i47 'ummit or 'ag *ertical cur*e (see Figure @). T"e
para1olic cur*e is used almost e/clusi*ely in connecting grade tangents 1ecause (2) it "as a constant
rate of c"ange of slope, and (<) ease of computation of *ertical offsets, #"ic" permits easily,
computed cur*e ele*ations.
(i) T"e rate of c"ange of slope of a simple para1ola is constant, i.e.
4 d
(ii) T"e offset (y) from t"e grade (see Figure @) is proportional to t"e s3uare of
distance from tangent point, i.e.,
A% # · (#"ere A F constant) (D)
Integrating e3uation (C),
- k%
+ ·
(#"ere . is constant) (2E)
From Figure A, it #ill 1e noted t"at7
#"en / F E,
, H
g - · ,
#"en / F +,
, and / F + in e3uation (2E)
(!'ure = – Su$$!t 6Crest7 n- S' 8ert!"# Cur+es
2 <
g k* g + · ,
g g
) (
2 <

E3uation (2E) 1ecomes7
)H (
2 <
g %
g g


, (22)
Integrating e3uation (22),
. % g
g g
4 + +

2 <
)H (
/ F E #"en y F E, ) F E
From Figure A,
4 #
· H
E3uation (2<) 1ecomes7
4 # %
g g

¸ +

)H (
2 <
4 #
g g
4 + +

)H (
2 <
A% %
g g
<EE < 2EE
) (
< <
2 <

#"ere A F alge1raic difference 1et#een t"e t#o grades measured in percent.
T"e *ertical offset (y) from t"e grade at any point (%5 from t"e tangent point is gi*en 1y
· (2=)
Co$&utt!on o% t4e 1!'4 or Lo5 Po!nt on 8ert!"# Cur+e
T"e "ig"est point on t"e *ertical cur*e does not lie *ertically 1elo# or a1o*e t"e point of
intersection, e/cept in t"e case #"ere t"e t#o grades are e3ual. T"e "ig"est point occurs #"en
t"e gradient is 4ero.
T"is means t"at e3uation (22) may 1e e3uated to 4ero, i.e.,
)H (
2 <
g %
g g


)H (
2 <
g %
g g
− ·


* g

· (2?)
T"us, t"e "ig"est point occurs at a point (%) gi*en 1y e3uation (2?).
'u1stituting e3uation (2?) into e3uation (2=) to determine t"e *ertical offset (y) at t"e
"ig"est point gi*es7
* g
* g

¸ −
* g
· (2@)
N)B) & T"e a1o*e formulas apply only for t"e symmetrical cur*e, i.e., one in #"ic" t"e tangents
are of e3ual lengt". T"e une3ual tangent or unsymmetrical *ertical cur*e is a compound
para1olic cur*e. Its use generally is #arranted only #"ere a symmetrical cur*e cannot meet
imposed alignment conditions.
T"e geometric design of a road is t"e arrangement of t"e *isi1le elements of a road, suc" as
alignment, grades, sig"t distances, #idt"s, slopes, etc. T"ese elements are influenced 1y t"e
follo#ing design controls and criteria7
i) Functional classification of t"e road#ay 1eing designed.
ii) Design speed.
iii) Topograp"y.
i*) )ost and a*aila1le funds.
*) !uman sensory capacities of dri*ers, 1i0ers and pedestrians.
*i) 'i4e and performance c"aracteristics of t"e *e"icles t"at #ill use t"e facility.
*ii) 'afety considerations.
*iii) 'ocial and en*ironmental concerns.
!o#e*er, t"e principal design criteria for "ig"#ays for #"ic" t"ere are design standards and
procedures are7
a) Traffic *olume
1) Design speed
c) -e"icle )"aracteristics
d) !ig"#ay )apacity.
2. Traffic -olume
T"e num1er of *e"icles passing a particular section of t"e road per unit time at a specified
time is called traffic *olume. T"is study can 1e carried out separately for *e"icles and pedestrians
or com1ined.
T"e purposes of traffic *olume study can 1e listed as follo#s7
a. It esta1lis"es t"e importance of any road and t"us "elp in deciding t"e relati*e
priority for impro*ement and e/pansion.
1. T"e data are used for planning, designing and regulation p"ase of traffic engineering.
c. It "elps in t"e design of road pa*ements, 1ridges and cul*erts.
d. It "elps in t"e design of ne# routes and ne# facilities.
e. It "elps analyse traffic pattern and trend.
T"e general unit for reporting traffic using a particular facility is t"e 8a*erage daily traffic9
(ADT). ;umerically, t"e ADT is t"e total annual *olume of traffic di*ided 1y t"e num1er of days in
t"e year. T"e ADT is readily o1taina1le #"ere continuous counts of traffic are a*aila1le. ADT
*olumes are useful in economic study of t"e "ig"#ay and also in t"e design of t"e structural
elements of t"e road.
)ounting of traffic may 1e done mec"anically or manually. P"oto electric cells, magnetic
detectors, radar detectors and impulse actuated recorders are some of t"e mec"anical or automatic
count de*ices.
Traffic Pro5ection Factor
;ormal increase in traffic *olume for long term can 1e e/pected to 1e a1out @ per cent
compounded. Traffic pro5ection factor gi*es t"e ultimate *olume at t"e end of design period.
According to t"e !ig"#ay Manual of t"e FMI!, 8t"e Design !ourly -olume (D!-)
s"ould 1e representati*e of t"e future year c"osen for design. It s"ould 1e predicted on current
traffic allo#ing for normal traffic gro#t", generated traffic or di*erted traffic and de*elopment
traffic. A period of <E years s"all 1e used generally as t"e 1asis for design; 1ut t"is period s"all 1e
reduced to 2E years #"ere stage construction is in*ol*ed9.
a. ;ormal Traffic7 & ;ormal traffic gro#t" is t"e increase in traffic *olume due to
increase in num1er of transport *e"icles.
c. $enerated Traffic7 & T"is is t"e traffic created due to e/tra facility pro*ided.
d. De*elopment Traffic7 & It is t"e traffic #"ic" is due to impro*ements carried out in
ad5acent area.
e. )urrent Traffic7 & It is t"at traffic #"ic" #ould immediately use a ne# road or an
impro*ed one #"en opened to traffic.
T"e formula used for analyses as de*eloped in t"e 6nited >ingdom is7
A F ( )
2 r P +
A F ;um1er of *e"icles per day for design
P F ;um1er of *e"icles per day at last census
r F Annual rate of increase in traffic and may 1e ta0en as E.E@ (i.e. E.@H)
n F ;um1er of years 1et#een last census and year of consideration for #idening.
<. Design 'peed
T"e design speed is t"e speed selected for t"e purpose of correlating t"ose features of t"e
"ig"#ays suc" as cur*ature, super&ele*ation and *isi1ility distances for safe operation of *e"icles.
T"e design speed is t"e "ig"est continuous speed at #"ic" indi*idual *e"icles can tra*el
#it" safety upon t"e "ig"#ay, #"en #eat"er conditions are fa*oura1le, traffic density is lo#, and
t"e design features of t"e "ig"#ay are t"e go*erning factors of safety.
T"e design speed is t"erefore dependent upon7
(ii) T"e terrain of t"e proposed route.
(iii) Type and *olume of traffic anticipated.
(i*) Type of "ig"#ay.
(*) En*ironmental conditions.
%ecommended *alues are gi*en in Ta1le 2 1elo#7&
Ta1le 2 – DE'I$; 'PEED
J!ig"#ay Design Manual, 2DB=K
Type of
!ig"#ay Terrain
Design 'peed (0m:"r)
LMinimum Desira1le
+imited Access All Terrain DA 22<
L;ot recommended
=. -e"icle )"aracteristics
-e"icle c"aracteristic dimensions are of great importance in t"e design of par0ing facilities.
In suc" cases, #"ere t"e economy permits, consideration s"ould 1e gi*en to t"e possi1ility of
ma0ing pro*ision for one or t#o doors open.
T"e layout of roads, especially 5unctions, must 1e related to t"e *e"icles using t"em. !ence,
*e"icle si4es are essential in geometric design, especially for s"arp radius turns. (n t"e ot"er "and,
t"e si4e, #eig"t and features of legally permitted *e"icles go*ern t"e standards to 1e set for lane
#idt", *ertical clearance, pa*ement t"ic0ness and 1ridge loadings.
Four (?) design *e"icles "a*e 1een adopted to represent t"e main *e"icle types in use (6.'.
practice). T"e design *e"icles are7
P F Passenger cars
'6 F 'ingle unit or 1uses
. ?E F Medium 'emi&trailer com1ination
. @E F +arge 'emi&trailer com1ination
Typical dimensions of *arious design *e"icles are gi*en in Ta1le < 1elo#7
Ta1le < – DE'I$; -E!I)+E
J!ig"#ay Design Manual, FM!K
Design -e"icle
Dimensions (metres)
Type 'ym1ol "eel .ase (*erall
(*erall idt" !eig"t
Passenger )ar P =.?
'ingle 6nit
Truc0 (.uses)
'6 A.2
'mall semi&
.?E 2<.<
+arge semi&
.@E 2@.<
;ote7 Figures in 1rac0ets are in feet.
eig"ts (tons)
AA'!T( Ma/imum
'ingle a/le & 2E 2<
Tandem a/les & 2A <E
Ma/. $ross eig"t & ?= AD
?. !ig"#ay )apacity
T"e 8!ig"#ay )apacity Manual9 defines t"e practical capacity (or design capacity) as t"e
num1er of *e"icles t"at can pass o*er a gi*en section of t"e road#ay during one "our under
specified traffic conditions and operating at a le*el of ser*ice.
T"e le*el of ser*ice depends on7
(i) Pro1a1ility of traffic interruptions
(ii) Desired speed of operation
(iii) +ocation and type of "ig"#ay facility.
(i*) )ost of *e"icle operation.
(*) .uilding, operating, and maintenance of t"e "ig"#ay.
As s"o#n in Ta1le =(a) 1elo#, t"e manual recommends ma/imum practical capacities as follo#s7&
(i) T#o lane road & DEE pcu:"r
(ii) T"ree lane road & 2@EE pcu:"r
(iii) Multi&lane road & 2EEE pcu:"r
L pcu F passenger car unit
Ta1le =(a) – DE'I$; )APA)ITM F(% -A%I(6' TMPE' (F %6%A+ %(AD'
(T#o&ay Total) J.ritis" 'tandardsK
Passenger )ar 6nit per "our (p.c.u.:"r)
Type of %oad %oads in %ural Areas !ig"#ay )apacity Manual
T#o&+ane )arriage #ay DEE DEE
T"ree&+ane )arriage #ay 2@EE 2@EE
Dual T#o&+ane )arriage #ay ==EE 2EEE per lane in t"e
direction of "ea*ier flo#
Dual T"ree&+ane )arriage #ay @EEE
Ta1le =(1) – DE'I$; )APA)ITM F(% 6%.A; %(AD'
J.ritis" 'tandardsK
Type of %oad )apacity (p.c.u.:"r) %emar0s
Four&lane ur1an motor#ay
(#it" grade separation)
=EEE )apacity for one direction
of flo#
'i/&lane ur1an motor#ay
(#it" grade separation)
?@EE )apacity for one direction
of flo# (!ig"est distri1utor)
T#o&lane all purpose road #it"
unlimited access
2@EE )apacity for 1ot" direction
of flo#
T"ree&lane all purpose road
#it" limited access
<<EE )apacity for 1ot"
Four&lane all purpose road #it"
limited access
<?EE )apacity for 1ot"
T#o&lane all purpose road #it"
capacity restrictions
AEE & B@E T#o #ay capacity #aiting
*e"icles and 5unctions
6nder ideal conditions, geometric design standards s"ould ensure t"at *e"icles are mutually
*isi1le #it"in eyesig"t distance of eac" ot"er. !ig"#ay designs must ensure t"at t"e dri*er "as
ample distance of clear *ision a"ead so t"at "e can a*oid "itting une/pected o1stacles and can pass
slo#er *e"icles safely. %ecommended sig"t distances are gi*en 1elo# in Ta1les 2 and < 1elo#.
2) 'T(PPI;$ 'I$!T DI'TA;)E (!ori4ontal Alignment)
'ig"t distance at e*ery point on t"e "ig"#ay s"ould 1e as long as possi1le 1ut ne*er less
t"an t"e minimum stopping sig"t distance.
T"e safe stopping sig"t distance is t"e minimum distance re3uired for stopping a *e"icle
tra*eling #it" or near t"e design speed 1efore reac"ing a stationary o15ect or *e"icle on t"e
"ig"#ay. T"e safe stopping (or non&passing) sig"t distance can 1e considered as t"e sum of t#o
components *i47
(a) Perception & %eaction Distance
T"is is t"e distance co*ered #it"in t"e period t"e stationary *e"icle:o15ect is sig"ted and
actual 1ra0ing operation starts. T"e elements, #"ic" ma0e up t"e reaction time, depend upon many
modifying factors and indi*idual dri*ing a1ilities.
AA'!T( recommends P&% time of <.@ seconds for %ural %oads and 2.@ seconds for 6r1an
%oads. T"erefore, for a rural road, t"e distance co*ered during P&% time of <.@ seconds is d2 #"ere
d2 F *t (2)
#"ere * F speed in (metre:sec)
t F perception&reaction time (seconds)
d2 F distance co*ered (metres)
If in e/pression (2), t"e speed is e/pressed in 0m:"r, t"en
d2 F
@ . <


?? . 2
ii) .ra0ing distance
T"is is t"e distance, d<, co*ered during t"e actual 1ra0ing operation. T"is is estimated 1y
utili4ing t"e principle t"at t"e c"ange in 0inetic energy is e3ual to force multiplied 1y distance.
d< F 1ra0ing distance (metres)
* F dri*ing speed (metres:sec)
f F coefficient of friction 1et#een tyres and road surface
g F acceleration due to gra*ity F D.C2m:sec
If t"e speed is e/pressed in - 0m:"r,

< . <@?
T"erefore, safe stopping (non&passing) sig"t distance
D F d2 G d<
?? . 2
< . <@?
"en t"e *e"icle is on a slope 3H, t"e 1ra0ing distance is modified to
) ( < . <@?
q f
6p#ard grades carry positi*e signs as against negati*e signs for do#n#ard grades. T"is means t"at
up#ard 1ra0ing distances are s"orter t"an t"ose for do#n#ard grades.
'topping (non&passing) sig"t distance o*er crests is t"e longest distance a dri*er #"ose eye
is 2.2?=m (=.B@ft) a1o*e t"e pa*ement can see t"e top of an o15ect E.2@m (o.@Eft) "ig" on t"e road.
'ee Figure 2 for appro*ed AA'!T( met"od of measuring stopping sig"t distance o*er crests.
6nder t"e condition #"ere t"e difference in grade is small, ease of riding and appearance may
demand longer cur*es t"an *alue allo#ed for sig"t distance.
Ta1le 2 – DE'I%A.+E 'T(PPI;$ 'I$!T DI'TA;)E'
LJAA'!T( %ecommended 'ig"t DistancesK
P&% DI'TA;)E .%A>I;$ DI'TA;)E 'T(PPI;$ 'I$!T
DI'TA;)E (metres)
)oeff. of
friction (et
(on le*el
for Design
L ;ote7 used mainly for "ori4ontal sig"t distance
(<) PA''I;$ 'I$!T DI'TA;)E
In t"e design of t"e "ori4ontal alignment of t#o:t"ree lane carriage#ays, pro*ision s"ould
1e made for ade3uate passing sig"t distance in order t"at faster *e"icles may o*erta0e slo#er&
mo*ing *e"icles #it"out any fear of "ead&on collision.
T"e safe passing sig"t distance is t"e distance re3uired to allo# safe o*erta0ing at or near
t"e design speed in t"e face of an on&coming *e"icle.
Ta1le <(a)7 'I$!T DI'TA;)E – %6%A+ %(AD' (.ritis" Practice)
Design 'peed
'topping 'ig"t Distance (*erta0ing
'ig"t Distance
'topping 'ig"t
809 *alue for
809 *alue for
Dual T#o
+ane 2<E
2E@ B@ && =EE
T"ree +ane 2EE @E @E ?@E <2E
T#o +ane CE <E =E =AE 2?E
Ta1le <(1)7 'I$!T DI'TA;)E – 6%.A; %(AD' (.ritis" Practice)
Design 'peed
Minimum (*erta0ing
'ig"t Distance (m)
Minimum 'topping
Distance (m)
CE =AE 2?E
@E <<@ BE
=E 2=@ =E
Ta1le <(c)7 'I$!T DI'TA;)E' – (metres)
'T(PPI;$ PA''I;$
6> A6'T%A+IA 6'A 6> A6'T%A+IA 6'A
CE 2?E 2<E 2EB =AE ?@E @?D
2EE <2E 2BE 2?@ ?@E B@E A?E
2<E =EE <@E 2C= && && &&
Ta1le <(d)7 !ig"#ay Manual Design (Federal %epu1lic of ;igeria)
Design 'peed
Passing 'ig"t Distance
?C <??
A? =DA
CE @2C
22< BE2