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The Design Process of a Transportation Facility

Developing a transportation facility is a mixture of technical, legal, and political elements. Some facilities such as Airports may take more than 10 years from the inception to the completion of the facility, but a few others (eg. Bypass road) might take less than a year. Broadly the process of designing a transportation facility can be divided into planning, traffic design, location, physical design. Some of these phases need to repeat many times during the process. These steps are followed with the construction phase. Specific tasks involved in the design process are listed below. Figure 3.1 (handout) shows many steps are iterative. 1. Deciding the type of facility: what facility or facilities are needed? For example, should we go for metro, bus rapid transit system (BRTS), monorail? 2. Demand analysis: predict the traffic demand (no. of persons, number of vehicles, or amount of freight) for the facility. Steps 1 and 2 are interdependent. 3. Traffic performance analysis: After finalizing the type of facility, the anticipated traffic demand with respect various features of the facility is analyzed. This step includes finding capacities and evaluating the performance of the system. For examples, how much aircraft traffic will be handled by one run way, two runways, etc and under what level of service. 4. Size of the facility: Based on the analysis in the step 3 (Traffic performance analysis) the size of the facility is finalized. For example, deciding the number of runways, number of lanes, or number of railway tracks.

5. Location of the facility: Involves studying various alternatives and selecting the best alternative. 6. Configuration and/or orientation of the facility: deciding the direction of runways, selecting the highway interchange type 7. Physical design standards: Various design standards are available. This is a policy matter for the organization designing the system. 8. Geometric design: Developing horizontal alignment and vertical alignment 9. Design auxiliary systems: designing drainage, lighting, traffic control etc. 10. Design surface or guideway: design of pavement or design of track 11. Estimate construction cost: detailed cost estimate is necessary before the bid process begin. 12. Analyze project impacts: study environmental impacts, social impacts of the facility 13. Evaluate design: designing a facility is an iterative process and needs evaluation at various stages for different criteria such as physical feasibility; economy; and social, environmental, economic impacts.

Road Classifications in India


Different criteria for classification Based on the usage during different seasons All-weather roads: able to be used throughout the year except at major river crossings where limited interruption during monsoon is permissible Fair-weather roads: traffic may be interrupted at stream crossings during monsoon Based on the type of carriage way Paved road: hard pavement course (at least water bound macadam) Unpaved road: earth and gravel roads Based on the Location and Function 1) Primary system a. Expressways b. National highways (NH) 2) Secondary System a. State highways (SH) b. Major district roads (MRD) 3) Tertiary system or rural roads a. Other district roads (ODR) b. Village roads

Classification of Urban Roads i) ii) iii) iv) Arterial roads Sub-arterial roads Collector streets : Collects and distribute traffic from and to local streets Local Streets :

Highway Alignment
Fixing centre line of a highway proposed between two points

Requirements:
Short: o as straight as possible Easy: o Easy to construct and maintain o Easy to travel Safe: o Safe for construction and maintenance o Safe geometric features Economical: o Construction cost, maintenance cost, and vehicle operating cost should be minimum

Factors affecting highway alignment


a) Obligatory points: o Obligatory points through which the road alignment must pass. Eg. Intermediate towns, bridge site, etc o Obligatory points through which the road should not pass. Eg. Religious places, costly structures, unstable soils, lake b) Traffic demand: o The alignment should suit the traffic demand c) Geometric design: o Requirements for gradient, curve radius, sight distances, etc d) Economic consideration:

o The final alignment should be economical with respect to construction, maintenance, and vehicle operating costs e) Other consideration: o Drainage consideration o Hydrological consideration o Political factors o Monotony

Engineering surveys for highway location


a) Map study: Likely routes can be located by studying the topographical map of the area. In India the topographical maps are available with the Survey of India. b) Reconnaissance: o Field investigation of a broad stretch of land along the alignments located on the map o Very simple instruments are used o Based on the reconnaissance, the alignments marked on the map can be altered or changed completely. c) Preliminary survey o Collected all the necessary physical information of the various alternative alignments proposed after reconnaissance o Quantity of earth work for each alignment is estimated o Different alignments are compared based on various parameters o The best alignment is finalized d) Detailed survey: o Final location and detailed survey of the best alignment

Railway Alignment
Requirements
New alignment should serve the purpose for which the railway line is being planned The alignment should be economical It should be as short as possible The alignment should result in the minimum construction, maintenance, and operating costs It should provide maximum safety during and after construction The alignment should able to provide visually pleasant journey

Factors affecting Alignment


Choice of gauge: In India trains run on three different gauges: Broad gauge (1676 mm), Metre gauge (1000 mm), and Narrow gauge (762 mm). Delhi Metro uses Standard gauge (1435 mm). As per the recent policy of the Government of India, all new railway lines should be Broad gauge. However, there was a lot of debate in finalizing the gauge for Delhi Metro. The difference in opinion existed during the planning of Mumbai metro also. The choice of gauge has significant impact on the route selection. Obligatory points: The points through which the railway alignment must pass for some political, commercial, or strategic reasons. o Important cities and towns o Major bridge sites and river crossings o Existing passes and saddles in hilly terrain

o Sites for tunnels The points through which the alignment should not pass include religious and historical monuments. Topography of the region Geometric standards: requirements of geometric standards such as gradient, curve radius for the safe and comfortable journey Geological formation: The alignment should pass through a good and stable soil formation Effect of flood and climate: The alignment should pass through areas which are not likely to get flooded. Proximity to labour and material: This will reduce the construction cost Location of Railway stations and yards: these should be located on level stretches Cost: The alignment should result in minimum construction, maintenance, and operating costs Traffic demand: The alignment should able to attract maximum demand. Economic consideration: The alignment should be economically feasible. Political consideration: The alignment should not pass through foreign soil or controversial border areas.

Airport Site Selection


The following factors affect the airport site selection 1) Type of development of the surrounding area: o Airport generates noise o Should not be close to residential and school areas 2) Atmospherical and Meteorological conditions: o Presence of fog, haze, and smoke reduces visibility 3) Accessible to ground transportation: o At some existing airports often the time spent in ground transportation is more than the air time o Ground transportation to and from airport should be efficient o Should able to handle airport peak hour demand 4) Availability of land for expansion o Sufficient land should be available for the future expansion of the airport o Airport size at any time is usually depends on Type of aircrafts that will operate from the airport Passenger demand Meteorological conditions Elevation of the airport site 5) Presence of other airports and availability of airspace o Sufficient distance away from the existing airports

o Aircrafts enough airspace for maneuvering during congested period and during poor visibility 6) Surrounding Obstructions o High rise structures not allowed in the airport surrounding 7) Cost of Construction o If other conditions are satisfied, a site with the minimum construction cost is selected 8) Availability of Utilities o Water, fuel, electricity, etc should be available easily 9) Closeness to the demand served o Airport should be as close as possible to the point of demand 10) Landuse planning o A site selected should be in accordance with the land-use planning for a city or a region 11) Environmental impact assessment o Effect on air quality, noise level, ecological process, and demographic development should be minimum 12) Economic and financial feasibility o Airport should generate enough revenue to cover all costs and preferably make some profit