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Highway Engineering Lecture 1

Outline of Lectures
Highway Route Selection
Course Outline
Lecture 1 Course Outline, Introduction,
Terminology and Highway Route Selection
Lecture 2 Geometric Design (Design speed,
Sight distance, Cross section)
Lecture 3 Geometric Design (Vertical alignment,
Vertical Curves, Horizontal alignment
and Horizontal curves)
Lecture 4 Geometric Design (Intersections and Safety
Lecture 5 Pavement Materials (Soil)
Course Outline (Cont’d)
Lecture 6 Pavement Materials (Aggregates,
Bitumen, Portland Cement)
Lecture 7 Structural Design (Flexible pavement
layers, Axle loading)
Lecture 8 Structural Design (Bituminous
surfacing and Flexible pavement
Lecture 9 Structural Design (Rigid pavement
Lecture 10 Construction and Maintenance
• Purpose of Highways
Transport of people, goods and services.
• Highway Engineering
Highway engineering is a branch of civil
engineering that deals with the design,
construction and maintenance of different
types of roads.
The design of a highway comprises geometric
and structural design.
Highway as defined in the local (T&T) Highways
Act (Chapter 48:01) means any road, street, etc.
“maintainable at the public expense and
dedicated to the public use. “
Pavement - the paved (asphaltic or portland
cement concrete) section of a highway.
Carriageway - the section of a highway designed
for use by vehicular traffic. Also called the
travelled or motor way.
Terminology (Cont’d)
Dual Carriageway - a highway on which traffic
travelling in opposite directions is separated by a
central strip of turf, concrete, etc. The width of
the highway usually accommodates at least two
(2) lanes on each side of the central barrier.
Median/Central Reservation – a longitudinal
barrier used to separate opposing directions of
traffic on a divided/dual carriageway highway.
Terminology (Cont’d)
Shoulders – hard surfaces adjacent to the
carriageway, which may be either paved or
unpaved. They are intended primarily for
safety as they can accommodate stopped
vehicles and emergency use and also provide
lateral support to the carriageway.
Sidewalk – also called a footpath, adjacent to
a road or road drain, intended for use only by
pedestrian traffic.
Terminology (Cont’d)
Road Reserve – an area within which
carriageways, shoulders, footpaths, drainage,
street lighting and associated features may be
constructed for public travel.
A sufficiently wide road reserve will permit the
construction of gentle slopes which result in
greater safety for motorists and enables easier
and more economical maintenance.
Terminology (Cont’d)
Culvert – a structure (conduit) which carries water
under a road, i.e. the top of the culvert is always
beneath the carriageway.
Bridge – a structure which carries a road across a
river, etc., i.e. the top of the bridge forms part of
the carriageway.
Kerb - the edge where a raised sidewalk or
median meets a highway.
Terminology (Cont’d)
Slipper/Gutter – a longitudinal channel for
carrying off surface water that is often precast,
or cast insitu with the kerb, at the edge of a
Box Drain - A rectangular-shaped drainage
structure usually constructed of reinforced
concrete/concrete blocks. It may be covered or
have an open grate on top and is constructed
at the edge of the highway, particularly in low-
lying and flood-prone areas, to remove
Terminology (Cont’d)
Swale - a shallow drain with gently sloping sides.
Verge - a narrow strip of grass or plants/trees
located between the boundary of the road
reserve and, (depending on the type of road),
the shoulder, drain, sidewalk or edge of the road.
While economic considerations may encourage
steeper slopes for verges, flatter side slopes (no
more than 1:3) are preferred for road safety and
Highway Route Selection
Particularly for major highways requiring a large
capital investment, selecting the route between
the two points (for example Valencia to Toco)
requires careful and detailed investigation to
arrive at the most economical solution.
Sources of information :
cadastral maps - show land use and property
topographic maps - contour lines on these maps
show the different land elevations.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Sources of information (Cont’d) :
geological and soil maps – indicate the type of
subsurface and soil conditions that may be
aerial photographs – can provide the most up-
to-date information on land use, etc.
hydrological data – includes records of rainfall,
and streamflow (hydrograph) for drainage
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Sources of information (Cont’d) :
reconnaissance survey – literally walking one or
more possible routes to gather physical
information about the areas under investigation.
local knowledge – valuable information on
flooding, proposed construction and other
features of the proposed routes can be obtained
from residents and others familiar with the
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Guidelines for selecting the route :
• as direct as possible.
• away from highly developed expensive
• along the edges of properties rather than
through the middle to minimise interference
and land acquisition costs.
• avoid destruction or removal of cemeteries,
places of worship and culture, schools and
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Guidelines for selecting the route ( Cont’d):
• higher ground rather than valley areas to
reduce drainage concerns.
• avoid locations where (expensive) rock
excavation is required.
• avoid wetlands and other environmentally
sensitive areas
• close to sources of pavement materials
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Guidelines for selecting the route ( Cont’d):
• as far as possible on the route of an existing
highway to reduce costs.
• avoid locations prone to landslides which will
result in increased costs with the requirement
for retaining walls.
• avoid locations with poor soils which require
more expensive pavement construction.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Guidelines for selecting the route ( Cont’d):
• avoid locations with extensive planned or
existing public utilities which would need to be
removed or relocated.
• avoid locations at right angles to the (major)
natural drainage channels to reduce drainage
In practice the selected route is the best
compromise solution.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Site Survey
One (or more) of the feasible routes is surveyed
to collect all the physical information that can
affect the highway, such as the slope of the
ground, position and invert levels of the natural
drainage, utilities, houses and other property.
Both aerial and ground surveys are used,
separately or in combination.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Site Survey (Cont’d)
While an aerial survey is usually more expensive
to carry out than a ground survey, it is most
advantageous for major highway projects.
The ability to survey large areas of land, without
physically encroaching on private property, can
significantly reduce the time and cost of
locating the most suitable route, as compared
to using ground surveys alone.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Site Survey (Cont’d)
Aerial photographs minimise what can be
obstructive field work which can also lead to
land speculation. By using this method, local
residents would not be unduly upset and land
values are not affected.
The result of the survey along the proposed
centreline of the road is the horizontal
alignment, existing ground slopes/grades and
cross sections.
The preferred location would be the one that
minimises the cost of earthworks.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Site Survey (Cont’d)
This is the case when the quantities resulting
from excavation (cut) match the quantities
required for embankment construction (fill),
avoiding the need for haulage and imported
material This is an integral part of the
highway route selection and design.
Subsurface Exploration
Information obtained from subsurface
exploration include the type, location and
extent of soil and rock to be encountered on
the proposed route.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Subsurface Exploration (Cont’d)
Also included are the depth of the water table
and bedrock as well as local sources of fill
Prior to starting the field work, data such as
geological maps should be reviewed for
information about the subsurface conditions
likely to be met.
Reconnaissance surveys would also have provided
some indication of the soil types, depth of the
water table, etc.
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Subsurface Exploration (Cont’d)
The field work for this phase of the investigation
comprises examination of the subsurface by
means such as test pits, where soil is excavated
and examined
Other methods include geophysical methods like
electrical resistivity, where measurements are
made at the surface with specially developed
Highway Route Selection (Cont’d)
Subsurface Exploration (Cont’d)
Depending on the location and physical features
present, more than one method may be
appropriate for a given project.
Whichever method of investigation is used, the
sampling, testing and interpretation of the results
require the engagement of experienced personnel
with the requisite specialized skills.