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Design of Highways

CE 415 Highway Engineering)


The complete detailed schemes for the road which are

incorporated in the geometric design are:
Erosion Control
Roadside Development
Example of a Road Plan
Presentation of Road Plan
The upper sheet is allocated for the plan, top view showing the
horizontal alignment, right of way taking, drain age arrangement and
other features.
The lower half is allotted to the profile where the original elevation
of the ground surface is plotted. The roadway centerline and the
vertical alignment or grade line for the road is indicated.
The vertical scale of the profile is usually exaggeratedly enlarged
from five to ten times for precise detail.
The profile and other details of the drainage, channels pr connecting
roads including ramps are also presented.
The estimated earthwork quantities for every 50 meters station or
other intervals are indicated along the bottom of each sheet along
with the estimated overhead. This will serve the engineer and the
The roadway cross section for every situation in the whole project
stretch is indicated on another sheet of the plan.
Another sheet of drawing showing all structures and roadway
appurtenances is included.
The standard size of the drawing sheet is 55 cm x 90 cm.
Partial List of Subjects Covered by the
Pipe Culverts
Standard Drawing:
Concrete Box Culvers Rip-rap and Other Devices
Guard Rail and Parapet Used for Bank Protection
Curbs Fences and Right of Way
Gutters Other Survey Markers
Curb Structures
Drainage Inlet and Outlet
Structures of Numerous
Highway Specification is Divided into Two:

Standard Specification
It applies to project implemented by
administration which treats the subject that
repeatedly occurs in the agency work.
Special Provisions
Covers peculiar item of the project in question that
include additional modification to standard
specification. This includes copies of all documents
required in securing competitive bids and contracts,
specifications are also subdivided into two:
The general clause that deals with the building
procedures and award execution and control of work
and other legal matters.
Specifying detail regarding the materials, manner of
work execution and how pay quantities are to be
Designing the
Consistency is the most important single rule in highway design. That
is, by making every element of the roadway conforms to the
expectation of every driver.
Expectation of Drivers to Highway Agencies:

Clear information and guidance through a variety if

road signs.

Avoiding abrupt changes in the traffic as well as the

road standards.
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials)
It was established in 1914 as an association of State Territorial and
District of Columbia Highway Department, and the Federal Highway
Administration. Engineering activities were implanted by the standing
committees with the task of preparing specifications manual and
standards, representing the current highway engineering practice.
AASHTO Publications Includes:
Transportation Materials Specifications and Tests
Specifications for Highway Bridges
Geometric Design Standards
Numerous Policy Statement and Guides
Design of
D e f i n i t i o n o f Te r m s
Roads andD efinition
Highways o f Te r m s
It is defined as strips of land that have been cleared and further improved for
the movement of people and goods.
It has somewhat broader application in usage while generally used to describe
a public thoroughfare. It can also refer to railways.
A higher state of development than road, but the words are almost
It is a divided arterial highway for through traffic with full or partial control or
access and generally provided with grade separation at major intersection.
Control of Access
It is a condition where the rights of owners or occupants of adjoining land or
other person access to light, air or view in connection with a highway are fully
or partially controlled by public authority.
Full Control of Access
The authority to control access is exercised to give preference to through
traffic by providing access connections to selected public roads only. Crossing
at grade or direct private driveway connections is not permitted.
Partial Control of Access
The authority to control access is exercised to give preference to through
traffic. Although in addition to access connections with selected public roads,
there may be some crossing at grade and some private driveway connections
It is an arterial highway for non-commercial traffic, with full or partial control
of access usually located within a park or ribbon park-like development.
Collector Street
It form smaller mesh grid pattern where passengers are pick up from service
streets and carried to the arterials. Large commercial enterprises or amusement
facilities like drive in theaters mostly fronting arterials roads.
Collector Street
It form smaller mesh grid pattern where passengers are pick up from service
streets and carried to the arterials. Large commercial enterprises or amusement
facilities like drive in theaters mostly fronting arterials roads.
Local Road
It is defined as street or road primarily for access to residence, business, or
other adjoining properties. It is also defined as a road constructed and
maintained by the local government.
Highway Capacity
It is defined as the maximum number of vehicles that are reasonably expected
to pass a given point over a given period of time usually expressed as vehicles
per hour.
AADT (Average Annual Daily Traffic) or ADT
It refers to traffic volume or flow on a highway as measured by the number of
vehicles passing a partial station during a given interval of time. Volume may
be stated on hourly Observed Traffic Volume or estimated 30th hour volume
commonly used for design purposes. Some highway agencies use volume for 5
minutes interval to distinguish short peak movements of vehicles.
Arterial Street
It is an arterial route that carries traffic to the nearest access point or through
traffic. It often serves as the most advantageous routes for relatively long
distance travel. Most arterial streets are existing highways of considerable
signs. It is considered as a make do substitute for controlled access facilities
when traffic volume exceeds about 20,000 vehicles per day.
Consideration in Planning Arterial Roadways:
Selection of the routes On grid design system streets,
Studies of the traffic volume arterials are spaced at about 600
Origin and destination to 900 meters apart
Accident experienced
Width should not be less than 15
Must carry at least one lane of
traffic in each direction
Should be at least one kilometer
in length
Should skirt neighborhood areas
rather than penetrate them
Design of
The Design Speed
The Design Speed
AASHTOs definition of Design Speed:
The speed determined for design and correlation of the physical feature of a highway that
influences vehicles operation. It is the maximum speed that can be maintained over a
specified section of the highway when weather and traffic conditions are so favorable that the
design features of the highway govern.
Table 2-1 Minimum Recommended Design Speed
Design Speed
URBAN km/hr RURAL km/hr

Freeway 80 95 preferred 110 95

64 95 but 48 in
Arterial 80 110
built up areas
Collectors 48 See Table 2-2

Local 32 48 See Table 2-2

Table 2-2 AASHTO Minimum Design Speed km/hr For Rural
Collectors and Local Roads Base on Current ADT

Class Terrain Average Daily Traffic

0 400 400 750 750 2000 2000 4000 Over 4000

Level 60 75 75 75 90
Rolling 45 60 60 75 75
30 45 45 60 60

0 50 50 250 250 400 Over 400

Level 45 45 60 45
Rolling 30 45 45 60
30 30 30 75
Design of
Cross Section of Typical
Cross Section of Typical
Variables being considered in Cross Section of Typical Highway
The volume of traffic
Character of the traffic
Speed of the traffic
Characteristics of motor vehicles and of the driver
Standard Width of Cross Section of Typical Highway
7.20 meters wide surface for Two Lane Rural Highway
6.00 meters wide surface for Collector Roadway (for low volume
4.80 meters wide surface for Local Rural Roadway (for 30 km/hr
design speed)
3.60 meters wide surface for Urban Roadway
Different Cross Section of Typical Highways:

Figure 2-1 Cross Section of Typical Two Lane


Figure 2-2 Multi-Lane Highways and Freeways (Half

Different Cross Section of Divided Highways:
Different Cross Section of Undivided Highways:
Design of
Road Shoulder
Road Shoulder
Road shoulders or verge is defined as that portion of the roadway
between the edge of the traffic lane and the edge of the ditch,
gutters, curb or side slope. AASHTO required that its usable
pavement width shall be strong enough to support vehicles.
It serves as a planeImportance of toRoad
for vehicles stop Shoulder
when disabled or for some
other purposes. Road shoulder considerably reduces accidents.
The road capacity is decreased and accident opportunity increases if
the shoulder is too narrow or omitted in the design.
Shoulder should be continuous along the full length of the roadway.
It also adds structural strength to the road pavement.
Shoulder increases the horizontal sight distance on curves. It reduces
accident potential when vehicle stop during emergencies.
Policy on Geometric Design Recommendation:
Outside shoulder should be paved for at least 3.0 or 3.6 m wide if
truck volume is more than 250 in the design hour (ADT).
The recommended width of left (median) shoulder is 1.2 to 2.4 m
with at least 1.2 m paved.
If there are 6 or more lanes, the median shoulder should be 3.0 m
wide or 3.6 m if truck volume in the design hour exceeds 250.
For arterials with ADT less than 400 the usable shoulder width is
fixed at 1.2 m minimum, although 2.4 m wide is much preferred.
When the design hour volume ADT exceeds 400, the usable
minimum shoulder width is 2.4 m although 3.6 m is recommended.
For Urban Arterial Road, similar shoulder without curb is suggested
unless needed for proposed drainage.
The width of median shoulder on four lanes divided arterials is fixed
at 90 cm as minimum.
For 6 or more lanes, 2.4 to 3.0 m shoulder width is recommended.
For Rural Collectors Roadway, 60cm wide graded shoulder is required
for ADTs less than 400.
For ADTs over 2,000m 2.4 m wide shoulder is recommended.
Total TravelTable 2-3
Way (m) Width ofWidth
Shoulder Roadway Roadway
for Undivided
Width Highway
Speed of Reference

14.00 3.25 20.50 100 80 60 40

12.00 3.25 18.50 60 40

7.00 2.75 12.50 100 80 60 40

7.00 2.00 11.00 80 60 40

6.70 2.75 12.20 100 80 60 40

6.70 2.00 10.70 80 60 40

6.00 2.75 11.50 80 60 40

6.00 1.50 9.00 80 60 40

Figure 2-5 Straight Alignment Shoulder Detail with Stop Lane
Figure 2-6 Straight Alignment Shoulder Detail with Stop Lane
and Guardrail
Figure 2-7 Straight Alignment Shoulder Detail with Stop Lane Used
as Cycle Path and Footpath
Figure 2-8 No Stop Lane, No Footpath, No Guardrails Shoulder
Figure 2-9 Shoulder Detail Footpath Only
Figure 2-10 Alignment in Curve Shoulder Detail
Design of
The Cross Slope
The Cross Slope
The cross slope is provided in all tangent sections of roadways. Slope
usually falls in both directions from the centerline of the two lane
highway except where super elevation of curves directs all water
towards the inside. In short, cross slope is design for rain water to
settle in the shoulder of the road towards the drainage.
Figure 2-11 Paved and Gravel Shoulder Cross Slope
Designing of
Cut or Fill Slope
Cut or Fill Slope
Earth fill of normal height is safe on a slope of 1:2 ratios. Meaning,
the first number represents the horizontal distance while the second
number is the vertical distance.
Figure 2-14 Earth Fill of Normal Height 1:2

Figure 2-15 Cuts Through Ordinary Undisturbed

Earth 1:1
Advantages of Flat Side or Back Slope
With back slope of 3:1 or even flatter, cars could be directed to back
into the road and will come to stop or continue down the slope with
no risk of overturning.
Flat fill slopes are visible from the vehicles at full extent giving the
roadway safer appearance.
With visible slope for being low and flat, vehicles could be
positioned or parked closer to the edge, and on two lane roadway
facilities parking would be farther from the opposing traffic.
Recommended Policy on Geometric Design
The 6:1 slope ratio could be adopted on embankment less than 1.2 m
high, and 4:1 ratio on a higher fill.
The 2:1 slope is allowed to heights greater than 6.0 m.
Cut slope should not be steeper than 2:1 ratio except on solid or
special kind of soil.
Figure 2-16 Rock Cut Ratio from 1:2 or 1:4
Materials Used as Retaining Wall for Side Slope
Hand placed stones
Cement rubbles masonry
Concrete blocks
Conventional reinforced
T or counter forted designs
Cribs assembled form timber
Precast concrete
Metal elements
Tied back piling
Earth reinforced with metal or
plastic bands
Design of
Highway Median
Highway Median
Highway median indicates the division between the opposing traffic
and other purposes.
Advantages of Highway Median
It is an effective means of reducing headlight glares, conflicts, and
accident between opposing streams of traffic.
It offers refuge between opposing traffic stream of cross traffic, and
pedestrian could traverse each stream at separate maneuvers.
It provides available space for left turn lanes.
It makes turning of vehicles smooth and safe operation.
Where space and cost permit, wide median is highly recommended.
For rural sections of freeway, the 18 to 27 m wide median is being
The Policy on Geometric Design state that; 3.0 to 9.0 m median
width is appropriate in suburban or mountainous situations.
Cross slope of the median should not be greater than 6:1 by
preferably 10:1.
For rural and urban arterials, 18.0 m median or wider is preferred
because it allows the use of independent profiles and at the same
time minimizes cross over accident.
Medians with 6 to 18 meters wide allow drivers to cross each roadway
separately. A 4.2 to 6.0 m median width provides protection for
turning vehicles.
Dense planting of rose hedges serves as safety crash barriers.
For rural and urban arterials, 18.0 m median or wider is preferred
because it allows the use of independent profiles and at the same
time minimizes cross over accident.
Medians with 6 to 18 meters wide allow drivers to cross each
roadway separately. A 4.2 to 6.0 m median width provides protection
for turning vehicles.
Curved median with 1.2 to 1.8 m width serves as partition
separation of opposite traffic control device.
The width of a traversable median should be wide enough to prevent
vehicles running out of control from reaching the opposite traffic.
For narrow median, there are four means of reducing
cross median accidents:
Provide deterring devices
Deterring Devices two sets of double strip painted on the existing
pavement, raised diagonal bars, low curb of and shallow ditches.
Provide non-traversable energy absorbing barriers
Non-Traversable Energy Absorbing Devices the line chain link fence 1 m
high supported by steel post augmented by cables at the bottom and midpoint.
Provide non-traversable rigid barriers
Non-Traversable Rigid Barriers they are metal guard rail.
Provide G.M. barriers
G.M. Barriers a high non-mountain sloped face concrete barriers called New
Jersey. It is cast or extruded in place or precast in section and set in position by
Figure 2-17
Median Under
Figure 2-18
Median in Current
Figure 2-19
Median on
Figure 2-20 Median Approach
Figure 2-21 Deceleration Lanes and Insertion Lanes
Figure 2-22 Mountable Curb
Design of
The Grade Line
The Grade Line
Grade line is define as the longitudinal profile of the highway as a
measure how the centerline of the highway rises and fall.
Table 2-4 Maximum Permissible Grades for Highways in %


Mount Mount Mount Mount Mount

Km/hr Flat Rolling Flat Rolling Flat Rolling Flat Rolling Flat Rolling
. . . . .

32 - - - - - - - - - 7 10 12 8 11 16

48 - - - - - - 8 9 11 7 9 10 7 10 14

64 - - - - - - 7 8 10 7 8 10 7 9 12

80 4 5 6 4 5 7 6 7 9 6 7 9 6 8 10

97 3 4 6 3 4 6 5 6 8 5 6 - 5 6 -

105 - - - 3 4 6 - - - - - - - - -

113 3 4 - 3 4 5 - - - - - - - - -
Consideration on Laying Grade Line

Where earthwork is minimal and consistently meeting sight distances

in relation to grade line, economy is one main consideration.
In mountainous areas, the grade line must be considered balanced
excavation against embankments to get the minimum overall cost.
In flat area, the grade line is set almost parallel to the ground surface
but sufficiently above the ground for drainage purposes.
Undesirable native soil should be provided with sufficient covering.
Grade line elevations along the river or stream, is governed by the
expected level of water flood.
Design of
Right of Way
R i g h t o f Wa y
Acquisition of land for the right of way is very costly. Based on
experience from the past, highway agency now consider it a good
practice to acquire right of way wide enough to sufficiently provide
for the ultimate expected development.
Table 2-5 Minimum Right of Way Widths for Rural and Urban Freeways
at Grade in Meter

Number of
Frontage Restricted Normal with Normal No.
Lanes No. Frontage
Road No. Frontage Frontage Frontage
Road Road Road

2 60 45 - - -

4 68 53 41 - -

6 75 60 51 89 53

8 83 68 59 96 60
Design of
Stopping Sight Distance
Stopping Sight Distance
It is defined as the longest distance that a driver could see the top of
an object 15 cm above the road surface where the design height of
the drivers eye above the pavement is 105 cm.
Figure 2-23 Measuring Stopping Sight Distance
Stopping Distance is Made-up of Two Elements

The distance traveled after the obstruction or object is seen and

before the driver applies the brakes.
The second distance is consumed while the driver applies brakes for
the vehicle to stop.
The distance covered could be expressed by the following formula:

d = tm / s

breaking distance:

d = [(m / s)2] / [2 g m f]
so d = [(m / s)2] / [19.6 f]
where: m / s = initial speed, in meter per second
t = detection, recognition, decision and response initial (brake
reaction time)
gm = acceleration of gravity, 9.8 m/s2
f = coefficient of friction between the tire and pavement

breaking distance (d) = (m / s)2 / [19.8 (f g)]

where: g = longitudinal slope of the roadway or % Grade/100
positive (+) if uphill
negative (-) if downhill
Table 2-6 Minimum
Reaction Sight Distance Wet Road
Stopping Sight Distance
Design Speed Coefficient of
Speed for
Km/hr Friction Rounded for
Condition Time (sec.) Distance (m) Computed (m)
Design (m)

30 30 32 2.5 22 24 0.40 31.8 35.8 3 38

45 40 50 2.5 31 33 0.35 53.4 58.8 60 60

60 55 60 2.5 40 44 0.32 80.1 94.2 82 97

75 65 75 2.5 48 55 0.30 112.8 138.3 112 142

90 80 90 2.5 57 66 0.29 150.2 190.2 157 195

100 85 95 2.5 61 71 0.29 165.0 217.2 165 217

105 90 100 2.5 64 77 0.28 183.9 252.0 187 255

110 90 110 2.5 67 83 0.28 200.1 283.0 202 285

120 95 120 2.5 71 88 0.27 222.3 324.9 225 330

Design of
Passing Sight Distance
Passing Sight Distance
It is the longest distance that a driver can see the top of an incoming
vehicle where the drivers eye level is 1.05 m above the pavement
surface. The relationship between the passing sight distance, the
algebraic difference in grades, and the length of vertical curve is
represented an equations.
Formulas for Passing Sight Distance:

L = 2S 943 / A if S is greater than L

L = 2AS / 943 if S is less than L
where: L = length required of vertical curve
S = specified sight distance
A = algebraic difference in grades expressed
in percent
For two lane:

F = [(m / s)2 Se] / 9.8 Rm

where: Rm = radius in meter
Se = super elevation (slope ratio) in rise per second
Figure 2-24 Measuring Passing Sight Distance
Table 2-7 AASHTO Minimum Passing Sight Distance
Minimum Passing Sight Distance in
for Design
Assumed Speed of Two Lane Highways

Design Speed Passed Vehicle Overtaking Vehicle

Computed Rounded
Km/hr Km/hr Km/hr

35 65 48 243 240

50 42 58 327 320

65 55 70 444 440

80 65 82 552 550

95 75 91 642 640

100 80 86 693 690

110 86 102 747 740

120 90 105 780 480

135 95 110 822 820

Table 2-8 AASHTO Recommended Maximum
Coefficient of Side Friction
Design Speed
32 48 64 80 97 113 129

Coefficient of
0.17 0.16 0.15 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.08
Design of
Circular Curve
Circular Cur ve
A vehicle in curved road is subject to centrifugal force. This force is
balanced by equal and opposite forces developed through the super
elevation and side frictions. However, neither the side friction on the
super elevation could overcome nor exceed the maximum control
design and limit on the sharpness of the curves with a prescribed
design speed. The sharpness of a curve is dependent on its radius,
and the degrees of curve are inversely proportional with the radius.
Computation for the Degree of Curve:

D = 5,729.58 / Radius

orRadius = 5,729.58 / D
where: D = degree of curve and the radius
Degree of Curve in SI = 0.328 D
Table 2-9 Degree of Curves

Degree of Curve Radius (m) Degree of Curve Radius (m)

000 3,491.75 600 291.06

100 1,746.38 1000 174.63

200 873.19 2000 87.32

The Policy on Geometric Design Recommendation regarding
Circular Curve:

For design speed of 50 km/hr, the normal cross slope is 1 21 or

even flatter curves.
For a 120 km/hr design speed road, the normal cross slope is 0
15 or flatter curves without super elevation.
Design of
I straffic
It is a defined area between l a lanes
n d for control of vehicle
movement and for pedestrian refuge. Within an intersection, median
is considered an island. This definition makes evident that an island is
no single physical type.
It may range from an area delineated by barrier curb to a pavement
area marked by paint. On at-grade intersection in which traffic is
directed into definite paths by island is termed as Channelized
Purposes of an Island:
Separation of vehicular flows
Separation of conflicts
Reduction in excessive pavement areas
Reduction of traffic and indications of proper use of intersections
Arrangement to favor a prominent turning movement
Location of traffic control devices
A process wherein the angle or route between intersecting streams of
traffic can be smooth and favorable. Drivers are commanded to
merge into moving traffic streams at flat angle and right speed being
controlled over vehicles approaching an intersection.
Figure 2-26 General
Types and Shapes of an
Design of
Types of Interchange
T yandpform
The types e s ofofreeway
f I interchange
n t e r c requires
h a nselection
g e of the
conformation that is best suited to a particular situation and demand.
The simplest and low cost form of interchange is the diamond type.
It is recommended where the freeway crosses non-freeway arterial.
The cloverleaf type interchange is recommended for freeway and
arterial intersections. Intersecting arteries are separated and free of
Functions of Freeway Interchange:
To provide separation between two or more traffic arteries.
To facilitate the easy transfer of vehicles form one entry to the other
or between local roadway and the freeway.
Disadvantages of the Cloverleaf Interchange Design:
It requires larger area of land.
At higher design speed, more time is consumed just to traverse the
longer loops.
Vehicles making left turn execute 270 right turn and travel greater
distance becoming very unpleasant and hazardous due to the sharp
curve and steep grades.
Vehicles leaving the curve loop in one quadrant weave those entering
the adjacent lop from the through roadway.
Figure 2-27 Types of Freeway Interchanges
Figure 2-28
Figure 2-29 Fully
Design of
Highway Intersection at
Specification for Highway Intersection:
For right angle intersections with little traffic, the use of street sign is
more than sufficient.
For Y intersection or other related conformation where vehicles meet
at unfavorable angles may require channelization.
The flared design will involve the following:
Widening the entering traffic lane to allow deceleration of the car and clear of
through traffic.
Widening the leaving lanes to provide acceleration and merging from the
traffic streams.
Intersection must accommodate large trucks, and the radius of all
curves must be sufficient enough to accommodate them.
Figure 2-31 Interchange at Grade
Figure 2-32 Intersection at Grade
Figure 2-32 Intersection at Grade
Design of
Freeway Entrance and Exit
Freeway Entrance and
The overall effectiveness of the individual freeway systems is
governed by the flow characteristics of vehicles, and the drivers
behavior near on and off the channel.
Figure 2-34 Design of Freeway Entrances
Table 2-12 Sampling of Minimum for Freeway On and Off the Ramps

On Ramp or Off Ramp Design Speed (km/hr)

Freeway Speed Stop 20 30 40 50

km/hr L = Length of Ramps in Meter

On Ramp

80 228 189 150 48 51

95 350 321 273 177 51

110 477 150 400 303 174

Off Ramp

80 130 115 95 68 -

95 159 147 129 102 72

110 185 170 153 129 102

Figure 2-35 Design of Freeway Exit
Design of
Railroad Highway
Railroad Highway
If the highway is to go over the railroad, the structure itself is lighter
and the highway load is much smaller than the railroad loads. With
regards to the vertical clearance height, the railroad requires a
minimum of 7.0 m as against 4.8 m clear distance above the highway.
If the highway goes under the railroad, special provision is required
for the removal of rainwater that falls within the opposing area. If
the ground water is high in the vicinity if the crossing, the roadway
must be sealed against leakage and be made heavy enough to prevent
form floating.
Design of
Bicycle Lane
Bicycle Lane
Bicycle use is now becoming popular due to energy crises and traffic
problems. It requires separate road for the rides that is entirely
separated from the vehicular traffic. The design speed is 20 to 30
km/hr for flat section. The width is 2.0 m minimum for a 2-way
travel. The grade of the lane is 5% maximum on short distances.
The End