# GEOMETRIC DESIGN CIVL 3161

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1 GEOMETRIC DESIGN CIVL 3161 Reading Assignment: p (4 th ed.) p (previous ed.) in Mannering textbook. Geometric design of highway facilities deals with the proportion of physical elements of highways, such as vertical and horizontal curves, lane widths, clearances, cross-section dimensions, etc. Physical dimensions of geometric design elements are determined by: Characteristics of driver Characteristics of vehicle Characteristics of road AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials publishes A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. Factors Influencing Highway Design: Functional classification of highway being designed - Principal arterials - Minor arterials - Collectors - Local roads Expected traffic volume and vehicle mix - Volume: design for 30 th highest hourly volume - Vehicle mix: proportion of passenger cars, heavy vehicles Design speed Topography of area in which highway will be located LOS to be provided Available funds Safety Social and environmental factors We will discuss the design of both vertical and horizontal features of a roadway.

2 Design of Vertical Curves A parabolic curve is the most common type used to connect two vertical tangents. y = roadway elevation at distance x from the PVC x = distance from the PVC c = elevation of PVC b = G1 a = *horizontal distances typically expressed in station format. Two types of vertical curves: Crest Sag Definitions: PVI = Point of vertical intersection of tangent lines PVC = Point of vertical curvature PVT = Point of vertical tangency L = Length of curve G 1 = initial roadway grade in percent G 2 = final roadway grade in percent A = absolute value of difference in grades

3 Vertical Curve Offsets Offset vertical distance from initial tangent to the curve. Relationships: where Y = vertical offset at any distance x from the PVC x = distance from PVC K where K = horizontal distance required to achieve a 1% change in the slope of the vertical curve. where x hl = distance from the PVC to the high or low point of the curve

4 Example: Crest Vertical Curve (3.2 in textbook) A 500 ft long equal tangent crest vertical curve connects tangents that intersect at station and elevation 1322 ft. The initial grade is +4.0% and the final grade is -2.5%. Determine the elevation and stationing of the high point, PVC, and PVT.

5 Example: Sag Vertical Curve (3.1 in textbook) A 1600 ft long sag vertical curve (equal tangent) has a PVC at station and elevation 1500 ft. The initial grade is -3.5% and the final grade is +6.5%. Determine the elevation and stationing of the low point, PVI, and PVT.

7 Equations from FE Review Manual:

8

9 Example: SSD for Crest Vertical Curve (3.7 in textbook) A 1200 ft. equal tangent crest vertical curve is currently designed for 50 mi/hr. A civil engineering student contends that 60 mph is safe in a van because of the higher driver s eye height. If all other design inputs are standard, what must the driver s eye height in the van be for the student s claim to be valid?

10 Example: SSD for Sag Vertical Curve (3.5 in textbook) An equal tangent sag vertical curve is designed with the PVC at station and elevation 950 ft, the PVI at station and elevation ft, and the low point at station ft. Determine the design speed of the curve.

11 Horizontal Curves Reading Assignment: pg Four types of horizontal curves: Simple - curve with single constant radius. Compound two or more curves in succession, turning in the same direction.

12 Reverse two simple curves with equal radii turning in opposite directions with a common tangent. Spiral also called transition curves; placed between tangents and circular curves or between two adjacent circular curves having substantially different radii.

13 Horizontal Curve Formulas Degree of Curve (D) angle subtended by 100 ft arc along horizontal curve. Measure of sharpness of curve.

14 Figure 3.13 from your Mannering text.

15 Example: A horizontal curve is designed with a 1500 ft radius. The curve has a tangent length of 500 ft and the PI is at station ft. Determine the stationing of the PT.

16 Superelevation of Horizontal Curves The purpose of superelevation or banking of curves is to counteract the centripetal acceleration produced as a vehicle rounds a curve. Superelevation is the inclination of the roadway toward the center of the curve. (Figure 3.12 from your Mannering text) (Equation from Mannering) (FE Manual equation) ***In this equation, V is in mph!!

17 The location of a highway (rural or urban), the weather conditions, and the distribution of slow-moving traffic are all factors controlling the maximum value for the rate of superelevation. In general, for highways located in rural areas with no snow or ice, a maximum e of 0.10 is used. In areas with snow or ice, e ranges from For urban highways, a maximum e of 0.08 is used. Example: Two rural highway tangents in Colorado intersecting at an angle of 20 degrees are to be connected by a circular horizontal curve. For a design speed of 70 mph, find: a.) radius b.) length of curve c.) external distance d.) length of tangent

18 Example: A horizontal curve on a single-lane highway has its PC at station and its PI at station The curve has a superelevation of 0.06 ft/ft and is designed for 70 mph. What is the station of the PT?

19 Stopping Sight Distance in Horizontal Curve Design It is necessary to consider provision of safe stopping sight distance in the design of horizontal curves, as well. If a vehicle is traveling along a horizontal curve, and an object is located on the inside edge of a roadway, it may obstruct a driver s view, resulting in reduced sight distance. Thus, minimum radii or curve lengths for highways with horizontal curves are determined based on required stopping sight distance. Figure 3.14 Mannering text. From FE manual: *R in this equation is the same as R v in your textbook. M is the same as M s.

20 Example: A horizontal curve on a single-lane freeway ramp is 400 ft long, and the design speed of the ramp is 45 mph. If the superelevation is 10% how much distance must be cleared from the center of the lane to provide adequate stopping sight distance?

21 Example: A freeway exit ramp has a single lane and consists entirely of a horizontal curve with a central angle of 90 degrees and a length of 628 ft. If the distance cleared from the centerline for sight distance is 19.4 ft, what design speed was used?

22 Example: A section of highway has vertical and horizontal curves with the same design speed. A vertical curve on this highway connects a +1% and a +3% grade and is 420 ft long. If a horizontal curve on this highway is on a two-lane section with 12-ft lanes, has a central angle of 37 degrees, and has a superelevation of 6%, what is the length of the horizontal curve?

23 Spiral Transitions to Horizontal Curves: Transition curves- used between tangents and circular curves or between two circular curves that have significantly different radii. To calculate the minimum length of spiral curve necessary: Where: Ls = length of spiral (ft) V = design speed (mph) R = curve radius (ft) C = rate of increase of lateral acceleration (ft/s 3 ) *design value = 1 ft/s 3 Example: Given a horizontal curve with a 1360 ft radius, estimate the minimum length of spiral necessary for a smooth transition from tangent alignment to the circular curve. The design speed is 65 mph.

24 Superelevation of Railway Curves: Railways should be designed such that equilibrium exists during travel (both wheels bear equally on the rails). The equilibrium elevation can be calculated using the following equation: Where V = speed (mph) R = radius of curve (ft.) Relationship between Degree of Curve and Radius(chord definition): Equilibrium elevations based on varying speeds have been calculated by the American Railway Engineering Association (AREA), and are presented in the table below.

25 Example: Determine the equilibrium elevation, in inches, for a 1º 45 railroad curve given a design speed of 60 mph. Spiral Transitions for Railroads: AREA recommends the use of spiral curves on all mainline tracks between curves in the case of compound curves, and between tangent and curve for all other circular curves. To calculate the minimum length of spiral for rail systems:

26 Where: Ls = length of spiral (ft.) E = equilibrium elevation of outer rail (in.) V = speed (mph) D = degree of curve )(*chord definition) *for curves less than 4º, can assume 100 ft. chord = 100 ft. arc. Example: It is the policy of a certain urban railroad to use a 7-in. maximum elevation of the outer rail. Given a 75 mph maximum speed and a 2.5º of curve, determine the superelevation that should be used and the minimum length of spiral.

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