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Roadway Design: Introduction

Roadway Design consists of many steps, beginning with route selection and ending with highway construction. These steps include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Route selection
  • Surveys and preparation of maps
  • Determining design controls and criteria
  • Calculating horizontal and vertical curve parameters (addressed in the Geometric Design chapter)
  • Selecting appropriate cross-section elements and their parameters (lane and shoulder widths, slopes, etc.)
  • Drawing roadway profiles and cross sections
  • Developing traffic signal plans (addressed in the Signal Timing Design chapter)
  • Specifying earthwork quantities (excavation and/or fill requirements)

This chapter addresses all of the elements listed above. There are three additional elements of roadway design not discussed in this chapter that are equally important:

  • Evaluating potential environmental impacts
  • Determining pavement characteristics
  • Preparing preliminary, intermediate and final cost estimates

As you can see, Roadway Design can be a long and complicated process. This chapter is designed to help the undergraduate engineering student understand the major aspects of this complex topic.

To begin exploring Roadway Design, click on one of the links to the left.