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FACULTY OF ENGINEERING

Department of Civil and Building Engineering

YEAR III, SEMESTER II


LECTURE NOTES FOR

Prepared by
Okello Francis Eugene

February 2008

Course Structure
Second Year; Semester II
Core Course:

Yes

Lecture Hours [L]:

45

Contact Hours [CH]:

60

Practical Hours [P]:

30

Credit Units [CU]:

Class Hours

Day

Monday:

Evening

1400 1700 hrs

1700 2000 hrs

Course Assessment
Course Work:

40% [Assignments 15%, Tests 25%]

Final Examination:

60%

Normal Progress
Grade Point [GP]

2.0 [50%]

Course Outline

Introduction: History and Development

Urban Roads;

of roads;

Single and Double Carriageways;

Planning and Layout of Roads;

Junctions;

Route Surveys;

Intersections;

Selection of Routes;

Roundabouts;

Site Investigation;

Road Furniture;

Soil Survey;

A Case Study of Uganda;

Types of Roads: Low Cost Roads,

Maintenance of Roads.

Granite Sets, Flexible & Rigid roads;

Soils Technology for Roads;

Field Exercise:

Soil Stabilisation;

Planning of one Layout of Length of a

Construction Techniques;

New Road Using Available Contoured

Drainage;

Maps

Street Lighting;

Highways;

Rural roads;

CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA


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Table of Contents
Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... ii
List of Tables ............................................................................................................................ vii
List of Figures ......................................................................................................................... viii
Symbols and Abbreviations ...................................................................................................... ix
1.0

History and Development of Roads ............................................................................... 1

1.0

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1

1.1

Definitions of some common terms ............................................................................... 1

1.2

Early Age Road Development........................................................................................ 1

1.3

Middle Age Road Development ..................................................................................... 2

1.4

19th Century Roads ......................................................................................................... 3

1.5

Roads in the World Today ............................................................................................. 4

1.5.1 References ...................................................................................................................... 6


2.0

Planning and Layout of Roads ....................................................................................... 7

2.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 7

2.2

Goals and Objectives ...................................................................................................... 7

2.3

The Project Cycle ........................................................................................................... 7

2.3.1 Components of the Project Cycle ................................................................................... 7


2.3.2 Problem Identification .................................................................................................... 8
2.3.3 Pre-feasibility ................................................................................................................. 8
2.3.4 Feasibility ....................................................................................................................... 9
2.3.5 Design............................................................................................................................. 9
2.3.6 Commitment and negotiation ......................................................................................... 9
2.3.7 Implementation............................................................................................................... 9
2.3.8 Operation ........................................................................................................................ 9
2.3.9 Monitoring and Evaluation........................................................................................... 11
2.4

Overview of Road Appraisal in Developing Countries ............................................... 11

2.4.1 Define Objectives ......................................................................................................... 11


2.4.2 Determining alternative ways of meeting Objectives .................................................. 12
2.4.3 Preliminary considerations ........................................................................................... 12
2.4.4 Assess Traffic Demand ................................................................................................ 13
2.4.5 Design and Cost different Options ............................................................................... 13
2.4.6 Determine Benefits of each Alternative ....................................................................... 13
2.4.7 Economic Analysis and comparison of alternatives .................................................... 13
2.4.8 Recommendations ........................................................................................................ 14
2.5

A Typical Road Project Appraisal Process in Uganda ................................................. 14

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ii

2.6

Economic Evaluation of Highway Projects ................................................................. 16

2.6.1 Role of Economic Evaluation ...................................................................................... 16


2.6.2 Some Basic Principles .................................................................................................. 16
2.6.3 Time Value for Money ................................................................................................. 17
2.6.4 Costs and Benefits ........................................................................................................ 17
2.6.5 Evaluation Techniques ................................................................................................. 20
2.6.6 Comparison of the Various Methods of Economic Evaluation.................................... 21
2.6.7 Selection of the Discount Rate ..................................................................................... 22
2.7

Selection of Routes....................................................................................................... 23

2.7.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 23


2.7.2 Overview of the Location Process ............................................................................... 23
2.7.3 Location Surveys in Non-Built-Up Areas .................................................................... 23
2.7.4 References .................................................................................................................... 25
3.0

The Road User and the Vehicle.................................................................................... 27

3.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 27

3.2

Human Factors Governing Road User Behaviour........................................................ 27

3.2.1 Human Body as a complex System .............................................................................. 27


3.2.2 Vision ........................................................................................................................... 27
3.2.3 Hearing ......................................................................................................................... 27
3.2.4 Perception, Intellection, Emotion and Volition............................................................ 27
3.3

Pedestrian Characteristics ............................................................................................ 28

3.3.1 Speed ............................................................................................................................ 28


3.3.2 Space Occupied by Pedestrians .................................................................................... 28
3.4

Vehicle Characteristics ................................................................................................. 28

3.5

References .................................................................................................................... 28

4.0

Geometric Design of Highways ................................................................................... 29

4.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 29

4.2

Highway Design Standards in Uganda......................................................................... 29

4.3

Division of Roads into Functional Class ...................................................................... 30

4.4

Design Controls and Criteria ........................................................................................ 30

4.4.1 General ......................................................................................................................... 30


4.4.2 Topography .................................................................................................................. 30
4.4.3 Traffic ........................................................................................................................... 31
a)

Importance of traffic data in Geometric Design............................................................... 31

b) Design Hour Volume (DHV) ........................................................................................... 31


c)

Directional Distribution of Traffic ................................................................................... 32

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iii

d) Traffic Composition ......................................................................................................... 32


e)

Future Traffic Estimates ................................................................................................... 32

4.4.4 Design Vehicle Dimensions ......................................................................................... 33


a)

Design Vehicles................................................................................................................ 33

b) Dimensions of Design Vehicles ....................................................................................... 33


c)

Selection of the Design Vehicle ....................................................................................... 33

4.4.5 Design Speed ................................................................................................................ 34


a)

Speed as a Design Factor ................................................................................................. 34

b) Design Speed .................................................................................................................... 34


4.4.6 Control of Access ......................................................................................................... 34
4.5

Sight Distance .............................................................................................................. 35

4.5.1 General ......................................................................................................................... 35


4.5.2 Stopping Sight distance, SSD....................................................................................... 35
4.5.3 Full Overtaking Sight Distance, FOSD ........................................................................ 37
4.5.4 Sight Distance for Multi-Lane Roads........................................................................... 39
4.5.5 Set-back Distance at Obstructions of Horizontal Curves ............................................. 39
4.6

Horizontal Alignment ................................................................................................... 42

4.6.1 Basic Formula for Movement of Vehicles on Curves .................................................. 42


4.6.2 Value of the Coefficient of Lateral Friction, ............................................................ 44
4.6.3 Maximum super-elevation Value, emax ........................................................................ 44
4.6.4 Super-elevation Rates ................................................................................................... 44
4.6.5 Radii of curves for which no super-elevation is required ............................................ 45
4.6.6 Method of Attainment of Super-elevation ................................................................... 45
4.6.7 Transition Curves ......................................................................................................... 47
4.6.8 Curve Widening ........................................................................................................... 49
4.6.9 General Controls for Horizontal Alignment................................................................. 51
4.7

Vertical Alignment ....................................................................................................... 52

4.7.1 Major Requirements of Vertical Curves ...................................................................... 52


4.7.2 Gradients ...................................................................................................................... 53
4.7.3 Climbing Lanes ............................................................................................................ 53
4.7.4 Cross falls ..................................................................................................................... 54
4.7.5 Vertical Curves ............................................................................................................. 54
4.7.6 Vertical Crest Curve Design and Sight Distance Requirements .................................. 57
4.7.7 Vertical Sag Curve Design and Sight Distance Requirements .................................... 58
4.7.8 General Controls for Vertical Curve Alignment .......................................................... 60
4.8

Cross-Sectional Elements ............................................................................................. 64

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iv

4.8.1 General ......................................................................................................................... 64


4.8.2 Road Reserve................................................................................................................ 64
4.8.3 Carriageway Width ...................................................................................................... 64
4.8.4 Central Reservation (Median) Strip ............................................................................. 65
4.8.5 Shoulders ...................................................................................................................... 65
4.8.6 Laybys and bus bays .................................................................................................... 65
4.8.7 Kerbs ............................................................................................................................ 66
4.8.8 Camber ......................................................................................................................... 66
4.8.9 Side slope ..................................................................................................................... 66
4.9

Intersection Design and Capacity ................................................................................. 66

4.9.1 General ......................................................................................................................... 66


4.9.2 At-grade and Grade Separated Junctions ..................................................................... 67
4.9.3 Basic Forms of At-grade Intersections ......................................................................... 67
4.9.4 Overview of the Design Process .................................................................................. 68
4.9.5 At-grade Intersection Types (from a design perspective) ............................................ 68
4.9.6 Capacity of a T-Junction .............................................................................................. 75
4.9.7 Design Reference Flow (DRF) ..................................................................................... 77
4.9.8 Delay ............................................................................................................................ 77
4.9.9 Rotary Intersections (Roundabouts) ............................................................................. 79
4.10

References .................................................................................................................... 84

5.0

Design of Flexible Pavements ...................................................................................... 85

5.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 85

5.2

Types of Pavements ..................................................................................................... 85

5.2.1 Flexible Pavements ...................................................................................................... 85


5.2.2 Rigid Pavements ........................................................................................................... 85
5.3

Elements of a Flexible Pavement and their significance.............................................. 86

5.3.1 Surfacing ...................................................................................................................... 86


5.3.2 Roadbase ...................................................................................................................... 86
5.3.3 Subbase......................................................................................................................... 86
5.3.4 Capping Layer (Selected or Improved Subgrade) ........................................................ 87
5.3.5 Subgrade ....................................................................................................................... 87
5.4

The Pavement Design Process ..................................................................................... 87

5.4.1 Traffic Assessment ....................................................................................................... 87


5.4.2 Subgrade Assessment ................................................................................................... 88
5.4.3 Material Selection ........................................................................................................ 88
5.5

Approaches to Design .................................................................................................. 88

CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA


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5.6

Highway Design Standards .......................................................................................... 89

5.6.1 Uganda Road Design Manual ...................................................................................... 90


5.6.2 Kenya Road Design Manual ........................................................................................ 90
5.6.3 TRL Road Note 31 ....................................................................................................... 90
5.7

The AASHTO Approach to Pavement Design ............................................................ 90

5.7.1 The AASHTO Design Equation ................................................................................... 90


5.7.2 Regional Adjustment .................................................................................................... 91
5.7.3 Design Tables ............................................................................................................... 91
5.7.4 Steps involved in the AASHTO method of Design ..................................................... 93
5.8

References .................................................................................................................... 97

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vi

List of Tables
Table 1.1: International Comparison of Road Statistics ............................................................ 4
Table 1.2: Car Ownership Rates (Cars per 1000 persons) ......................................................... 5
Table 2.1: Computation of NPV, B/C Ratio and IRR .............................................................. 22
Table 4.1: Terrain Classification .............................................................................................. 31
Table 4.2: Conversion Factor of Vehicle into Passenger Car .................................................. 32
Table 4.3: Dimensions of Design Vehicles .............................................................................. 33
Table 4.4: Level of Access Control .......................................................................................... 35
Table 4.5: Stopping Sight Distance on Level Ground for Wet Pavement Condition .............. 36
Table 4.6: Coefficient of Lateral Friction as Recommended by AASHTO ............................. 44
Table 4.7: Maximum Grades as recommended by MoWH&C ................................................ 53
Table 4.8: Minimum Radii for Crest Curves as Recommended by MoWH&C ...................... 57
Table 4.9: Minimum Radii for Sag Curves as recommended by MoWH&C .......................... 57
Table 4.10: Types of At-grade Intersections as recommended by MoWH&C ........................ 69
Table 4.11: The Limits of the Parameters used in Roundabout Capacity Equation ................ 81
Table 5.1: Subgrade Classes..................................................................................................... 91
Table 5.2: Traffic Groups ......................................................................................................... 91
Table 5.3: Average Vehicle Equivalence Factors, Ci ............................................................... 92
Table 5.4: Traffic Classes......................................................................................................... 92
Table 5.5: Determination of DSN for different Subgrade and Traffic Classes ........................ 92
Table 5.6: Layer Coefficients ................................................................................................... 93
Table 5.7: Compacted Thickness Ranges ................................................................................ 93

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vii

List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Cross Section of Early Roads .................................................................................. 4
Figure 2.1: Outline Stages of the Project Cycle ....................................................................... 10
Figure 2.2: Typical Road Project Appraisal in Uganda ........................................................... 14
Figure 4.1: Stopping and Passing Sight Distances on a crest curve ......................................... 38
Figure 4.2: Sight Distance Requirements on a horizontal curve with S L ............................ 39
Figure 4.3: Sight Distance Requirements on a horizontal curve with S > L ............................ 40
Figure 4.4: Forces acting on a vehicle on a horizontal curve ................................................... 42
Figure 4.5: Stages involved in attainment of super-elevation .................................................. 45
Figure 4.6: Attaining Super-elevation by revolving about the centre line ............................... 46
Figure 4.7: Main Elements of a Circular Curve Provided with Transitions ............................ 47
Figure 4.8: Widening on Curves .............................................................................................. 49
Figure 4.9: Climbing Lane outside the ordinary lane............................................................... 53
Figure 4.10: Highway Cross falls ............................................................................................. 54
Figure 4.11: Typical Vertical Curves ....................................................................................... 54
Figure 4.12: A Simple Symmetrical Parabolic curve ............................................................... 55
Figure 4.13: Sight distance over crest curves when a) S L and b) when S > L .................... 56
Figure 4.14: Single Carriageway Cross-section Elements ....................................................... 64
Figure 4.15: Dual Carriageway Cross-section Elements ......................................................... 64
Figure 4.16: Basic Intersection Forms ..................................................................................... 68
Figure 4.17: Typical Access Layout showing Visibility Requirements................................... 69
Figure 4.18: Typical T-Intersections ........................................................................................ 70
Figure 4.19: Typical Designs for Control Intersections ........................................................... 71
Figure 4.20: Selection of Intersection Category based on Safety ............................................ 72
Figure 4.21: Selection of Intersection Category based on Capacity ........................................ 73
Figure 4.22: Selection of Priority Intersection type based on Safety ....................................... 74
Figure 4.23: Selection of Control Intersection Type ................................................................ 75
Figure 4.24: Selection of Control Intersection Type ................................................................ 76
Figure 5.1: Definition of Pavement layers ............................................................................... 86
Figure 5.2: Summary of the Pavement Design Process ........................................................... 89

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viii

Symbols and Abbreviations


AADT

Annual Average Daily Traffic

AASHTO

American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials

ADT

Number of average daily traffic

ALD

Average Least Dimension

CBR

California Bearing Ratio

E.S.A

Equivalent Standard Axle

GB3

Granular Base-material type 3

GIS

Graphical Information Systems

HW

Allowable Headwater depth

KUTIP

Kampala Urban Transportation plan

LL

Liquid Limit

LS

Linear Shrinkage

M.S.A

Millions of equivalent standard axle

MC

Moisture Content

MDD

Maximum Dry Density

OMC

Optimum Moisture Content

ORN

Overseas Road Note

PI

Plasticity Index

PL

Plastic Limit

TRRL

Transport Road Research Laboratory

CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA


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ix

1.0 History and Development of Roads


1.0

Introduction
Everybody travels, whether it is to work, play, shop, do business, or simply visit people. All
foodstuffs and raw materials must be carried from their place of origin to their place consumption
[OFlaherty, 2002].
Historically, people have travelled and goods have been moved by:
a) Road i.e. using cars, wagons, cycles and motor vehicles;
b) Water i.e. using ships and boats;
c) Rail i.e. initially using animals and then the steam oil or electric powered locomotives to
pull passenger carriages and goods wagons;
d) Air i.e. using airships and aeroplanes (20th Century)

1.1

Definitions of some common terms


Some terms like highways, roads and streets have precise meanings, though they are often
used loosely in practice.
A highway is an arterial road facility designed for high speed and high volume traffic in nonurban areas. For example, the national road network of a country is called the National Highway
Network.
A road is a lower order facility, designed for relatively lower speed and lower volume traffic in
the non-urban areas. For example, they can be district roads or village roads.
A street is an urban road facility.
An Expressway or Express Highway is a superior type of highway facility with full or partial
control of access. It is generally consists of divided carriageway that caters for very high speeds.

1.2

Early Age Road Development


The origin of roads dates back to the period before the advent of recorded history. While the birth
of the road is lost in the mist of antiquity, there is no doubt but that the trails deliberately chosen
by early man and his pack animals to facilitate his movements were the forerunners of todays
road.
As civilization developed and peoples desire for communication increased, the early trails
became pathways and the pathways evolved into recognized travelways. Many of these early
travel ways-termed ridge ways- were located high on hillsides where the underbrush was less
dense and walking was easier; they were also above soft ground in wet valleys and avoided unsafe
wooded areas.
As civilization advanced, the growth of agriculture took place and human settlements began to be
formed. The invention of the wheel in 5000BC and the domestication of animals saw the advent
of chariots and carts. These carts enabled heavy loads to be carried more easily and gave rise to
wider travelways with firmer surfacings capable of carrying concentrated loads, but with less
steep connecting routes down to/up from valleys and fordable streams. Thus trackways evolved
along the contours of lower slopes e.g. they were sufficiently above the bottoms of valleys to
ensure good drainage but low enough to obviate unnecessary climbing.
The trackways eventually become well established trade routes along which settlements developed
and these gave rise to hamlets and villages - Some of which, eventually, became towns and cities.
CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA
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Early manufactured roads were stone-paved streets of Ur in the Middle East (4000BC), the
corduroy log paths near Glastonbury, England (3300BC), and brick pavings in India (3000BC):
The oldest existing wooden pathway in Europe, the 2km long Sweet Track, was built across (and
parts subsequently preserved in) marshy ground near Glastonbury. The oldest existing stone road
in Europe was built in Crete in 2000BC.
1.3

Middle Age Road Development


Notwithstanding the many examples of early man-made roads that are found in various parts of
the world, it is the Romans who must be given credit for being the first professional roadmakers.
At its peak the Roman road system, which was based on 29 major roads radiating from Rome to
the outermost fringed of the empire, totalled 52,964 Roman miles (approx. 78,000km) in length.
Started in 312BC, the roads were built with conscripted or forced labour; their purpose was to
hold together the 113 provinces of the empire by aiding imperial administration, extension of the
territorial limits of the empire and quelling rebellions after a region was conquered.
The roads were commonly constructed at least 4.25m wide to enable two chariots to pass with
ease and legions (large group of soldiers) to march abreast. It was common practice to reduce
gradients by cutting tunnels, and one such tunnel on the Via Appia was 0.75km long. Most of the
Roman roads well built on embankments 1m to 2m high so as to give the troops a commanding
view of the country side and make them less vulnerable to surprise attacks; this had the
engineering by-product of helping to keep the carriage way dry.
The roads mainly comprised of straight sections as they provided the most direct routes to the
administrative areas; however deviations from the straight line were tolerated in hilly regions or if
suitable established track ways were available.
The withdrawal of the legions from Britain in AD 407; foreshadowed the breakdown of the only
road system in Europe until the advent of the 17th century.
While the Roman roads in Britain continued to be the main highways of internal communications
for a very long time; they inevitably began to decay and disintegrate under the actions of weather,
traffic and human resourcefulness. Eventually, their condition became so appalling that when
sections became impassable, they were simply abandoned and new tracks created about them.
The onset of the 18th century also saw foreign trade become more important to Great Britains
steadily developing manufacturing industries and soon long trains of carts and wagons were
common sights as they laboriously dragged coal from mines to iron works, glassworks and
potteries and manufactured goods to harbours and ports, along very inadequate ways.
Confronted by the above pressures and the terrible state of the roads, parliament passed in 1706,
the first of many statutes that eventually created over 1,100 Turnpike Trusts. These trusts which
administered some 36,800km of road were each empowered to construct and maintain a specified
road length and levy tolls upon certain types of traffic.
The development of the toll road system, especially in the century following 1750, was important
for many reasons, not least of which were:
a) It promoted the development of road making techniques in Britain and allowed the
emergence of skilled road makers e.g. Thomas Telford, John Loudon Mc Adam and Pierre
Tresaguet.
CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA
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b) It established that road users should pay some road costs.


c) It determined the framework of the 20th century pre-motorway trunk road network
The steam-powered railway service in 1825 marked the beginning of the end for the Turnpike
Trusts as the transfer of long distance passengers from road to rail was almost instantaneous and
towns were accessed by railway.
Pierre Tresaguet, the inspector general of roads in France was the first to recognize the importance
of drainage of roads and its methodical maintenance. He appreciated the role of moisture in soils
and pavements and how moisture affects the performance of road beds. Camber began to be
introduced in roads during his time. Thus, he can be rightly called the father of modern highway
engineering.
The name of John Metcalf is associated in Britain with the art of building good and stable roads in
the latter part of the 18th century. He used boulders to achieve strong foundations for roads and
spread gravel as a surface layer. He pioneered the construction of good roads on soft ground,
using a sub base of bundles of heather (Low spreading bush with small pink-purple flowers).
Thomas Telford (1757-1834) is yet another illustrious name in highway engineering,
immortalized by naming the hand-packed boulder foundation of roads as Telford base. The
construction technique held the sway for nearly 150years since Telford introduced it in the early
part of the 19th century.
A run of names of eminent highway engineers is incomplete without John McAdams (1756-1836).
He was a Scottish road builder who has influenced road construction so profoundly that the term
Macadam is frequently used in pavement specifications even to this day. His two important
principles of good road construction were;
a) It is the native soil that supports the traffic load ultimately and when the soil is maintained
in a dry state, it can carry heavy loads without settlement.
b) Stones which are broken to small angular pieces and compacted can interlock each other
and form a hard surface.
Thus Mc Adams specifications were at variance with Telfords in that smaller pieces of stones
with angular faces were favoured than larger hand packed boulders. He is reported to have given a
practical hint to engineers in selecting the size of stones; the size is good if the stone can be put
into the mouth. How valid his advice is even to this day! Other than the innovative specifications
he introduced, Mc Adam is also remembered for his foresight in urging the creation of a central
highway authority to advise and monitor all matters relating to roads in Britain. His
recommendation is valid even now in Uganda [Kadiyali, 2006].
1.4

19th Century Roads


A significant development which revolutionized road construction during the 19th century was the
steam road roller introduced by Eveling and Barford. The development of Portland cement in the
first decades of the 19th century by Aspin and Johnson facilitated modern bridge construction and
use of concrete as a pavement material. Tars and asphalts began to be used in road construction in
the 1830s, though it was the pneumatic tyre vehicle which gave a real push to extensive use of
bituminous specifications.
The automobile had its slow development in the 19th century, but the First World War, 1914-18,
gave momentum to its growth. Thus the road was given a new lease of life [OFlaherty, 2002].

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Figure 1.1: Cross Section of Early Roads


Source: Kadiyali (2006)

1.5

Roads in the World Today


Roads are the principal arteries of traffic in the present-day world. The right indicator of a
countrys prosperity is its road length and vehicle ownership. Table 1.1 gives an international
comparison of road length in some selected countries. The following inferences can be drawn:
a) America has the largest network of roads (6.3million km)
b) India, with its 3.3million km of network comes second.
c) The density of roads (km/sq-km) is very high in countries like Germany and Japan which
are small in area.
d) In countries which are large in area, the density is low. India has a density of 1km/sq km, USA
0.67km/sq km and China 0.12km/sq km.
e) The percentage of roads paved is very high in countries like UK (100 per cent), Germany (99
per cent) and USA (91 per cent). Nearly the entire length is paved.
f) In India, the percentage of paved roads is 50. In USA, the percentage is 91.
Table 1.1: International Comparison of Road Statistics
s/n Counrty
Roadlength (km) Roaddensity (km/sq-km) Per cent paved
1 USA
6,300,000
0.67
91
2 INDIA
2,009,600
0.63
50
3 BRAZIL
1,939,000
0.23
9
4 CHINA
1,157,000
0.12
90
5 JAPAN
1,136,347
3.77
73
6 GERMANY
650,700
5.97
99
7 INDONESIA
372,414
0.19
47
8 U.K.
366,999
1.5
100
9 MALAYSIA
93,975
0.29
75
10 THAILAND
62,000
0.12
97
11 NIGERIA
32,810
0.04
83
Source: Kadiyali, 2006

NB:
All values are for 1998
Indias road length now is 3.3million km and the road is 1km/sq km.

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In modern times, Europe saw the beginnings of the Expressway system of World War II. Italy,
under Mussolini, started the Autostrade. The famous German Autobahns were planned in the
late 1920s and Hitler accelerated their completion. The Autobahns became a key part of the wartime infrastructure for the movement of tanks and other military vehicles
UK started its Motorway construction rather late, in the 1950s. These form the arterial road grid of
the country linking London to major cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Bristol, Edinburgh
and Newcastle.
Perhaps the largest arterial system, the US interstate, was started after World War II as a national
defence system. The construction of the 41, 000 miles system was approved in 1956. It was
funded by the Federal Government to an extent of 90 per cent, the balance being states matching
share. It linked all the major cities of the nation. It is toll-free.
USA also pioneered the modern super highway - a limited access, high-speed facility. The Bronx
River Parkway constructed in 1925 was the forerunner to many such to come later.
The inter-state system of USA
The worlds best road system is perhaps in the USA. The interstate system was taken up after the
Second World War as a defence system. It is now fully functional. The USA now has a length of
88,400km of express ways, of which 5,000km (6 per cent) was tolled. The remaining length is
toll-free.
Autobahns of Germany
Germany began constructing its express ways, which were known as Autobahns in the late 1920s.
Before the start of the Second World War, Germany had about 4,000 km of express ways. The
country has now 11,238km of express ways most of which are non-toll.
Express ways in France.
France started the construction of its express ways in the 1950s. The work was carried out through
semi-government public companies. Private companies were involved in the work in the 1970s.
The network was developed as a toll system. By 1996, the country had a network of 8,768km of
express ways, 72 per cent of which are tolled.
Vehicle Ownership
Since road transport gives mobility to persons, the vehicle ownership rate has been increasing at a
fast rate round the world. Table 1.2 gives a comparison of the car-ownership rate (cars per 1000
persons) in some selected countries. The rate is very high in USA. (One car per two persons), and
is currently low in India (one car per 250 persons). This rapid growth calls for modernization of
the road system.
Table 1.2: Car Ownership Rates (Cars per 1000 persons)
China
India
Pakistan
Indonesia
Egypt
Thailand
Brazil
Malaysia
South Korea
Japan
U.K.
Australia
Germany
USA

3
4
6
10
19
22
76
113
114
342
248
459
459
504

Source: Kadiyali, 2006


CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA
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1.5.1

References
1.
Kadiyali, L.R., 2006. Principles and Practices of Highway Engineering (including
Expressways and Airport Engineering), 4th Edition. Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
2.
OFlaherty C.A., 2002. Highways: The Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of
Pavements. 4th Edition, Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.

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2.0 Planning and Layout of Roads


2.1

Introduction
Transport is an important infrastructure for development. It occupies a pivotal position in the
growth of developing countries. Planning for economic development is now an accepted tool
widely followed in most of the countries. So far there is very little evidence of a scientific
approach in planning at the national level in the transport sector. However, the outlays and targets
are normally adopted after a careful study of the existing facilities, their deficiencies and
immediate needs. Very often it has been experienced that investment decisions are taken after a
bottleneck situation develops. The transport plan should be integrated in the countries overall
economic plan since transport in its own sake has no meaning. It assumes importance only in as
far as its serves the ultimate goal of development i.e. transport plans must translate overall
development objectives and potentials into transport requirements [Kadiyali, 2006].

2.2

Goals and Objectives


The goals and objectives of the transport plan should be clearly identified and expressed. This
alone will facilitate the formulation of a realistic plan. The following points give general guidance
in this regard:
a) The transport plan should not conflict with the broad goals and objectives of the national
plan for development. It should help in translating the goals and objectives of the national
development plan.
b) The transport plan should aim at coordinated development of all modes of transport
without prompting unhealthy competition.
c) The transport plan should aim at conserving scarce resources such as oil fuels, coal and
electricity.
d) The transport plan should generate employment potential and should favour labourintensive technologies to the extent feasible and desirable.
e) The transport plan should aim at a balanced development of the country, keeping in view
the special needs of inaccessible areas and backward classes of society.
f) The transport plan should aim at a balanced development of rural and urban settlements.
While urbanisation is an inevitable result of and a pre-requisite for economic
development, growth of cities beyond manageable limits leads to undesirable effects.
Transport should be used as a tool for dispersal of activities to result in overall health of
the economy.
g) Transport plans should recognise the need to exploit the natural resources of the country
and provide for quick exports to earn valuable foreign exchange to developing countries
h) Transport plans should facilitate the growth of new industries, agricultural production and
processing of raw materials. Functional linkages between industry and hinterland should
be established.
i) Environmental impact of transport plans should be established.

2.3

The Project Cycle

2.3.1

Components of the Project Cycle


Projects are planned and carried out following a sequence of activities, often known as the project
cycle. There are many ways of defining the steps in this sequence but the following terminology
will be used here:
1) Problem identification
2) Pre-feasibility
3) Feasibility
4) Design
CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA
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5)
6)
7)
8)

Procurement and negotiation


Implementation
Operation
Monitoring and evaluation.

The first three steps (1-3) make up the planning phases of the project cycle, though evaluation
(step 8) may also be considered integral to the planning process by providing feedback on the
wisdom and processes of past decisions. Figure 2.1 provides an outline of the stages of the project
cycle. The planning phases of the cycle involve a gradual process of screening and refining
alternative options (for resolving an earlier identified problem). In this process there are clear
decision points (at the end of each stage) when potential projects are either rejected or taken
forward for further and more detailed analysis. Dubious projects should be rejected at an early
planning stage (and before feasibility) as they gain a momentum of their own, and hence become
increasingly difficult to stop at the later stages in the cycle when minor changes of detail are often
all that are possible. Within each of the planning phases (project identification, pre-feasibility and
feasibility), the same basic process of analysis is adopted. Differences occur largely in the level of
detail applied. Sometimes phases are merged, with pre-feasibility becoming an extension of the
project identification, or a first step in the feasibility stage [TRL, 2005].
2.3.2

Problem Identification
The first stage of the cycle is to find potential projects. General planning identifies key transport
constraints and sketches solutions at a global or macro level, and should prioritize these as to the
need and urgency for resolution. The planning process takes into account government policies and
programmes (in all relevant sectors) which impact on transport development. The need for general
road development is therefore examined in a very wide socio-economic and policy-orientated
context. The framework for general planning could be cross-sectoral in nature or it could also be
focused specifically on transport issues. In all cases, however, the scope is macro in nature,
taking in a complete region or city. Examples of such spatial (or structure) plans and
transportation studies include:
a) A national or regional development study (e.g. regional spatial plans)
b) An urban development study (or master plan)
c) A national or regional transport study (sometimes known as a multi-modal or inter-modal
transport study)
d) An urban land-use/transportation study
e) An integrated rural accessibility plan
f) A road safety strategic plan

2.3.3

Pre-feasibility
At the start of the pre-feasibility stage there is a clearly defined transport problem (identified in
general planning), but no strong evidence that this problem could be solved by road improvement,
or any other transport solution (e.g. improvements to transport services) in an environmentally or
economically acceptable manner. By the end of the pre-feasibility stage, there will be clear
evidence whether or not a road improvement project is worthwhile. If it is, the pre-feasibility will
normally identify what type of project would be suitable, checks that the project is not premature
and provides the information needed to commission a feasibility study. Typically, this phase
might identify corridors that require a new road.
An affirmative pre-feasibility study will also trigger the inclusion of a line-item in the long-term
road preparation budget (of the ministry or its highway agency). It gives advance warning that
monies will need to be budgeted for the future implementation of this particular project. The prefeasibility study may indicate that the proposed road improvement project would not be effective
in solving the problem, or should be reconsidered later, perhaps when there is more traffic). In that
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case the process should be terminated or shelved without incurring the high cost of a feasibility
study.
2.3.4

Feasibility
The feasibility study finds the most suitable road improvement project for solving or helping to
solve an identified transport problem. At the start of the study there is a clearly defined problem
with an expectation that the problem can be solved by some form of road improvement, in a
manner that is environmentally, socially and economically acceptable. This expectation is backed
up by the evidence needed to justify the considerable cost of carrying out a feasibility study
(identified in a pre-feasibility study). The level of detail of this study will depend on the
complexity of the project and how much is already known about the proposal.
By the end of the study there should be a clear recommendation for a specific road improvement
project. The study will provide evidence that this particular project should be carried out and that
this project provides the most suitable solution to the problem, taking into account its operational
benefits and its environmental and economic implications. It will also provide a detailed
description and a preliminary engineering design (PED) and associated drawings of the proposed
project to enable costs to be determined at a level of detail to enable funding decisions to be made.
The feasibility study will also provide an input to the road preparation budget process, giving
greater detail (than earlier phases) of costs that will be incurred and project timings.

2.3.5

Design
The final engineering design (FED) is often very costly (up to 15 per cent of project costs) and
usually follows provisional commitment to the project. Numerous decisions which will affect
economic performance are taken throughout design; and economic appraisal often results in
redesign. In this stage, working drawings and bills of quantities are normally prepared.

2.3.6

Commitment and negotiation


Commitment of funds often takes place in a series of stages. This is followed by invitations to
tender and negotiations with contractors, potential financiers and suppliers. At this stage, there are
still considerable uncertainties.

2.3.7

Implementation
Several aspects of the earlier stages in the project cycle will affect the success of the
implementation. The better and more realistic the plan, the more likely it is that the plan can
actually be carried out and the full benefits be realised. A flexible implementation plan should also
be sought. It is almost inevitable that some circumstances will change during the implementation.
Technical changes may be required as more detailed soils information becomes available or as the
relative prices of construction materials change. Project managers may need to change and re-plan
parts of the project to take account of such variations. The more innovative and original the
project is the greater is the likelihood that changes will have to be made during implementation.

2.3.8

Operation
This refers to the actual use of the road by traffic; it is during this phase that benefits are realised
and maintenance is undertaken.

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Figure 2.1: Outline Stages of the Project Cycle


Source: TRL, 2005

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2.3.9

2.4

Monitoring and Evaluation


The final phase of the project cycle is evaluation. This consists of looking back systematically at
the successful and unsuccessful elements of the project experience to learn how planning can be
improved in the future. For evaluation to be successful, it is important that data about the project
is collected and recorded in a systematic way throughout all stages of the project cycle. Without
this, it is usually impossible to determine details of events and information that were available
during periods leading up to the taking of important decisions. Evaluation may be carried out by
many different people. The sponsoring organisation or external agency may undertake evaluation.
In large and innovative projects, a separate unit may be needed to monitor each stage of the
project by collecting data for identifying problems that need to be brought to the attention of the
project's management. In some cases, outside staff will be used to provide an independent audit
and specialist university staff may well be suited to undertake such a task. The evaluation should
result in specific recommendations about improving aspects of the project design which can be
used to improve ongoing and future planning.
Overview of Road Appraisal in Developing Countries
Feasibility studies of road schemes in developing countries are undertaken along the following
steps:
1) Define objectives
2) Determine alternative ways of meeting objectives
3) Make preliminary considerations
4) Asses traffic demand
5) Design and cost different options
6) Determine benefits of each alternative
7) Economic analysis and comparison of alternatives
8) Recommendations
The steps are not necessarily sequential and involve iteration. The above steps will now be
discussed:

2.4.1

Define Objectives
A road project is wherever possible set against the background of a national or regional transport
plan or at least a road plan. Definition of project objectives provides the basic framework for
carrying out feasibility studies. The objective of providing a new road could be any of the
following:
a)
b)
c)
d)

To support some other developmental activity;


To provide fundamental links in the national or a district road network;
To meet a strategic need;
To increase the structural capacity or traffickability of an existing road to cope with higher
traffic flows;
e) To provide an alternative to an existing transport link or service;
f) To address a major safety hazard, environmental or social problem;
g) To rectify damage or failure that has caused sudden deterioration of the existing road.
Depending on the objectives of the investment, the project is appraised against different sets of
criteria. Development Banks like World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are increasingly
getting involved in strategic planning of road networks in developing countries. This calls for
alignment of a countrys Transport Plan with a Development Banks country strategy.

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2.4.2

Determining alternative ways of meeting Objectives


This may involve making a modal choice say between rail, road, air and water transport to solve a
transport problem or deciding between different technical solutions to highway problems. These
technical solutions include:
a) Upgrading and new construction Upgrading projects aim at providing addition
capacity for a road towards the end of its design life or because of a change in route
function. Examples are paving of gravel roads and providing overlays on paved roads;
b) Reconstruction and rehabilitation - Major repair on an existing road;
c) Stage construction Planned improvements are made to the pavement standards of a road
at fixed stages through the project life. Although stage construction may be appropriate in
achieving an optimal economic balance, practice has shown that budgetary constraints
have often prevented later upgrading phases of stage construction projects leading to lower
rates of return.
d) Maintenance projects These consist of either building up the institutional capability of
the maintenance organisation to improve its efficiency or overcoming a short term problem
through project specific interventions like surface dressing, supply of maintenance
equipment and technical assistance. The later type of project could be a component of the
former.
Community involvement in the early stages of development of projects in developing countries is
now recognised as fundamental for project success because of the local wealth of knowledge
possessed by the community concerning the solution to a problem in the context of an areas
physical and socio economic constraints.

2.4.3

Preliminary considerations
The underlying issues are taken into account during the feasibility study:
a) Analysis period and design life Most road projects are analysed on a 15 year time
horizon. The analysis period may be partly dictated by the nature of the investigation. For
example, long periods are useful when comparing mutually exclusive projects, whereas
short periods may be appropriate for small projects (such as regravelling of rural access
roads), where the life of the investment is expected to be limited to a few years.
b) Uncertainty and risk Projects in developing countries are always set against a
background of economic, social and political uncertainty to some degree. The steps taken
to reduce uncertainty include risk analysis using probabilistic techniques for well defined
projects and scenario analysis in explanatory projects.
c) Choice of technology According to the Transport and Road Research Laboratory
(TRRL, 1998), engineers have to decide between mechanised and labour based techniques
in preparing designs and specifications of works.
d) Institutional issues The major institutional issues to be considered include:
The institutional framework in which the roads are set including the aspects of
organising, staffing, training, procedures, planning, maintenance, funding and controls.
Strengthening the institutions responsible for implementing the project; and
The funding and maintenance capability of road maintenance organisations.
e) Socio-economic considerations The major issues that are assessed in terms of the
impact of the project on the target community are social changes, construction
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consequences, road accidents, severance, minorities like gender issues and availability of
local expertise and resources.
f) Environmental Conditions The impact of the road project on the surrounding
environment is taken into consideration. The impact is more significant for new projects
penetrating an undisturbed country tan for upgrading projects because the latter usually
follow an existing alignment.
2.4.4

Assess Traffic Demand


For the purpose of geometric design and evaluation of economic benefits, the volume and
composition of current and future traffic needs to be known. For structural design purposes of
paved roads, the axle loading of only heavy goods vehicles is relevant thus for this purpose traffic
appraisal considers volumes of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). The Road Maintenance Initiative
(RMI) (World Bank, 1998) observes that far too few countries in Africa have permanent road data
banks, locally managed and regularly updated, based on objective technical data.

2.4.5

Design and Cost different Options


Cost estimates should encompass analytical techniques and rigorous procedures of risk
management to produce realistic estimates. The major activities undertaken in this step include:
Route location, pavement design, geometric design and design of drainage structures. In this stage
an optimal balance between cost of provision and user cost is important.

2.4.6

Determine Benefits of each Alternative


Estimates are made of both the costs associated with the project and the benefits expected to
occur. The benefits normally considered are:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

Direct savings in the cost of operating vehicles


Economies in road maintenance
Time savings by travellers and freight
Reduction in road accidents
Wider effects on the economic development of the region

2.4.7 Economic Analysis and comparison of alternatives


The best option representing the option with the minimum level of maintenance is carefully
chosen and used as a basis against which other options are compared. A cost benefit analysis
procedure is then used to assess the net contribution the road investment makes to the country as a
whole. The cost benefit analysis uses either Net Present Value (NPV) or Internal Rate of Return
(IRR) rules. A positive NPV means a project is justified at the given discount rate. Results of
financial, social and environmental appraisals are also considered in deciding the best project. The
IRR acts as a guide to the profitability of the investment but gives no indication of the costs or
benefits of the project. A difficult approach is normally required for rural access projects so that
the cost of the appraisal is justified in terms of project costs. All investment decisions have
political, social and environmental consequences besides economic effects. According to TRRL
(1998), in planning main road investment, economic/engineering implications are usually
paramount in the decisions to upgrade existing road surfaces. Foster (2000) observes that the
financial aspects of the project appraisal receive more systematic treatment than non-financial
aspects.

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2.4.8

Recommendations
The feasibility study report marks the end of the appraisal process and recommends whether the
project should go ahead and the standards to which it should be built. The depth and detail to
which the report covers certain aspects depends on who the report is being for. An analysis carried
out for a development bank covers financial aspects very thoroughly. Projects prepared for aid
agencies normally dwell heavily on the socio-economic factors.

2.5

A Typical Road Project Appraisal Process in Uganda


This section will be based upon the process that was followed for the feasibility study of the
Kampala-Fort Portal Road.
1. Objective

2. Problem Identification

3. Determine Alternatives

4. Project Strategy
5. Engineering, Economic and
Environmental analyses
6. Draft Recommendation for
preferred solution
7. Review by Ministry of Works,
Housing and Communications

8. Finalisation of Recommendation
9. Submission for Funding

10. Detailed Design, Tender and


Construction
11. Post Implementation Review

Figure 2.2: Typical Road Project Appraisal in Uganda


Source: MoWH&C, 1998

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14

the process shown in the figure above will now be described:


Step 1: Objectives
The study objectives were derived from two major sources namely:
a) The 10 year road sector development programme (RSDP);
b) The strategy related to the Trans-African Highway.
Step 2: Problem identification
Past feasibility studies from 1972 to 1995 were used as a basis for establishing the existing
problems on the Kampala to Fortportal road.
Step 3: Determine alternatives
The pre-appraisal study by GIBB consultants on behalf of Danida brought together information
from steps 1 and 2 above and challenged the assumptions made in previous studies. Arising out of
this study were five options for further evaluation.
Step 4: Project strategy
Arising out of the results the pre-appraisal study in step 3 above, a draft project strategy was
prepared consisting of a two stage construction strategy.
Step 5: Engineering, Economic and Environmental analysis
Danida as the financier commissioned COWI-DRD to carry out further engineering, economic and
environmental analysis on the project strategy and compare different upgrading options under the
strategy with the existing route under optimal and prevailing maintenance respectively over 16
study sections. Traffic studies were part of the economic evaluation.
Step 6: Draft recommendations on preferred solution
Resulting from the analyses in step 5, recommendations were made on the feasibility of options
along an environmentally preferred route alignment in terms of Economic Internal Rate of Return
(EIRR).
Step 7: Review by Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications
In Uganda, step 1 to 6 usually lead to the production of a draft detailed engineering report three
(3) months from the start of the study. The report is reviewed by the Ministry of Works, Housing
and Communications on behalf of Government as the client leading to comments that are taken
into account in preparing the final detailed engineering report (Ministry of Works, Housing and
Communications, Gauff Ingenieure, 1993).
Step 8: Finalising recommendations
Adjustments are made to the draft report in accordance with the recommendations of the client.
The consultant then concludes the final report 30days from the receipt of information from the
(MoWH&C and Gauff Ingenieure, 1993).
Step 9: Submission for funding
On conclusion of recommendations, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications would
submit the feasibility study report to the financier as was the case in the 1993 study by Scott
Wilson Kirkpatrick. The consultants would then submit the reports to the financier as their
employer.

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Step 10: Detailed design, Tender and Construction


If the financier approved the study, funds would be released for detailed design, tender and
construction of the road.
Step 11: Post implementation review
External financiers like the World Bank usually evaluate a project when it is handed over to the
client to assess success and compliance with objectives. Such reviews provide valuable lessons as
inputs into subsequent projects to improve on project success.
Interestingly, the study period for the Kampala-Fort portal road took 26years (1972-1998). Yet the
process would ordinarily take three years.
2.6

Economic Evaluation of Highway Projects

2.6.1 Role of Economic Evaluation


A developing country like Uganda has serious shortages of resources needed for economic
development. The outlay for various sectors of economic activity is decided by planning at the
national level, keeping in view the national goals and policies. Within the allocation earmarked for
the highway sector, a number of schemes can be taken up, each enjoying its own urgency and
attractiveness. It thus becomes necessary to screen and evaluate the various alternatives so that a
wise decision can be reached on the most appropriate choice. This is achieved by modern
techniques of economic evaluation of projects [Kadiyali, 2006].
Economic evaluation is a rational approach at quantifying the future benefits and costs of
proposed highway improvements with a view to determine the extent to which the projects will
contribute to the goal of raising the living standard of the people and their general welfare. It
provides for a systematic and unbiased procedure for selection of schemes for implementation
under the Ten Year Road Sector Development Plans. It ensures that the most worthwhile projects
are given the highest priority.
Economic evaluation of highway projects can also be carried out to weigh other alternative
transport projects, such as railway projects, pipe-lines or inland water transport projects, in order
to select the most beneficial scheme.
The following are some of the specific objectives in carrying out an economic evaluation:
1. To decide whether the scheme under consideration is worth investment at all;
2. To rank schemes competing for scarce resources in order of priority;
3. To compare various alternative schemes and select the one most economical;
4. To assist in phasing the programme (stage construction) depending upon the availability of
resources.
2.6.2

Some Basic Principles


Economic evaluation involves a number of basic principles discussed below:
a) Economic evaluation makes it possible to choose the best of the various alternatives. The
question before the analyst is to suggest the most attractive of them. Often the choice is
between do-nothing, and other improvement schemes.
b) In economic evaluation, all past actions are irrelevant. What is of prime importance is the
future flow of costs and benefits.
c) In highway projects, the appraisal is carried out from the view-point of the nation as a
whole, and is not restricted to any sub-set like the highway agency, truckers, private
motorists and bus operators.
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16

d) Economic analysis should not be misunderstood with financial analysis.


e) Economic evaluation should take place within a set of established criteria such as
minimum attractive rate of return, interest rate etc.
f) Opportunity cost of capital and resources should be considered wherever they are
important.
g) The period of analysis need not be too long in view of the uncertainties associated with the
future traffic and benefits. In any case, the discounted cash flows of a distant future period
are insignificant. For highway projects, it is enough if the analysis covers a period 15-25
years after opening to traffic.
2.6.3

Time Value for Money


The fundamental premise on which all methods of economic evaluation rests is that money earns
income over a period of time. For example, US$ 100 today will be worth US$ 672.75 at the end of
20 years if invested at 10 per cent compound rate of interest. So also, a sum of US$ 672.75 which
might become due to an individual after 20years from today is worth only US$ 100 at the present,
assuming the same rate of interest. These facts point to the need for devaluing the future benefits
and costs to the present time to determine their present worth. The process of calculating the
present worth of a future payment is known as discounting and the interest rate used is called the
discount rate.
The following formulae are very useful in dealing with the problems in economic evaluation:
a) The amount A to which US$ 1 will increase in n years with a compound interest rate of r
will be given by;
1
. 2.1
b) The present value P of US$ 1, n years therefore when discounted at a rate r will be given
by;
1

1
. 2.2
1

2.6.4

Costs and Benefits


In economic evaluation, the main objective is to compare the costs and benefits of various
alternative schemes and select the one, most advantageous. The first step is, therefore to determine
the costs and benefits. There is a great deal of confusion in the designation of what constitutes
costs and what constitutes benefits. The simplest description is that the negative effects of a
scheme constitute the costs. They indicate the cash out-flows. On the other hand, the positive
effects are called benefits and they represent cash in-flows. As long as sufficient care is taken to
see that the signs are assigned properly, it is immaterial whether the economic consequence is
labelled as costs or benefits.
Costs and benefits can be traced to the provider of the facility (highway department), the highway
users and non-users. In economic analysis, since all consequences are to be considered, the costs
and benefits to all parties are to be reckoned.
Some consequences can be quantified into monetary terms whereas some cannot. The aim of the
analyst should be to quantify as many elements as can be monetarily quantified. Those which
cannot be ultimately quantified into monetary terms are kept separately apart and a judgement
value can be accorded to them before a final decision is taken.
The economic evaluation of highway projects is generally done by computing the total transport
cost which consists of the following components:
a) Cost of construction of the facility
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b) Cost of maintenance of the facility


c) Road user cost
d) Cost to the society
The Government, which is often the agency providing the facility, incurs expenditure on
constructing a road. This includes land acquisition, earthwork, road pavement and structures. The
government also invests money on maintenance and up keep annually. The road user cost, which
is borne by the actual user of the highway facility (passenger, crew of vehicles, operator,
consignor of goods, pedestrian, cyclist etc.) is composed of:
a) Vehicle operating costs
i) Fuel;
ii) Lubricants;
iii) Tyre;
iv) Spare parts;
v)
Maintenance labour;
vi) Depreciation;
vii) Crew costs; and
viii) Fixed costs such as:
Interest on capital
Insurance
Taxes
Registration fee
Grading charges
Fines, tolls, etc
Permit charges
Loading and unloading charges
Commission on booking
Overhead charges such as rent, salary, electricity, postal, telephone, stationery
b) Travel Time Cost
i) Time value of vehicle occupants
ii) Time value of goods in transit
iii) Time value of vehicles in transit
c) Accident Costs
i) Cost of fatality
ii) Cost of injuries
iii) Cost of damages to property
d) Cost to Society
i) Impact on the environment (noise pollution, air pollution, vibration).
ii) Loss of aesthetics
iii) Changes in land values
iv) Land severance
v)
Discomfort and inconvenience.
Benefits from highway projects in effect represent the difference in costs with the new facility and
the old facility. Benefits can be grouped under the following:
a) Benefits to the existing traffic, by way of reduced road user costs.
b) Benefits to the generated traffic
c) Benefits to traffic diverted from other routes and modes
d) Benefits to traffic operating on other routes and modes where reduction in traffic has been
caused by the opening of the facility.
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Vehicle operating costs are affected by a number of factors such as:


a)
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)
vi)
vii)
viii)

Vehicle Factors
Age
Make
Horse-power, engine capacity
Load carried
Condition of Vehicle
Level of maintenance input
Type of fuel used
Type of tyres (rayon, nylon, radial ply, cross ply etc.)

i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)
vi)
vii)
viii)

Roadway Factors
Roughness of the surface
Type of the surface
Horizontal curvature
Vertical profile
Pavement width
Type and condition of shoulder
Urban and rural location
Number of junctions per km

b)

c)
i)
ii)

Traffic Factors
Speed of travel
Traffic volume and composition.

i)
ii)
iii)

Environmental Factors
Altitude
Rainfall
Temperature

d)

Research has shown that the vehicle operating cost components are closely governed by (i)
roadway factors such as roughness, pavement width, rise and fall and horizontal curvature, (ii)
vehicle factors such as age and load carried and (iii) traffic factors such as speed and volume of
traffic. It follows therefore, that good roads result in lower vehicle operating costs.
Highway improvements result in speedier travel. Savings in travel time are enjoyed by occupants
of vehicles, goods in transit and the vehicles in transit
Road accident rates are governed to a certain extent by the condition of the road. Highway
improvements can thus bring about a reduction in road accidents. The cost of road accidents,
which have been eliminated by highway improvements, represents a benefit.
When carrying out economic analysis, costs and benefits are considered exclusive of taxes. Taxes
do not represent an economic cost and represent only a transfer within the community. Insurance
premiums are also excluded from economic analysis since the savings in accidents already
account for this element.
In a developing country, there are certain resources which are scarcer than the others. The
prevailing market prices, therefore, do not reflect the true economic value of the resources. In
order to correct such distortions and imperfections, shadow pricing is done. A case in example is
the cost of imported fuel in Uganda. Since foreign exchange reserves are very precious, such
imported items are shadow priced at a higher value than the market price when carrying out the
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19

economic evaluation. Similarly, unskilled labour is surplus in Uganda and the prevailing wage
rate (which is statutorily fixed) may not truly reflect this situation. A shadow-pricing of such
labour at a slightly lower level would be appropriate.
Inflation is disregarded in economic analysis, as it is generally assumed that all prices increase in
the same proportion, but relative prices remain constant. But if differential inflation is expected to
occur among commodities, necessary adjustments need to be made.
2.6.5

Evaluation Techniques
The methods commonly adopted for economic evaluation are:
a) Net present value (NPV);
b) Benefit/cost Ratio (B/C Ratio);
c) Internal Rate of Return (IRR);
d) First Year Rate of Return (FYRR).

a) Net present value (NPV) Method


The NPV method is based on the discounted cash flow (DCF) technique. In this method, the
stream of costs and benefits associated with the project over its time horizon is calculated and is
discounted at a selected discount rate to give the present value. Benefits are treated as positive and
costs are treated as negative. Any project with a positive NPV is treated as acceptable. In
comparing more than one project, a project with the highest NPV is selected.
The NPV is algebraically expressed as:
. 2.3

1
Where;
NPV0
Bi
Ci
i
n

=
=
=
=
=

Net Present Value in the year 0;


Value of benefits which occur in the year i;
Value of costs which occur in the year i;
Discount rate per annum;
Number of years considered for analysis.

b) Benefit-cost (B/C) Ratio Method


There are a number of variations of this method, but a simple procedure is to discount all costs
and benefits to their present worth and calculate the ratio of the benefits to costs. Negative flows
are considered costs, and positive flows as benefits. Thus the savings in the transport costs are
considered as benefits. If the B/C ratio is more than one, the project is worth undertaking.
1
1

. 2.4

Where C is the total cost of the project


In the AASHTO practice of road user analysis the B/C ratio expresses the ratio of the net annual
benefits to the net annual costs. The benefits are determined for a simple reference year, which for
convenience can be the first year of operation after construction or the median year of the analysis
period [Kadiyali, 2006].

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20

c) Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Method


The internal rate of return is the discount rate which makes the discounted future benefits equal to
the initial outlay. In other words, it is the discount rate at which the present values of costs and
benefits are equal i.e. NPV = 0. Calculation of the IRR is not as straight forward as for NPV and is
found by solving the following equation for r;
0 . 2.5

Solutions are normally found graphically or by iteration. However, with a computer program, the
work is rendered simple. The IRR gives no indication of the sizes of the costs or the benefits of a
project, but acts as a guide to the profitably of the investment [Thagesen, 1996].
If the internal rate of return calculated from the above formula is greater than the rate of interest
obtained by investing the capital in the open market, the scheme is considered acceptable.
d) First Year Rate of Return (FYRR) Method
The FYRR is simply the present value of the total costs expressed as a percentage of the sum of
benefits in the first year of trafficking after project completion. Thus FYRR is given by;

,%

FYRR = 100

Bj
j 1

C (1 + r )
j =0

100

. 2.5

.... (2.6)
j 1

Where j is the first year of benefits, with j = 0 in the base year, and other notation is as before.
If the FYRR is greater than the planning discount rate, then the project is timely and should go
ahead. If it is less than the discount rate, but the NPV is positive, the start of the project should be
deferred and further rates of return should be calculated to define the optimum starting date.
It is should be noted that the results of the cost-benefit analysis are no better than the assumptions
and input data on which it is based. The data and parameters used in the analysis of a road project
can be prone to substantial errors and it is important to recognise that these exist and to take steps
to minimise them [Thagesen, 1996].
2.6.6

Comparison of the Various Methods of Economic Evaluation


The three methods of economic evaluation described above have their own advantages and short
comings.
The B/C ratio method is very widely used by the highway engineers. It, however, suffers from the
following drawbacks:
a) It requires an assumption of a discount rate, which should bear relation to the opportunity
cost of capital. It is however, rather difficult to know the opportunity cost of capital
accurately.
b) The significance of the B/C ratio is ambiguous, and its relative value is difficult to
understand and interpret. For instance, if there are two proposals, one with a B/C ratio of
1.05 and the other with a ratio of 1.10, the difference is very difficult to appreciate.
c) It is somewhat confusing and difficult to decide which items should be termed as costs and
placed in the denominator and which as benefits and placed in the numerator.
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21

The IRR method is popular with international lending agencies like the World Bank. It lends itself
admiringly well for use in a computer-aided design model. It avoids the need for selecting a
discount rate initially. The rate derived from computations can be easily compared with the market
rate of interest, with which economists, financial experts and bankers are familiar. Its
disadvantage is that the computations are tedious and a solution can only be obtained only by trial
and error.
The NPV method suffers from the same disadvantage as in case of B/C ratio method in that a rate
of discount has to be assumed.
2.6.7

Selection of the Discount Rate


As seen from the discussions above, the selection of an appropriate discount rate (or interest rate)
is crucial in the B/C ratio and NPV methods. The choice of the discount rate is governed by a
number of complex factors, and is dependent on the future availability of finance and the various
opportunities for its use. The attitude of the society towards present consumption as against
savings for future is an important factor. Will the present generation prefer to consume the
resources now or conserve it for future use by the current or future generation? The answer to this
question will give the social time preference rate of interest. Another approach is to find out the
social yield that the resources employed by a marginal public project would have otherwise
generated. This determines the social opportunity cost rate of interest. In a truly competitive
economy, the two rates of interest would be equal and investments and consumption would then
be ideally allocated. But such a situation is difficult to find, and more so in a developing country
where capital is very scarce. In such situations, some general guidelines can be given for selecting
an appropriate discount rate. Such a rate should not be less than the rate of borrowing or lending
by the government or the market rate of interest. A rate of 12 per cent is generally being adopted.
Example
An existing single lane road, 30 km long, is to be widened to two lanes. The cost of widening is
US$ 10,000 per km. The vehicle operating costs, accident costs and maintenance costs, with and
without widening, for a 10 year period are tabulated in Table 2.1. The discount rate is 12 per cent.
Is the project worthwhile? Compare the results of NPV, B/C ratio and IRR methods.
Solution
Cost of project

US$ 10,000 x 30 = US$ 300,000

Table 2.1: Computation of NPV, B/C Ratio and IRR


Computation of NPV, B/C Ratio andIRR (All Values in Thousands of US$)
DiscountedRate for NPV & B/C Ratio, r:
12%
Total Cost of the Project, Co (in US$1000)
300.000
Year
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

RoadUser Costs
With Impr. Without Impr.
101.5
160.7
105.6
168.2
110.2
176.3
116.2
185.2
122.3
190
128.4
199
135.6
210
143.2
219.5
149.1
228.2
154.6
240.1

Accident Costs
Maintenance Costs
With Impr. Without Impr. With Impr. Without Impr.
2.5
3.6
10
7.5
2.6
3.7
10
7.5
2.7
3.8
10
7.5
2.8
3.9
10
7.5
2.9
4
10
7.5
2.9
4
10
7.5
3
4.1
10
7.5
3.1
4.2
10
7.5
3.2
4.3
10
7.5
3.2
4.3
10
7.5
Project is Economically Justified
Project is Economically Justified
Project is Economically Justified

CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA


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(By Trial andError) approx, zero

0.0000087571284

DiscountedRate for IRR

17.843439000%

Benefits
57.8
61.2
64.7
67.6
66.3
69.2
73
74.9
77.7
84.1
Total
NPVo
B/C Ratio
IRR

DiscountedBenefits DiscountedBenefits
(NPV, B/C)
(IRR)
51.607
49.048
48.788
44.070
46.052
39.536
42.961
35.053
37.620
29.173
35.059
25.839
33.021
23.130
30.251
20.139
28.019
17.729
27.078
16.283
380.458
300.000
80.458
1.268
17.84%

22

2.7

Selection of Routes

2.7.1

Introduction
The location of a new or major road requires consideration of many complex and interrelated
factors and brings together different professionals namely economists, geologists, planners,
surveyors and road engineers. The process of defining the physical location of a new road must be
preceded by the analysis of data on traffic volumes, planning intentions in the area to be traversed
and preliminary estimates of the anticipated design of the new road. Route location consists of
selecting the best compromise between demand factors and terrain factors. Demand factors
determine the areas to be served by the new road standard and terrain factors influence the
engineering cost. Terrain factors include: Ground conditions, materials for construction,
earthworks, drainage both surface and subsurface and the need for structures. The choice of route
is normally associated with the problem identification and feasibility stages of the project life
cycle. Road locations are easier to determine through low cost relatively undeveloped lands than
through well developed rural and urban areas.

2.7.2

Overview of the Location Process


Once the need for a new road has been justified by the transport planning process, the approach to
the selection of an appropriate route location becomes a structured decision process.
The first step requires the fixing of end termini and then defining a region which will determine all
feasible routes between these two points. In a non-urban setting this region can be one third as
wide as it is long. The region is then searched using reconnaissance techniques to obtain a limited
number of broad bands within which further searches can be concentrated. Such a band can be up
to 16km wide for a rural motorway. Within these bands, further reconnaissance searches result in
the selection of say three narrower corridors each 3-8km wide that can be labelled A, B and C. A
comparison of these may then suggest that C will provide the best route and then Route E is
generated through it. In rural setting route E may be 1-1.5km wide.
The next step is preliminary location where route E is searched and one or more feasible
alignments is located within it each perhaps 30m wide containing minor design differences. These
alignments are then compared during the final location phase of the analysis and the most suitable
one is selected for further development in terms of design and construction. The above process is
iterative in nature. Tangible considerations that might influence the selection process include
topographic, soil and geological survey data, land usage and population distributions, travel
demands and road user costs, construction and maintenance costs and safety factors. Intangible
considerations of a political, social and environmental nature requiring extensive public
consultation may need to be considered as well.

2.7.3

Location Surveys in Non-Built-Up Areas


Te approach relies on three types of survey namely: reconnaissance, preliminary location and final
location/design.

a) Reconnaissance Survey
The reconnaissance stage of the survey process takes place during the identification stage of the
project where alternative possible routes are determined in terms of the corridors in which they lie.
The first step in the reconnaissance survey is to carry out a major desk study of the
bands/corridors being evaluated within the region. The types of information typically gathered for
a desk study include:

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a) General land survey locating the site on maps. Dated air photographs, site boundaries,
outliners of structures, meteorological information e.t.c.
b) Permitted use and restrictions Planning restrictions of an area according to planning
legislation, local authority regulations and byelaws, ancient monuments, burial grounds,
environmental restrictions.etc.
c) Approaches and access Checking road ownership, closed railway lines etc.
d) Ground conditions Geological maps, seismicity etc
e) Sources of material for construction
f) Drainage and sewerage Authorities in charge, location of sewer lines, location of storm
drains etc.
g) Water supply Authorities concerned location of existing lines etc.
h) Electricity supply Information on concerned authorities and existing lines
i) Telecommunications Information on concerned authorities and existing lines.
Next, armed with questions from the desk study, the reconnaissance engineer visits the field to fill
in omissions in information gathered from the desk study and further limit the corridor under
study into a more suitable terrain and provide further data useful for design. The reconnaissance
study should be low key so as not to attract attention of local residents who may pre-empt the
development of the project. On completion of the reconnaissance survey the engineer should have
sufficient information which when combined with economic, environmental, planning, social and
traffic inputs enable the selection of the feasible corridor routes. The renaissance report describes
the preferred corridor routes; a state of criteria satisfied by the project, presents tentative project
cost estimates, provides provisional geotechnical maps and shows characteristics of important
engineering features. It also states special issues that may lead to design and construction
problems.
b) Preliminary Location Survey
This is the feasibility stage of the project where corridors are appraised to select the best route. It
is a large scale study of one or more feasible routes within the corridor whose purpose is to collect
all the physical information that may affect the location of the proposed road way. It results in a
paper location that defines the line for the subsequent final location survey. Site investigations are
carried out of alternative routes guided by terrain evaluation.
In the course of carrying out the preliminary survey, a ground survey, which is one of the
approaches, the other being an aerial survey is taken by means of traversing and levelling to
produce a strip map of the proposed corridor for the route showing the physical features along the
route, locations of soft ground, locations of water bodies, power lines pipelines, houses
monuments etc. These are converted into a topographic map that shows both horizontal and
vertical data usually with the aid of contour lines that enable the road alignment to be defined in
both horizontal and vertical planes. The survey area should be greater than the roadway width of
the proposed route.
The next step is the determination of the centreline of the proposed road. It should fit the
topography while meeting the intended traffic service requirements. It is a trial and error process
were trial centrelines are drawn on the strip map and are adjusted according to the skill and
judgement of the engineer. Sketching can be by the method of arcs or the method of tangents. The
process of sketching on paper should go hand in hand with field observations.
Many considerations influence the choice of centreline finally selected. These include;
a) In rural areas locate the road along property edges rather than through them;
b) Avoid alignments that cause the motorist to drive into the rising or setting sun for long
periods;
c) Site the road so as to view a prominent scenic feature;
d) Minimise the destruction of manmade culture, cemeteries etc;
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24

e) Avoid highly developed expensive land areas and seek alignments that cause minimum
environmental damage;
f) If a vertical curve is superimposed on a horizontal curve, ensure the horizontal curve is
longer;
g) Avoid introducing a sharp horizontal curve at or the top of a pronounced crest curve or the
low point of a pronounced sag vertical curve. For safety reasons, make horizontal and
vertical curves as flat as possible at junctions with other roads;
h) Avoid locating bridges on or near curves;
i) Minimise the use of alignments that require excavation of rock;
j) Balance excavation quantities with embankment quantities.
Finally cost comparisons are made of alternative alignments to assist in recommendation of the
best route.
c) Final Location Survey
The final location survey involves fixing the final, permanent centreline of the road, while
gathering additional physical data needed to prepare construction plans. The centreline that is
pegged during the final location survey should closely follow the paper location of the preliminary
survey map. Levels should be taken at regular intervals along the centreline. This should be
extended say 175m beyond the start and end of the proposed scheme. Cross section levels should
be taken at right angles on both sides of the centreline ensuring the width is greater than the
proposed roadway width. The levelling data obtained in the final location survey are fundamental
to the vertical alignment, earthworks and drainage designs. Main ground investigations for design
are carried out during the final location survey. The subsurface investigations should provide
borrow pit information. Benchmarks are also established during the final location survey.
d) Road location in built up areas
It takes a longer time to establish a major road in a built up area than in an undeveloped area. The
search for the line of a new road involves a combination of a reconnaissance-preliminary survey
(dominated by transport planning activities) and a final location survey.
The reconnaissance-preliminary survey involves a transport planning investigation carried out in
conjunction with a desk based physical site survey. The steps can be summarized as:
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)
v)

Determine approximate traffic volume along a general corridor;


Select road type, number of lanes to carry traffic load, level of service;
Preliminary designs;
Assign traffic to selected routes to determine design traffic volumes;
Compare alternative locations using feasibility study criteria.

The final location survey is similar to the one described above for rural areas except it is more
complex to carry out. Setting out may need more complicated offsetting and reference methods.
2.7.4

References
1.
Kadiyali, L.R., 2006. Principles and Practices of Highway Engineering (including
Expressways and Airport Engineering), 4th Edition. Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
2.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danida, 1998. Kampala to Fort-Portal Road Upgrading Project,
Uganda: Design, Tendering and Supervision of Mityana-Mubende-Kyenjojo Section. Interim
Engineering Report, COWI in Joint Venture with Road Directorate, Denmark Ministry of
Transport.

CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA


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25

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications and Gauff Ingenieur, 1993. Transport
Rehabilitation Project Upgrading, Regravelling and Rehabilitation of Roads. IDA Credit No.
P593 UG, Part 1, Volume I, Engineering Report, Detailed Engineering Study.
Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, 2004. Draft Road Design Manual.
OFlaherty C.A., 2002. Highways: The Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of
Pavements. 4th Edition, Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.
Thagesen, B., 1996. Highway and Traffic Engineering in Developing Countries. 1st Edition. E
& FN Spon Publishers, London, Uk.
Transport and Road Research Laboratory, 2005. A Guide to Road Project Appraisal. Overseas
Road Note 5. Crowthorne, England.

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26

3.0 The Road User and the Vehicle


3.1

Introduction
A highway engineer is required to design road facilities which will be used by pedestrians, cyclists
animal-drawn vehicles and a variety of motor-powered vehicles. The great variation in road user
behaviour and vehicle characteristics necessitates an understanding of these variations as a
precondition to highway design.
Human factors that govern the behaviour of the driver, cyclist and the pedestrians have a
considerable effect on the design elements. Knowledge of how this behaviour is influenced by
various external conditions is useful in designing the road facility. The characteristics of the
different types of vehicles will influence the geometric design elements of the highway and will
determine the safety of traffic using the road [Kadiyali, 2006].

3.2

Human Factors Governing Road User Behaviour

3.2.1

Human Body as a complex System


The human body has a complex mechanism exhibiting varied reactions to external stimuli. When
dealing with highway engineering design, human behaviour can be studied under the following
groups:
a) Physiological
i) Vision;
ii) Hearing;
b) Psychological
i) Perception;
ii) Hearing;
iii) Intellection;
iv) Emotion;
v) Volition

3.2.2

Vision
Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are able to use the road safely because of the help received by the
eyes in seeing the road and traffic thereon and in evaluating the size, shape, colour, distance and
speed of approach of various objects on the road. Safety of traffic depends upon the ability of the
road users to see traffic lights, traffic signs, vehicles on the road, safe gap and safe crossing places.
The drivers are able to cross, overtake, stop, accelerate and decelerate their vehicles on seeing the
road conditions, the traffic conditions and the environmental conditions affecting safe traffic
movement.

3.2.3

Hearing
For safe driving, cycling and walking, sound is an invaluable aid. Horns can alert the road user.
Similarly the sound of a nearing vehicle or that of skidding may alert the road user and avert and
accident. Efforts are being made to take measures for the control of noise pollution on roads.

3.2.4

Perception, Intellection, Emotion and Volition


The psychological traits of a road user are extremely important to highway engineers. The
characteristics which are important are perception, intellection, emotion and volition abbreviated
as PIEV. The time taken for these processes is known as PIEV time.
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Perception is the process of using the senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and the
thinking) to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation.
The next stage is intellection, which means the identification of the stimuli by the development of
new thoughts and ideas. When a person receives certain stimuli, new thoughts and ideas may form
leading to better understanding of the stimuli.
Emotion is a strong feeling about somebody or something. It is an individual trait of a person
governing his decision making process.
Volition is the ability to make conscious choices or decisions. It is a persons will to react to any
given situation.
In highway design practice, the time that elapses between the perception of danger by a road user
and the decision to take action (Perception and brake-reaction time) is an important consideration
especially in the design of sight distances. The perception time is that time required for a driver to
come to a realisation that brakes must be applied. The brake reaction time is that time between
the perception of danger and the effective application of brakes. The AASHO practice is to use a
combined perception and brake-reaction time of 2.5 seconds.
3.3

Pedestrian Characteristics

3.3.1 Speed
Speed of walk of pedestrians is needed for design of traffic signals and other pedestrian facilities.
The average walking speeds range from 0.75m/s to 1.8m/s. The rate assumed in the Manual on
Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for timing pedestrian signals is 1.2m/s.
The designers may keep in mind that many pedestrians consider themselves as not being governed
by any laws. In addition, any regulations pertaining to the movement of pedestrians are not being
enforced.
3.3.2

Space Occupied by Pedestrians


For design of a subway, foot bridges and other facilities, the space required by a pedestrian is
generally taken as an ellipse with a major axis of 0.6m and a minor axis of 0.45m Area approx.
(0.2121m2). The spacing between pedestrians while walking is generally taken as 2.5m which
roughly corresponds to a time headway of 2 seconds (i.e. 2.5m/1.2m/s) [Kadiyali, 2006].

3.4

Vehicle Characteristics
The major vehicle characteristics considered in design include:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)

3.5

Size;
Power performance of vehicles;
Rolling resistance;
Air resistance;
Grade resistance; and
Inertial forces during acceleration.

References
1.
Kadiyali, L.R., 2006. Principles and Practices of Highway Engineering (including
Expressways and Airport Engineering), 4th Edition. Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
2.
MoWH&C, 2005, Road Design Manual Vol.1 Geometric Design Manual

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4.0 Geometric Design of Highways


4.1

Introduction
Geometric design is an aspect of the highway design dealing with the visible dimensions of a
roadway. It is dictated, within economic limitations, by the requirements of traffic and includes
the design elements of horizontal and vertical alignment, sight distance, cross-section components,
lateral and vertical clearances, intersection treatment, control of access etc [Kadiyali, 2006].
The purpose of geometric design is to reduce the number and severity of road accidents while
ensuring high traffic flow with minimum delay to vehicles [Thagesen, 1996]. The safe, efficient
and economic operation of a highway is governed to a large extent by the care with which the
geometric design has been worked out. Safety or the lack of it is an immediate corollary of the
various design features of the highway. Efficient and comfortable operation of traffic is possible
only if the design elements have been meticulously considered. A well designed highway has to
be consistent with economy. Too liberal standards may not fit in with the available resources,
whereas if the standards are too low, the cost of operation may mount up [Kadiyali, 2006].
The basic inputs are the Design speed and the Design hourly volume. The design speed governs
the design of vertical and horizontal curvatures while design hour volume governs capacity
required.
The design engineer has to consider the following points when selecting the design standards for a
highway.
a) Adequate geometric design in planning a highway facility ensures that the facility will not
become obsolete in the foreseeable future. Hence the volume and composition of traffic in
the design year should be the basis of design.
b) Faulty geometrics are costly, and in some cases impossible to rectify at a later date and so,
due to consideration should be given to geometric design at the initial stage itself.
c) The design should be consistent with and the standards proposed for different elements
should be compatible with one another. Abrupt changes in design should be avoided.
d) The design should embrace all aspects of geometrics of the road, including signs,
markings, proper lighting, intersections, etc.
e) The highway should be considered as an element of the total environment and its location
and design should enhance rather than degrade the environment. The highway should be
aesthetically satisfying. The design elements should strive to control pollution.
f) The design should be so selected that not only the initial cost of construction of the
facility, but also the total transportation cost, including maintenance cost and road user
cost should be minimised.
g) Safety should be inbuilt into the design elements.
h) The design should enable all the road users (motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and
animal drawn vehicles) to use the facility. The performance of the vehicles using the
facility should be given due consideration.

4.2

Highway Design Standards in Uganda


Some geometric standards in Uganda have been formulated by the Ministry of Works, Housing
and Communications e.g. The Uganda Road Design Manual Vol.1-Geometric Design Manual
2005. The AASHTO Standards represent the American practice, whereas the Department of
Environment (UK) standards give the current British practice.
It is important for engineers to exercise judgement in the use of a given design standard to ensure
that they come up with an economical solution for a geometric design. Sometimes, more than one
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29

design standard is used for the purposes of comparing one pavement design with another so that
the comparison guides the engineer in selecting the most economical option.
4.3

Division of Roads into Functional Class


The rural roads in Uganda are divided into the following 5 classes according to their major
function in the road networks.
Class A: International Trunk Roads
Roads that link International Important Centres; Connection between the national road system and
those of neighbouring countries; Major function is to provide mobility;
Class B: National Trunk Roads
Roads that link provincial capitals, main centres of population and nationally important centres.
Major function is to provide mobility;
Class C: Primary Roads
Roads linking provincially important centres to each other or to a higher class roads (urban/rural
centres). Linkage between districts local centres of population and development areas with higher
class road. Major function is to provide both mobility and access;
Class D: Secondary Roads
Roads linking locally important centres to each other, to a more important centre, or to a higher
class road (rural/market centres) and linkage between locally important traffic generators and their
rural hinterland. Major function is to provide both mobility and access;
Class E: Minor Roads
Any road link to minor centre (market/local centre) and all other motorable roads; Major function
is to provide access to land adjacent to the secondary road system;
Roads of the highest classes, A and B, have as their major function to provide mobility and have
longer trip lengths. They are required to provide a high level of service with a high design speed.
The roads of Classes C and D serve a dual function in accommodating shorter trips and feeding
the higher classes or road. For these roads an intermediate design speed and level of service is
required. Road Class E has short trip length and their primary function is to provide access.
Design speeds and level of service for these roads may be low [MoWH&C, 2005].

4.4

Design Controls and Criteria

4.4.1 General
There are certain basic design controls and criteria which govern the geometric features of a
highway. These are: topography, traffic (its volume, directional distribution, and composition,
including the future estimates), speed, capacity design vehicle and control of access.
4.4.2 Topography
Topography and physical features play an important role in the location and design of a highway.
The various design elements should be related to topographical features if an economical and
sound judgement is to emerge. The classification of terrain is normally done by means of the cross
(transverse) slope of the country, i.e. the slope approximately perpendicular to the centre-line of
the highway location.

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Table 4.1: Terrain Classification


Type of terrain

Description

Flat

Level or gently rolling country which offers few obstacles to the construction of a road having
continuously unrestricted horizontal and vertical alignment (transverse terrain slope around 5%)

Rolling

Rolling, hilly or foothill country where the slopes generally rise and fall moderately gently and
where occasional steep slopes may be encountered. It will offer some restrictions in horizontal
and vertical alignment. (20% transverse terrain slope > 5%)

Mountaneaous

Rugged, hilly and mountainous country and river gorges. This class of terrain imposes definite
restrictions on the standard of alignment obtainable and often involves long steep grades and
limited sight distances (70% transverse terrain slope > 20%)

Escarpment

In addition to the terrain class given above, a fourth class is added to cater for those situations
whereby the standards associated with each of the above terrain types cannot be met.
Escarpment situations are where it is required to switchback road alignments or side hill traverse
sections where earthwork quantities are huge (transverse terrain slope >70%)

Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

4.4.3 Traffic
a) Importance of traffic data in Geometric Design
Of crucial importance in highway design is the traffic data both current and future estimates.
Traffic volume indicates the level of service for which the highway is being planned and directly
affects the geometric features such as width, alignment, grades etc. Without traffic data, it is futile
to design any highway.
b) Design Hour Volume (DHV)
The general unit for measuring traffic on a highway is the annual average daily traffic
volume, abbreviated as AADT. It is equal to the total annual volume of traffic divided by the
number of days in the year. Knowledge of traffic in terms of AADT is not of much use in
geometric design, since it does not represent the variations in traffic during various months
of the year, days of the week and hours of the day. A commonly used unit for geometric
design is the 30th highest hourly volume abbreviated as 30 HV. It is defined as the 30th
highest hourly volume during the year. Hence the design hourly volume (DHV) should be the
30 HV of the design (future) year chosen for design. Exceptions may be made on roads with high
seasonal fluctuation, where a different volume may need to be used [MoWH&C, 2005].
DHV is then expressed as DHV = AADT x K or ADT x K where K is estimated from the ratio of
the 30th HV to the AADT from a similar site. The 30th HV is the 30th highest hourly volume
during the year.
The 30th HV is expressed as a fraction of ADT can vary as indicated in the following table.
Traffic Condition
Rural Arterial (average value)
Rural Arterial (maximum value)
Heavily trafficked road under
Congested urban conditions

30 t h HV as a fraction of ADT
0.15
0.25
0.08 0.12

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Normal urban conditions

0.10 0.15

Road catering for recreational or


Other traffic of seasonal nature
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

0.20 0.30

c) Directional Distribution of Traffic


For 2-lane highways, the design hour volume is the total traffic in both directions of travel. For
highways with more than 2-lanes, it is desirable to know the directional distribution of traffic.
Though this distribution has to be found from traffic surveys, a rough approximation can be to
assume 67% of total traffic to travel in one direction under the design conditions. The design has
to take into account both the morning and evening situations [Kadiyali, 2006].
d) Traffic Composition
Traffic composition has a vital effect on capacity and other design considerations. In Uganda, the
traffic is heterogeneous in character, consisting of fast driven cars, trucks, and buses. It is
customary in this country to express the traffic volume in terms of passenger car units (PCUs).
The values in indicated in the table below.
Table 4.2: Conversion Factor of Vehicle into Passenger Car

Vehicle Type

Level

Terrain
Rolling
PCU
1.0
1.5
5.0
8.0
4.0
1.0
0.5

Mountainous

Passenger cars
1.0
1.5
Light goods vehicle
1.0
3.0
Medium goods vehicle*
2.5
10.0
Heavy goods vehicle
3.5
20.0
Buses
2.0
6.0
Motor cycles, Scooters
1.0
1.5
Pedal cycles
0.5
NA
* Also representative for combined group of medium and heavy goods vehicles and buses.
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

The following definitions apply to the different vehicle types mentioned in the above table.
Passenger cars:
Medium goods vehicle:
Heavy goods vehicle:
Buses:

Passenger vehicles with less than nine seats.


Light goods vehicle: Land rovers, minibuses and goods vehicles of less
than 1,500kg un-laden weight with payload capacities less than 760 kg.
Maximum gross vehicle weight 8,500 kg.
Gross vehicle weight greater than 8,500 kg.
All passenger vehicles larger than minibus.

e) Future Traffic Estimates


The design of the geometric elements has to be prepared for the traffic likely to use the road in the
design year. The design period used for a flexible pavement generally varies from 15 to 25 years.
A period of 20 years is widely used as a basis for design. The future traffic estimates should be
computed to include normal, diverted and generated traffic.

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4.4.4 Design Vehicle Dimensions


a) Design Vehicles
A design vehicle is a selected motor vehicle, the weight, dimensions and operating characteristics
of which are used to establish highway design controls to accommodate vehicles of a designated
type. The dimensions and operating characteristics of a vehicle profoundly influence geometric
design aspects such as radii, width of pavements, parking geometrics, etc. The weight of the axles
and the weight of the vehicles affect the structural design of the pavement and structures, as also
the operating characteristics of vehicles on grades. Because of its crucial importance the
standardisation of the dimensions and the weights of design vehicles is the first step in formulating
geometric design standards. This has been done in many countries. In Uganda, the Ministry of
Works, Housing and Communications Uganda Road Design Manual Vol.1 - Geometric Design
Manual 2005, is being followed [MoWH&C, 2005].
b) Dimensions of Design Vehicles
The present vehicle fleet in Uganda includes a high number of four-wheel drive passenger/utility
vehicles, buses and overloaded trucks. Accordingly the five design vehicles indicated in Table 5.1
will be used in the control of geometric design until a major change in the vehicle fleet is observed
and detailed information on the different vehicle types using the roads in Uganda becomes
available.
Table 4.3: Dimensions of Design Vehicles

Overhang
(m)

Overall (m)

Length

Minimum
inside
radius
(m)

1.3

2.1

5.8

0.9

1.5

3.4

7.3

4.2

DV-2

4.1

2.6

9.1

1.2

1.8

6.1

12.8

8.5

DV-3

4.1

2.6

12.1

2.1

2.4

7.6

12.8

7.4

DV-4

4.1

2.6

16.7

0.9

0.6

6.1 &
9.1

13.7

5.8

DV-5

4.1

2.6

21.0

1.2

0.9

6.1 &
12.8

13.7

2.9

Rear

DV-1

Front

width

4x4
passenger car
Single unit
truck
Single unit
bus
Semitrailer
combination
large
Interstate
Semitrailer

Symbol

Minimum
design
turning
radius (m)

Height

Design
Vehicle type

Wheel base (m)

(Extracted from AASHTO Geometric Design Manual of Highway and Streets)

Sou rce: Ug and a Road Design ma nu al Vo l.1, 2005

c) Selection of the Design Vehicle


The selection of the design vehicle for the design of a highway is governed by the type and
volume of traffic that is expected to use the highway. For instance the design of a superior facility
such as a motorway or an expressway should be based on the largest design vehicle. The design of
streets and junctions primarily in residential areas can be done by using the passenger car design
vehicle.

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4.4.5 Design Speed


a) Speed as a Design Factor
The value of a highway is largely indicated by the speed, safety and convenience afforded by the
facility for travel. Speed is important for economic operation and has a great bearing on safety of
the highway. It plays a vital role in determining the geometric design of any given highway.
b) Design Speed
Design speed is the speed determined for design and correlation of the physical features of a
highway that influence vehicle operation. It is the maximum safe speed that can be maintained
over a specified section of a highway when conditions are so favourable that the design features of
the highway govern. The design speed obviously has to be correlated with terrain conditions and
the classification of the highway. There is considerable variation in the speed adopted by different
drivers and by different types of vehicles. This raises the question of what value of speed should
be adopted for design. The value selected should accommodate nearly all demands with
reasonable adequacy, yet the design should not fail completely under severe or extreme load. The
speed adopted should satisfy nearly all drivers with exception of those few who drive at extremely
high speed [Kadiyali, 2006].
The standard design speeds are 50km/h, 60km/h, 70km/h, 85km/h, 100km/h and 120km/h. These
speed bands are based on the premise that for a given highway, it is considered acceptable if 85%
of the drivers travel at or below the designated design speed, generally inducing a situation where
approximately 99% of the drivers travel at or below one design speed category above the design
speed. Thus if a chosen design speed is by definition the 85th percentile speed for the highway,
then the next speed band up will constitute the 99th percentile speed. Speed bands are related to
each other as follows:
99
85

85
50

2 . 4.1

The 85th percentile speed is selected as the design speed on the basis that it constitutes the most
appropriate choice. Use of the 99th percentile speed would be safer but extremely expensive while
use of the 50th percentile speed would be unduly unsafe for faster travelling vehicles [Rogers,
2003].
The curve depicting the cumulative distribution of speeds has a typical S shape. It is important
to note that designers use typical data previously obtained on similar roads.
4.4.6 Control of Access
Uncontrolled access to road side development along whose major function is to provide mobility
will result in an increased accident hazard, reduced capacity and early obsolescence of the roads.
In order to preserve major roads as high standard traffic facilities it is necessary to exercise access
control, whereby the right of owners or occupants of land to access is controlled by the Road
Authority.
Although control of access is one of the most important means for preserving the efficiency and
road safety of major roads, roads without access control are equally essential as land service
facilities. The following three levels of access control are applicable:

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(1) Full access control: - means that the authority to control access is exercised to give
preference to through traffic by providing access connections with selected public roads
only and by prohibiting direct access connections.
(2) Partial access control:- means that the authority to control access is exercised to give
preference to through traffic to a degree in that, in addition to access connections with
selected public roads, there may be (some) private access connections.
(3) Unrestricted access: - means that preference is given to local traffic, with the road serving
the adjoining areas through direct access connection. However, the detailed location and
layout of the accesses should be subject to approval by the Road Authority in order to ensure
adequate standards of visibility, surfacing, drainage, etc.
Road function determines the level of access control needed. Roads of higher classes have their
major function to provide mobility, while the function of lower classes is to provide access.
Motorways should always have full control of access. For all purpose roads the following general
guidelines are given for the level of access control in relation to the functional road classification:
Table 4.4: Level of Access Control
Functional Class

Level of Access Control


Desirable

A
Full
B
Full or Partial
C
Partial or Unrestricted
D
Partial
E
Partial or Unrestricted
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

Reduced
Partial
Partial
Partial
Unrestricted
Unrestricted

The reduced levels of access control may have to be applied for some road projects because of
practical and financial constraints.
Control of access is accomplished either by the careful location of accesses, by grouping accesses to
reduce the number of separate connections to the through traffic lanes or by constructing service
roads which intercept the individual accesses and join the through lanes at a limited number of
properly located and designed junctions. In every case the location and layout of all accesses,
service roads and junctions should be carefully considered at the design stage and include in the
final design for the project [MoWH&C, 2005].
4.5

Sight Distance

4.5.1 General
Sight distance is defined as the length of carriageway that a driver can see in both the horizontal
and vertical planes. There are two types of sight distance: stopping sight distance and overtaking
sight distance [Rogers, 2003].
The design of a highway with adequate sight ahead of a travelling vehicle results in safe operation.
Knowledge of the sight distance requirements is needed in designing vertical curves. It also
governs the set-back of buildings, slopes, fence, and other obstructions adjacent to a carriageway
on a horizontal curve [Kadiyali, 2006].
4.5.2 Stopping Sight distance, SSD
This is defined as the minimum sight distance required by the driver in order to be able to stop the
car before it hits an object on the highway. It is primary importance to the safe working of a
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35

highway. Because of its importance to safety, all highways must be designed for the minimum
stopping sight distance. It is made up of two components:
a) The distance travelled during perception and brake-reaction time; and
b) The distance travelled during the time the brakes are under application till the vehicle
comes to a stop.
When sensations received through the eyes, ears or body are strong enough to be recognised and
interpreted, they become perceptions. In the cases of a motorist, it is the time which elapses
between the instant the driver perceives the object on the carriageway and the instant that he
realises that braking is needed. The time lag or the brief interval between the perception of danger
and the effective application of the brakes is called the brake-reaction time. The perception time
and the brake reaction time depend upon a variety of factors, e.g. age, sex, alertness and visual
acuity of the driver, visibility, vehicle design, the size and type of the object etc.
According to Ugandan practice, a perception reaction time of 2.5s, eye height of 1.07m above the
road surface and an object height of 0.15m are used in computing stopping sight distance. The
distance travelled during this interval, d1 is given by:
0.278

. 4.2

Where;
d1
v
V
t

=
=
=
=

distance travelled in metres;


speed in m/s;
speed in km/h;
perception and brake reaction time in seconds (2.5 seconds)

The braking distance is the distance within which a moving vehicle comes to a stop after the
application of the brakes. On a level road, the distance is given by;

254

. 4.3

Where;
d2
V
f

=
=
=

braking distance travelled in metres;


speed in km/h;
coefficient of longitudinal friction between the tyre and the pavement.

The coefficient of friction (for a wet pavement condition) is assumed to vary from 0.40 at 30 km/h
to 0.28 at 120 km/h. The above considerations yield the values in Table 4.5 below as
recommended by MoWH&C.
Table 4.5: Stopping Sight Distance on Level Ground for Wet Pavement Condition
Brake Reaction
CoeffiAssumed
cient of
Breaking
Design
Speed for
friction for
distance
Speed
Conditio
wet
Time
Distance
on level
[km/hr]
n
pavement
[sec]
[m]
[m]
[km/hr]
conditin
(f)

Stopping
sight
distance for
design [m]

30

30-30

2.5

20.8-20.8

0.40

8.9-8.9

29.7-29.7

40

40-40

2.5

27.8-27.8

0.38

16.6-16.6

44.4-44.4

50

47-50

2.5

32.6-34.7

0.35

24.8-28.1

57.5-62.8

60

55-60

2.5

38.2-41.7

0.33

36.1-42.9

74.3-84.6

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70

63-70

2.5

43.8-48.6

0.31

50.4-62.2

94.2-110.8

80

70-80

2.5

48.6-55.6

0.30

64.3-84.0

112.9-139.5

90

77-90

2.5

53.5-62.5

0.30

77.8-106.3

131.3-168.8

100

85-100

2.5

59.0-69.4

0.29

98.1-135.8

157.0-205.2

110

91-110

2.5

63.2-76.4

0.28

116.4170.1

179.6-246.5

120

98-120

2.5

68.1-83.3

0.28

135.0202.5

203.1-285.8

Source: Uganda Road Design Manual Vol.1, 2005

Some slight adjustments are needed in the values of the braking sight distance to take into account
the effect of grades. The following amended formula may be used to calculate d1.
. 4.4

254
Where;
G

Longitudinal grade in percent (%).

The positive sign is used when the gradient is upgrade and the negative sign may be used if the
gradient is downgrade. Correction for grade should not be applied on undivided roads with twoway traffic but must invariably be considered for divided highways which have independently
designed profiles. The safe stopping sight distance, SSD is given by d1 + d2.
0.278

. 4.5

254

Example:
Calculate the safe stopping distance of a vehicle travelling at a speed of 80kph on an upward
gradient of 2%. Make suitable assumptions.
Solution
1.0

2.0

Data Summary
a) Vehicle running speed, V
b) Longitudinal gradient, G
c) Perception reaction time, t
d) Coefficient of friction, f

=
=
=
=

80kph
2% (upgrade = +0.02)
2.5s (Assumed)
0.3 (Assumed between 0.40 and 0.28)

Safe Stopping Sight Distance, SSD


From equation 4.5, SSD is given by
0.278 80 2.5

80
254 0.30

0.02

55.60

78.74

134.34

4.5.3 Full Overtaking Sight Distance, FOSD


Overtaking sight distance is that distance which should be available to enable the driver to
overtake another vehicle safely and comfortably without interfering with the speed of an
oncoming vehicle travelling at the design speed should it come into view after the overtaking
manoeuvre is started [Kadiyali, 2006].

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Overtaking sight distance is of central importance to the efficient working of a given section of
highway. Overtaking sight distance only applies to single carriageways. There is no full
overtaking sight distance (FOSD) for a highway with a design speed of 120km/h since this speed
is not suitable for a single carriageway road. Full overtaking sight distances are much larger in
value than stopping sight distances. Therefore, economic realities dictate that they can only be
complied with in relatively flat terrain where alignments, both vertical and horizontal, allow the
design of a relatively straight and level highway [Rogers, 2003].
Full overtaking sight distance is measured from vehicle to vehicle (the hazard or object in this
case another car) between points 1.05m and 2.00m above the centre of the carriageway. FOSD is
made up of three components: d1, d2 and d3 as described below:
d1

distance travelled by the vehicle in question while driver in the overtaking vehicle
completes the passing manoeuvre (Overtaking Time);

d2

distance between the overtaking and opposing vehicles at the point in time at which
the overtaking vehicle returns to its designated lane (Safety Time);

d3

distance travelled by the opposing vehicle within the above mentioned Perception
reaction and overtaking times (Closing Time).

In order to establish the values for full overtaking sight distance, it is assumed that the driver
making the overtaking manoeuvre commences it at two design speed steps below the designated
design speed of the section of highway in question. The overtaking vehicle then accelerates to the
designated design speed. During this time frame, the approaching vehicle is assumed to travel
towards the overtaking vehicle at the designated design speed. The safety time, d2 is assumed to
be 20% of d3. These assumptions yield the following equation:
. 4.6

2 2 2

0.2

2.05

0.57

. 4.7

Where;
v
V
t

=
=
=

speed in m/s;
speed in km/h;
time taken to complete the entire manoeuvre.

The value of, t is generally taken as 10 seconds, as it has been established that it is less than this
figure in 85% of observed cases [Rogers, 2003].

2.0m

0.15m

1.07m

1.3m

Stopping Sight Distance

Extra
distance
for large
vehicles

Passing Sight Distance

Figure 4.1: Stopping and Passing Sight Distances on a crest curve


Source: Uganda Road Design manual Vol.1, 2005
CE 323 Highway Engineering 1, Lecture Notes. Kyambogo University, KAMPALA UGANDA
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Note that in Uganda, the AASHTO standard and NOT the British Standard has been adopted for
computation of FOSD (See Uganda Road Design manual Vol.1, 2005).
4.5.4 Sight Distance for Multi-Lane Roads
Divided highways with 4 or more lanes need only be designed for safe stopping sight distance.
Undivided highways with 4 lanes have enough opportunities for overtaking within one half of the
carriageway. Such roads therefore need only be designed for safe stopping sight distance.
4.5.5 Set-back Distance at Obstructions of Horizontal Curves
On horizontal curves with obstructions on the inside, an important consideration is the lateral
clearance so as to obtain the sight distance. It should be noted that:
i) Sight distance is measured along the arc of the curve;
ii) If the pavement has two or more lanes, sight distance is measured along the arc at the
centre of the inner lane.
The presence of obstructions adjacent to the highway such as boundary walls, buildings,
slopes of cuttings may constrain the limiting radius of the horizontal alignment. To provide
the necessary horizontal sight distances, it may be necessary to set back obstructions. In
cases where the obstructions are immovable, it may be necessary to redesign the road
alignment in order to meet the safety requirements. It is therefore necessary to estimate the
offset clearance necessary to secure the required horizontal distance by considering two
cases as in the following sections.
a) Required Sight distance, S lies wholly within the length of the curve, L (S L)
Assume Straight =
x
C
M

S
2

Vehicle Truck

RM

O
Figure 4.2: Sight Distance Requirements on a horizontal curve with S L
Source: Rogers, 2003

The offset M can be approximated by considering the vehicle truck to be along the chords AC
and CB.
When the radius of horizontal curvature is large, then it can be assumed that the required sight
distance, S, approximates to a straight line. When S lies within the curve length, the minimum
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offset M from the centreline to the obstruction can be estimated by considering the triangle
OAM and ACD. Thus:
From triangle OAM,

R 2 = x 2 + (R M )

(i)

From triangle ACD,


2

S
2
2
= x +M
2

(ii)

Solving (i) and (ii),

. 4.8
8
b) Required Sight distance, S lies outside the length of the curve, L (S > L)
S is greater than the available length of the curve L and overlaps on the tangents for a
distance l on each side.
x
l

E
P

l
B

RM

O
Figure 4.3: Sight Distance Requirements on a horizontal curve with S > L
Source: Rogers, 2003

Assuming a large horizontal radius of curvature and considering triangles ACP and OAP,
2

S
2
2
= x +M
2

(i)

d 2 = x 2 + (R M ) .
2

(ii)

Also,
d 2 = l 2 + R2
S L
But = + l so that (iii) becomes
2 2

(iii)

S L
2
d =
+R
2

Solving (i), (iii) and (iv),


2

2
8

(iv)

. 4.9

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Example
A 2-lane 7.3 m single carriageway road has a horizontal curve of radius of 600 m. If the
minimum sight stopping distance required is 160 m, calculate in metres the required distance
to be kept clear of obstructions if the length of the curve is:
(a)
200 m;
(b)
100 m.
Solution
From the question, S = 160 m, R = 600 m.
(a) The length of the curve 200 m > 160 m. So the required sight distance S lies wholly
within the length of the curve. Applying equation (4.8), the required offset
2
(
160)
M=
= 5.33 m
8(600)

(b)

The length of the curve 100 m < 160 m. So the required sight distance S lies outside the
length of the curve. Applying equation (4.9), the required offset
M =

100 [2 (160 ) 100 ]


= 4 .58 m
8(600 )

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4.6

Horizontal Alignment
Horizontal alignment deals with the design of the directional transition of the highway in a
horizontal plane. A horizontal alignment consists, in its most basic form, of a horizontal arc and
two transition curves forming a curve which joins two straights. In some cases the transition curve
may have zero length. The design procedure itself must commence with fixing the position of the
two straight lines which the curve will join together. The basic parameter relating these two
straight lines is the intersecting angles.
Minimum permitted horizontal radii depend on the design speed and the super-elevation of the
carriageway, which has a maximum allowable value of 7% in the UK, with designs in most cases
using a value of 5%. The relationship between super-elevation, design speed and horizontal
curvature is detailed in the following sub section.

4.6.1 Basic Formula for Movement of Vehicles on Curves


When a vehicle is moving on a curved path, it is subjected to an outward force, commonly known
as the centrifugal force. In order to resist this force, it is the usual practice to superior-elevate the
roadway cross-section. Figure 4.4 shows the forces acting on the vehicle at a super-elevated
section.

Figure 4.4: Forces acting on a vehicle on a horizontal curve


Source: Kadiyali, 2006

Let;

M
v
V
R
g
N

e
C

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

mass of the vehicle;


speed of the vehicle in m/s;
speed in km/h;
radius of the curve in metres;
acceleration due to gravity (=9.81m/s2);
normal force;
coefficient of lateral friction;
angle of super-elevation;
rate of super-elevation, normally given as a percentage (= tan)
centrifugal force.

The centrifugal force acting on the vehicle,


C =

Mv 2
R

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(i)
42

For equillibrium, resolving forces parrallel to the incline plane


Mg sin + P =

Mv 2
cos .
R

(ii)

Resolving forces perpendicular to the incline plane


P = (W cos + C sin )
= ( Mg cos +

Mv 2
sin ) .
R

(iii)

Substituting equation (iii) into equation (ii) gives,


Mg sin + ( Mg cos +

Mv 2
Mv 2
sin ) =
cos .
R
R

Dividing through the above equation by Mg cos we obtain:


v2
v 2
tan + +
tan =
.
gR
gR

v 2

The term

gR

(iv)

tan is very small and can be ignored leading to the expression:

v2
tan + =
gR

Or

v2
=e+.
gR

(iiv)

Expressing speed as V in km/hr


. 4.10

127

Equation 4.10 above is the basic equation relating the speed of vehicles, the radius of the
curve, the super-elevation and coefficient of friction. This equation forms the basis of design
of horizontal curves,
Equation 4.10 can be rewritten as shown below and is known as the minimum radius equation:

127
The terms

. 4.11

2
v2
and v are known as the centrifugal ratio and centrifugal acceleration
gR
R

respectively.
If the entire centrifugal force is counteracted by super-elevation, then frictional force will not
come into play. In this case, = 0 in equation 4.10. The super-elevation then provided is said to
be equilibrium super-elevation. In such a case, the pressures on the inner and outer wheels
would be equal.
Design practice is based on the assumption that at absolute minimum radius the 99th
percentile speed vehicle should not experience more than the maximum level of centrifugal
2

acceleration acceptable for comfort. Its value is 0.22g. Thus if v = 0 .22 g , then the total
R

centrifugal acceleration at the design speed (85th percentile speed) should not exceed:

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0.22

0.156 . 4.12

4.6.2 Value of the Coefficient of Lateral Friction,


The value of the coefficient of lateral friction depends upon a number of factors, chief among
them being the vehicle speed, type and condition of roadway surface, and type of and condition of
the tyres. AASHTO recommends the values given in Table
Table 4.6: Coefficient of Lateral Friction as Recommended by AASHTO

Design Speed (kph)


Maximum Lateral Friction
Source: Kadiyali, 2006

50

65

80

100

120

130

0.16

0.15

0.14

0.13

0.12

0.11

A constant value of 0.15 is generally recommended.


4.6.3 Maximum super-elevation Value, emax
If equation 4.10 is to be used for design, it is desirable to know the maximum super-elevation that
can be permitted. Practice in this regard varies from country to country. The AASHTO practice
limits it to 0.12 (12%), whereas the UK practice limits it to 0.07 (7%). In Uganda the value is
limited to 0.08 (8%) [MoWH&C, 2005].
4.6.4 Super-elevation Rates
Super-elevation on curves is intended to counteract a part of the centrifugal force, the remaining
part being resisted by the lateral friction. Also, super-elevation results in economies in
maintenance. This is because skidding and unequal pressures on the wheels of vehicles, which
result from high value of sideway force between the tyres and the roadway surface, necessitate
frequent attention to the surface.
Super-elevation can be provided either to fully counteract the centrifugal force or to counteract a
fixed proportion of the centrifugal force. In the former case, the super-elevation needed would be
more than 1 in 15 (6.67%) on sharp curves causing inconvenience to slow moving vehicles. Since
super-elevation has to be limited to 7% or 8% as per Ugandan practice, maximum friction would
have to be relied upon when the sharpest possible curve is traversed. When a vehicle negotiates a
flat curve, friction would not be developed to the maximum and this would not be a balanced
design. It is desirable that the super-elevation should be such that a moderate amount of friction is
developed while negotiating flat curves and friction not exceeding the maximum allowable value
should be developed at sharp curves. Therefore designing the super-elevations to fully counteract
the centrifugal force developed at a fraction of the design speed will provide the necessary
balance.
The above is achieved as per UK practice by providing full super-elevation for a speed of
67.082% of the design speed such that 45% of the centrifugal force is balanced by super-elevation
while 55% of the centrifugal force is balanced by friction. Therefore equation 4.10 becomes:

0.67082
127

0.45
127

282

. 4.13

The super-elevation computed from equation 4.13 is restricted to a value of 7% (0.07) or 8%


(0.08) as per Ugandan practice.

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4.6.5 Radii of curves for which no super-elevation is required


The normal cambered section of a highway can itself be continued on a curve where the superelevation calculated is less than the camber. From equation 4.13

282

. 4.14

Substituting the values of camber for e in equation 4.14 above, the minimum radius beyond which
no super-elevation is required is obtained. In such cases where the radius is greater than those
given by the above formula it is desirable to remove the adverse crown in the outer half of the
carriageway and super-elevate at the normal crown slope.
4.6.6 Method of Attainment of Super-elevation
The normal cambered surface on a straight reach of road is changed into a super-elevation surface
in two stages. In the first stage, the outer half of the camber is gradually raised until it is level as
shown below:

Figure 4.5: Stages involved in attainment of super-elevation

It is desirable to accomplish the raising of the outer-half till it is level before the starting point of
the transition curve. The raising of the outer edge should be done in a slope not exceeding 1 in 150
for plain and rolling terrain and 1 in 60 for hilly terrain.
In the second stage, any of the three methods given below may be adopted to attain the full superelevation:
a) The surface of the road is rotated about the centre-line of the carriageway, gradually
lowering the inner edge and raising the outer edge while keeping the level of the centreline constant (Figure 4.5 d);
b) The surface of the road is rotated about the inner edge, raising the centre and the outer
edge (Figure 4.5 e);
c) The surface of the road is rotated about the outer edge depressing the centre and the inner
edge (Figure 4.5 f);
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In most circumstances method (a) is generally used a it results in the least distortion of the
pavement. Figure 4.6 below shows the method of attaining super-elevation using method (a).

Figure 4.6: Attaining Super-elevation by revolving about the centre line

Example
Calculate the super-elevation to be provided for a horizontal curve with a radius of 400m for a
design speed of 100kph in plain terrain. Comment on the results. What is the coefficient of lateral
friction mobilised if super-elevation is to be restricted to 7%.
Solution
1.0

2.0

Data Summary
a) Curve Radius, R
b) Design Speed, V
c) Maximum super-elevation, e

=
=
=

400m
100kph
7%

Maximum Elevation, emax


According to the UK practice, the super-elevation is calculated on the assumption that it
should 45% of the centrifugal force developed at 67.082% of the design speed.
Therefore from equation 4.13

3.0

282

100

282 400

0.089

8.9%

Comment on the Result


Since, as per UK practice, the maximum super-elevation allowable is 7%, then the computed
super-elevation is too high and should be restricted to 7%. The balance of the centrifugal
force will be taken care of by the friction which is mobilised. If is the coefficient of
friction, then from equation 4.10:

127
127

100
127 400

0.07

0.127

This is less than the recommended value of 0.15


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4.6.7 Transition Curves


A transition curve is a curve in which the radius changes continuously along its length and is used
for the purpose of connecting a straight with a circular curve, or two circular curves of different
radii.
a) Need for Transition
When a vehicle travelling on a straight course (i.e. R=) enters a curve of infinite radius, it
suddenly subjected to the centrifugal force which causes shock and sway. In order to avoid this, it
is customary to provide a transition curve at the beginning of the circular curve, having a radius
equal to infinity at the end of the straight and gradually reducing the radius of the circular curve
where the curve begins. Incidentally, the transition portion is also used for gradual application of
the super-elevation, curve widening and improvement of the general appearance. The transition
curve is also used to achieve the following:
i)
ii)
iii)
iv)

They reduce the tendency of vehicular skidding;


They minimise passenger discomfort;
They provide convenient sections over which super-elevation or pavement widening may
be applied;
They improve the appearance of the road by avoiding sharp discontinuities in alignment at
the end and beginning of circular curves.

b) The Spiral
Various forms of curves are suitable for highway transitions, but the most popular and
recommended for use in this country is the spiral. It is easy to set out in the field and the rate of
acceleration is uniform through the length of transition. Figure 4.7 below shows the main elements
of a circular curve provided with spirals for transition at its two ends.

Figure 4.7: Main Elements of a Circular Curve Provided with Transitions

The following nomenclature applies

max

Spiral angle

=
=

Deflection angle
Tangent length

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R
S
L
I
T
T1
T2
U

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

Radius of circular curve


Shift
Length of Spiral (or transition curve)
Point of intersection
Beginning of spiral
Beginning of circular curve
End of circular curve
End of spiral

Some of the important properties of a spiral are given below:

. 4.15

radians . 4.16

L
inmetres . 4.17
24R
L

Tangentlength, T
R s tan
. 4.18
2
2
Shift, S

c) Length of Transition
The length of the transition should be determined from the following two considerations:
i)

The rate of change of centrifugal acceleration adopted in the design should not cause
discomfort to the drivers. If C is the rate of change of acceleration then:

=
=
=

radial acceleration at T1 (= v2/R)


radial acceleration at T (= 0)
time taken (= L/v)

Where;
aT1
aT
t

. 4.19

Substituting the above in equation 4.15 gives


0

. 4.20

From which the length of transition curve, L is given by

3.6

. 4.21

Where v is speed in m/s and V is speed in Km/hr. The value of C is usually taken as
0.3m/s3.
ii)

The rate of change of change of super-elevation should also be such as not to cause higher
gradients and unsightly appearances. This could be kept in 1 in 150 for roads in plain and
rolling terrain and 1 in 60 for roads in hilly terrain. Since the super-elevation can be given
by rotating about the centreline, inner or outer edge, the length of the transition will be
governed accordingly. In calculating the length of transition, the pavement width should
include any widening that may have been provided at the curve.

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48

The higher of the values given by the above two methods should be adopted.
4.6.8 Curve Widening
Widening of pavements is needed on curves for the following reasons:
a) On curves, the vehicles occupy a greater width because the rear wheels track inside the front
wheels (See Figure 4.8)

b)
On curves, drivers have difficulty in
steering their vehicles to keep to centre line of the lane.
c)
Drivers have psychological shyness to
drive close to the edges of the pavement on curves.
From Figure 4.8, considering the triangle OCB, right
angled at B,

Neglecting m2, since it is small gives;

. 4.22

Figure 4.8: Widening on Curves

Assuming a wheel base of 6m for a vehicle corresponding to AASHTO single unit, widening in
metres, m is given by:
18

. 4.23

Where; R = radius in metres


The widening due to psychological reasons is a function of speed and can be assumed to be given
by the empirical formula, Wp;
0.1

. 4.24

Where; V = speed in kph; R = radius in metres


The total widening for pavements, We is given by the following formula:
.

0.1

. 4.25

Where; n = number of lanes


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Example
A two-lane (7.0m wide) pavement on a National highway in hilly terrain has a curve radius of
250m. The design speed is 80kph, maximum super-elevation is 7%, camber is 2.5%, the relative
longitudinal gradient is 0.5% (1 in 200), the angle of deviation is 60o and the rate of change of
radial acceleration is 0.3m/s3. Determine the following assuming that; a) the curve will need to be
widened if the curve radius is less than 300m, b) the super-elevation is obtained by rotation about
the centre line, and c) the design vehicle is a DV-2 single unit truck with a wheel base of 6.1m.
i) The length of transition curve;
ii) The tangent length
iii) The total length of the curve.
Solution
1.0

Data Summary
a) Pavement width, W
b) Curve Radius, R
c) Design Speed, V
d) Maximum super-elevation, emax
e) Camber, eo
f) Relative longitudinal gradient, S
g) Angle of deviation,
h) Rate if change of radial accn., C

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

7.0m
250m
80kph
7%
2.5%
0.5%
60o
0.3m/s3

2.0

Sketch drawing
Refer to Figure 4.6

3.0
3.1

Transition Length, L
Based on the rate of change of centrifugal acceleration, La
From equation 4.21, the transition length, L, required for safety and comfort is given by;
1
.
3.6
80
1
.

3.6 0.3 250


146.319

3.2

Based on the rate of change of super-elevation, Ls


Since super-elevation is obtained by rotation about the centre line then the transition length,
L, will be given by;
.

Where; W=pavement width, e = super-elevation, S=longitudinal gradient, and eo =camber


Since radius, R < 300m, extra widening, We, of the carriageway is required.
2.

6.1
2 250

0.1

80
250

0.655

Therefore the pavement width will be


W

7.000 + 0.655

7.655m

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.... (ii)
50

Maximum super-elevation, e, is given by


80

9.08% .
2.82 250

This value is high and should be restricted to 7% (i.e., e =7%)


From which equation (i) becomes
7.655
2.5
2 0.5

7.0

72.723

Therefore;
Adopt L = 146.319m since La > Ls. (i.e. take the greater of the two values)
4.0

Tangent Length, T
The tangent length T is given by;
T

S tan

L
24R

Where;

Therefore;

3.57m

60
146.319
219.558

2
2
220m

5.0

146.319

24 250

250

3.57 tan

Total length of the horizontal Curve, LT


The total length LT is given by;
LT

2L

Where; Lc is the length of circular curve, and L is the transition length;


L
L

R 2
anglesareinradians

L
146.319
60
R
2
2
R
115.500m
180
2R
2x250
180

From which;
LT

115.500 2 146.319
408.138m

4.6.9 General Controls for Horizontal Alignment


The following general controls for horizontal alignment should be kept in view in a sound design
practice:
a) The alignment should be as directional as possible;
b) The alignment should be consistent with topography and should generally conform to the
natural contours. A line cutting across the contours involves high fills and deep cuts, mars
the landscape and is difficult for maintenance;
c) The number of curves should, in general, be kept to a minimum;
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d) The alignment should avoid abrupt turns. Winding alignment consisting of short curves
should be avoided, since it is the cause of erratic vehicle operation;
e) A sharp curve at the end of along tangent is extremely hazardous and should be avoided. If
sharp curvature is unavoidable over a portion of the route selected, it is preferable that this
portion of the road be preceded by successive sharper curves. Proper signage, well in
advance of a sharp horizontal curve is essential;
f) Short curves giving the appearance of kinks should be avoided, especially for small
deflection angles. The curves should be sufficiently long to provide a pleasing appearance
and smooth driving on important highways. They should be at least 150m long for a
deflection angle of 5 degrees, and the minimum length should be increased by 30m for
each 1 degree decrease in the deflection angle;
g) For a particular design speed, as large a radius as possible should be adopted. The
minimum radii should be reserved only for the critical locations;
h) The use of sharp curves should be avoided on high fills. In the absence of cut slopes,
shrubs, trees, etc., above the roadway, the drivers may have difficulty in estimating the
extent of curvature and fail to adjust to the conditions;
i) While abrupt reversals in curvature are to be avoided, the use of reverse curves becomes
unavoidable in hilly terrain. When they are provided, adequately long transitional curves
should be inserted for super-elevation run-off;
j) Curves in the same direction separated by short tangents, say 300m -500m long, are called
broken-back curves. They should be avoided as they are not pleasing in appearance and are
hazardous;
k) Compound curves may be used in difficult topography in preference to a broken-back
arrangement, but they should be used only if it is impossible to fit in a single circular
curve. To ensure safe and smooth transition from curve to curve, the radius of the flatter
curve should not be disproportional to the radius of the sharper curve. A ration of 2:1 or
preferably 1.5:1 should be adopted;
l) The horizontal alignment should blend with the vertical harmoniously. General controls
for the combination of horizontal and vertical alignments should be followed [Kadiyali,
2006].

4.7

Vertical Alignment
Vertical alignment design refers to the arrangement of tangents and curves which compose the
profile of the road. It is composed of a series of straight-line gradients connected by curves,
normally parabolic in form. The main aim of vertical alignment is to ensure that a continuously
unfolding stretch of the road is presented to motorists so that their anticipation of directional
change and future action is instantaneous and correct [Rogers, 2003; OFlaherty, 2002].

4.7.1 Major Requirements of Vertical Curves


The two main requirements in the design and construction of vertical curves are the provision of:

Adequate visibility, and


Passenger comfort and safety.

In order to provide adequate visibility, oncoming vehicles or any obstructions in the road must be
seen clearly and in good time to ensure that vehicles travelling at the design speed can stop or
overtake safely. This requirement is achieved by use of sight distances and K-Values to be
discussed shortly in this chapter.
In order to provide passenger comfort, the effect of the radial force on the vehicle traversing a
vertical curve must be minimised. In crest curve design this effect could cause the vehicle to leave
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52

the road surface (e.g. in hump-back bridges) while in the sag curve the underside of the vehicle
would come into contact with the surface, particularly where the gradients are steep and opposed.
The result is discomfort and danger to passengers travelling. This can be minimised by:

Restricting the gradients; which has the effect of reducing the radial force;
Choosing a suitable type and length of curve such that this reduced force is introduced
gradually and uniformly as possible [Uren et al, 1989].

4.7.2 Gradients
The rate of rise or fall of road surface along its length with respect to horizontal distance is termed
as gradient [MoWH&C, 2004]. The use of steep gradients in hilly terrain generally results in
lower road construction and environmental costs. However, it also adds to road user costs through
delays, extra fuel costs and accidents. Gradients of up to about 7% have little effect on the speeds
of passenger cars. Nevertheless, the speeds of commercial vehicles are considerably reduced on
long hills with gradients in excess of 2%. For short distances, gradients of 5% or 6% may have
little detrimental effect on commercial vehicle speeds [OFlaherty, 2002]. Long, steep, downhill
grades are very dangerous and need careful design, preferably with escape roads (side roads that
are designed to bring out-of-control vehicles to a safe stop) [MoWH&C, 2004]. The Uganda Road
Design manual (2004), suggests maximum gradients as presented in Table 2.16 below:
Table 4.7: Maximum Grades as recommended by MoWH&C
Speed
Maximum Grade (%)
(km/h)
Flat Rolling Mountainous
50
6-8 7-9
9-10
80
4-6 5-7
7-9
100
3-5 4-6
6-8
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual (2004)

According to British Standards of road design, a minimum longitudinal gradient of 0.5% is needed
to ensure effective drainage of carriageways with kerbs.
4.7.3 Climbing Lanes
The limitation of gradients to a maximum value is not in itself a complete design control, and
therefore an additional climbing lane is normally provided on long uphill climbs. The provision of
a climbing lane is normally considered when the combination of hill severity and traffic volumes
and composition is such that the operational benefits achieved are greater than the additional costs
of constructing an additional lane.
In Uganda, however, climbing lanes are recommended for use if the design truck speed decreases
more than 20 km/h under the truck speed limit, normally 80 km/h in rural conditions. A climbing
lane is inserted into the carriageway by means of entry and exit tapers to the left of the continuous
lane so that slow moving vehicles have to merge into the faster traffic at the termination point as
shown below.

Figure 4.9: Climbing Lane outside the ordinary lane


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual (2004)
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4.7.4 Cross falls


A minimum cross fall of 2.5% is normally recommended in the form of either a straight camber
extending from one edge to the other or as one sloped from the centre of the carriageway towards
both edges. The primary aim of these cross falls is to adequately get rid of surface runoff from the
highway pavement.

Figure 4.10: Highway Cross falls


Source: Rogers, 2003

4.7.5 Vertical Curves


A vertical curve provides a smooth transition between successive gradients in the road profile.
When the algebraic difference in gradients, A is positive the curve is called a crest or summit
curve whereas if it is negative the curve is called a sag or valley curve.

Figure 4.11: Typical Vertical Curves


Source: OFlaherty, 2002

a) Shape of the Curve


Where the ratio of length of curve to radius is less than 1-10, there is no practical difference
between the shapes of a circle, a parabola and an ellipse. Owing to the fact that this condition can
be shown to apply in most of the cases met in practice, a parabolic form of vertical curve is
therefore used to guide vertical curve design [Bannister et al, 1998].

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Figure 4.12: A Simple Symmetrical Parabolic curve


Source: Rogers (2002)

b) Equation of a Vertical Curve


According to Thagesen (1996), a simple parabola is recommended when modelling vertical
curves. The parabola provides a constant rate of change of curvature, and hence visibility, along
its length. The vertical curve is of the form:
.

Let;

Then;
.

Where; C1 is a constant. This implies that;


At x = 0
0

100

100

At x = L

100

100

100

Where; A is the algebraic difference in grade (m - n)


Substituting for k in equation (ii), we get
100

100

Integrating equation (v) gives;


200

100

From the above equation, it implies that If x = 0, the y = C2 = RLPC (i.e. reduced level at PC)
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Therefore the general equation used determine the reduced level at any point on the vertical curve,
RLx is given by;
100

. 4.26

200

Reduced level of crest or sag curve


For maxima or minima,
0

100

100

Substituting the value of x above in equation (vi) gives;


/

100

200

From which;
/

200

. 4.27

c) Sight Distances
The length of curve to be used in any given situation depends on the sight distance. It is the
distance of visibility from one side of the curve to the other [Uren et al, 1989].
There are two categories of sight distance namely:

Stopping sight distance (SSD); which is the theoretical forward sight distance required by
a driver in order to stop safely and comfortably when faced with an unexpected hazard on
the carriageway, and
Full overtaking sight distance (FOSD); which is the length of visibility required by
motorists to enable them to safely and comfortably overtake vehicles ahead of them.

When designing vertical curves, it is important to know whether safe overtaking is to be included
in the design. If it is to be included, then the FOSD must be incorporated in the design and if it is
not then SSD must be incorporated. On single carriageways, it is usually necessary to consider
whether to design for overtaking only at crest curves since overtaking is not a problem on dual
carriageways and visibility is usually more than adequate on single carriageways [Uren et al,
1989].

Figure 4.13: Sight distance over crest curves when a) S L and b) when S > L
Source: OFlaherty (2002)

d) K-Values
In the past it was necessary to use the appropriate sight distance for the road type and design speed
in question to calculate the minimum length of the vertical curve required. Nowadays, however,
constants which greatly simplify calculations have been provided by the MoWH&C [Uren et al,
1989]. The minimum length of vertical curve Lmin for any given road is obtained from the formula.
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. 4.28
Where;
K
R
A

=
=
=

constant obtained from MoWH&C standards (K = R/100)


radius of curvature of the curve (in meters)
algebraic difference in grade (%)

There are three categories of K-Values for crest curves (SSD and FOSD crest curve values
obtained from Table 2.17) and one category of K-Values for sags obtained from Table 2.18. The
K-Values obtained are derived from the sight distances as already discussed [MoWH&C, 2004].
Table 4.8: Minimum Radii for Crest Curves as Recommended by MoWH&C
Radius (m) R
(R= K * 100)
Stopping
Overtaking
(km/h)
desirable minimum desirable no overtaking
centreline
markings
50
1100
600
11000
5500
80
4500
3000
32000
15000
100
10000
7000
65000
24000
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2004
Speed

Table 4.9: Minimum Radii for Sag Curves as recommended by MoWH&C


Speed
(km/h)

Radius (m) R
Desirable

Minimum

50

600

400

80

1300

1000

100
2000
1500
Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2004

4.7.6 Vertical Crest Curve Design and Sight Distance Requirements


In calculating the minimum lengths of crest curves, two design conditions have to be considered
namely:
Where the sight distance is contained within the length of the vertical curve i.e. the sight
distance is less than the length of curve.
Where sight distance overlaps onto the tangent sections on either side of the vertical curve.
In this case the sight distance extends beyond the vertical curve [TRL, 1993].
Considering the properties of the parabola:
For S L;
. 4.29

200
For S > L;
2

200

. 4.30

Where;
Lmin
S

=
=

minimum length of vertical crest curve (m)


required sight distance (m)

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A
h1
h2

=
=
=

Algebraic difference in gradients


Driver eye height (m); taken as 1.05m
Object height (m); taken as 0.26m

For full overtaking sight distance, FOSD, h1 = h2 = 1.05m. The decision to which equation should
be used at a given site can be made by solving either of the equations below;

. 4.31

If e > h1 then equation (4.29) is used and when e < h1, equation (4.30) is used [OFlaherty, 2002].
4.7.7 Vertical Sag Curve Design and Sight Distance Requirements
a) Based on clearance from structures during day time
In certain situations when a road passes beneath structure such as an over pass or bridge on sag
curves, the primary design criterion for designing the sag curve may be the provision of necessary
clearance in order to maintain the drivers line of sight [Rogers, 2003]. The minimum length of
sag curve which meets minimum stopping sight distance requirements is given by;
When SSD L
Lmin =

AS 2

h1 h2
8 D 8 2

....(4.33)

When SSD > L

Lmin

h + h2
2 S 8 1

2
=
A

....(4.34)

Where;
h1
h2
L
A
D

=`
=
=
=
=

Drivers eye height (Usually 1.05m)


Object height (usually 0.26m)
minimum length of sag curve (m)
algebraic difference in grades expressed as a decimal.
vertical clearance (ideally taken as 5.7m) to the critical edge of the
bridge
The critical edge is assumed to be directly over the point of intersection of tangents. In practice
both equations can be considered valid provided that the critical edge is not more than 60m from
the point of intersection [OFlaherty, 2002].
b) Based on night time Conditions
During night time conditions, a critical concern in design of sag curves can be the headlight sight
distance, where the length of the highway illuminated by the cars headlight is the governing
parameter [Rogers, 2003]. The minimum length of sag curve is thus given by:
For SSD L

Lnight =

AS 2
200(h3 + S tan )

For SSD > L


L night = 2 S

200 ( h3 + S tan )
A

....(4.35)

....(4.36)

Where h3 = headlight height (usually 0.6m above the carriageway), = angle of upward
divergence of light beam (usually 1.0o), and L, A, and S are as defined previously.
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It should however be noted that the above equations (based on night time conditions) are;

Very sensitive to the assumption of a 1degree upward divergence of the light beam;
They erroneously assume that headlights can illuminate an object on the carriageway at
long distances and they ignore the fact that many vehicles are driven on dipped lights;
and
The effect of headlamps is reduced on horizontal curves [OFlaherty, 2002].

c) Based on Motorist Comfort


The minimum length of vertical sag curve is given by:
L min =

AV 2 AV 2
=
13 a
390

....(4.37)

Where; V = design speed (km/hr), A is the algebraic difference in grade (%), and a = vertical
radial acceleration (m/s2) usually taken as 0.3 m/s2 for comfortable design [OFlaherty, 2002].
d) Design Speed and Speed Limit
Design speed is a measure of road quality. It may be defined as the maximum safe speed that can
be maintained at a given section of the road where conditions are so favourable that the design
features of the road govern vehicular movements [MoWH&C, 2004]. The selection of design
speeds for road sections of a particular classification is primarily influenced by;
Nature of terrain:- whether level, rolling or mountainous; and
Motorist expectations: - in relation to free speed at which it is safe to drive (in rural areas)
or legal to drive (in urban areas) [OFlaherty, 2002].
Speed limit on the other hand is the maximum allowable speed on a road. The normal speed limit
on rural roads in Uganda is 80km/hr and that in trading centres, towns and cities is 50km/hr.
Speed limits may be reduce but not increased by local speed limits shown on regulatory traffic
signs [MoWH&C, 2004].
In a nutshell, the design speed should not be lower than the speed limit and should be preferably
10km/hr higher than the speed limit. Short rural sections with design speeds lower than the speed
limit should be treated with warning signs and no overtaking markings [MoWH&C, 2004].
e) Length of Vertical Curve to be used
Normally the value for minimum length of curve obtained from the K-Value is not used. A greater
value is instead chosen. This may be due to the necessity to fit the curve into particular site
conditions and the necessity to fit the vertical alignment of the road to the horizontal alignment (a
process known as phasing of vertical and horizontal alignment) [Uren et al, 1989].
f) Phasing of the Vertical and Horizontal Alignment
Phasing is usually done when designing new roads or improving existing alignments and follows
the procedure below;
Designing or redesigning the horizontal alignment;
Taking reduced levels at regular intervals along the proposed centreline and plotting a
longitudinal profile;
Superimposing chosen gradients on the longitudinal section, altering their percentage as
necessary to try to balance out any cut and fill in addition to trying to get the vertical
tangent points to coincide with those of the horizontal curve.
It is this last point that often gives the length of vertical curve in order to avoid the creation of
optical illusions in the vertical plane [Uren et al, 1989].

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g) Setting-Out Data
In setting out a vertical curve on ground, the objective is to place large pegs at the required
intervals along the line of the proposed roadway and to nail a cross-piece to each peg at a certain
height (usually 1.0m), above the proposed road level. These pegs are called profiles and the
erection of these profiles is the standard method of setting out proposed levels on any construction
site. The following information is required for any setting out calculations; the length of the curve
(which is dependent on the gradient of the straights and site distance) and the gradients of slopes
together with one change point preferably a point of vertical intersection [Irvine, 1998].
4.7.8 General Controls for Vertical Curve Alignment
The following general controls for vertical alignment should be kept in view while designing the
vertical profile of a highway:
a) The grade line selected should be smooth with gradual changes, consistent with the class
of highway and terrain. Numerous breaks and short lengths of grades should be avoided;
b) The roller-coaster or hidden type of profile should be avoided as it is hazardous and
aesthetically unpleasant;
c) Undulating grade line, involving substantial lengths of momentum grades, should be
appraised for their effect upon traffic operation. Such profiles permit heavy trucks to
operate at higher overall speeds than when an upgrade is not preceded by a down grade,
but may encourage excessive speeds of trucks with consequent hazard to traffic;
d) A broken-back grade line (two vertical curves in the same direction separated by short
section of tangent grade) should generally be avoided;
e) On long continuous grades, it may be preferable to place the steepest grades at the bottom
and flatten the grades near the top. Alternatively, long grades may be broken by short
intervals of flatter grades;
f) Intersections on grades should be avoided as far as possible. Where unavoidable, the
approach gradients and the gradient through the intersections should be flattened to the
maximum possible extent.
Vertical Curve Examples
Question one
The elevation of an intersection of rising gradient of 1.5% and a falling gradient of 1.0% on a
proposed road is 93.600m AOD. Given that the K-Value for this particular road is 55, the through
stationing of the intersection point is 0 + 671.340 and the vertical curve is to have equal tangent
length. Calculate:
a) The through stationing of the tangent points of the vertical curve if the minimum required
length is to be used.
b) The elevations of the tangent points and the elevations at exact 20m multiples of through
stationing along the curve.
c) The position and level of the highest point on the curve.
Solution
1.0 Data Summary
a) Grades; Initial, m
Final, n
b) Point of Intersection
Stationing of PVI
Elevation of PVI
c) K-value

=
=

1.5%
-1.0%

=
=
=

0 + 671.340
93.600m AOD
55

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2.0 Sketch Drawing

3.0 Length of Vertical Curve, L


L
=
KA
Where;
A
=
mn =
Therefore;
L
=
55(2.5)
=
137.500m

(+1.5%) (-1.0%)

2.5%

4.0 Stationing and Elevation of PVC and PVT


Stationing of PVC
=
Stationing of PVI 0.5L
=
(0+671.340) 0.5(137.500)
=
0+602.590
Elevation of PVC

=
=
=

Elevation of PVI m.L/200


93.600 1.5(137.500)/200
92.570m AOD

Stationing of PVI =

Stationing of PVI + 0.5L


=
(0+671.340) + 0.5(137.500)
=
0+740.090

Elevation of PVI

=
=
=

Elevation of PVI n.L/200


93.600 1.0(137.500)/200
92.910m AOD

5.0 Table of Results

100 200
92.570 0.015x 0.000091
From which the table below is derived
Stationing
Sta.
0+602.590 (PVC)
0+620.000
0+640.000
0+660.000
0+680.000
0+700.000
0+720.000
0+740.000
0+740.090 (PVI)

Checks:
Xmax =
RLLast =

Chord Length Curve Length Elevation


x (m)
Elev.
0.000
0.000
92.570
17.410
17.410
92.804
20.000
37.410
93.004
20.000
57.410
93.131
20.000
77.410
93.186
20.000
97.410
93.168
20.000
117.410
93.077
20.000
137.410
92.913
0.090
137.500
92.912

L
=
RLPVT =

137.500m
921,912m AOD

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6.0 Position and Level of the Highest Point on the Curve


Since;
Therefore;

100

200

x 0;
x 82.5m
100 100
This means that the highest point is located 82.5m from PVC i.e. at station (0+602.590) +
82.5 = 0+685.090
The elevation of the highest point is located at x = 82.5m, therefore from the above equation
1.5 82.5
2.5
92.570
82.5 93.189mAOD
.
100
200
Question Two
An equal tangent vertical curve is to be constructed between grades of -2.0% (initial) and +1.0%
(final). The PVI (Point of vertical intersection) is at station 11 + 000.000 and elevation 420.000m
AOD. Due to a street crossing, the elevation of the roadway at station 11 + 071.000 must be at
elevation 421.500m. Design the curve assuming it has a shape of the form; y = ax 2 + bx + c .
Solution
1.0 Data Summary
a) Type of vertical curve
b) Grades; Initial, m
Final, n
c) Point of Intersection, PVI
Stationing
Elevation
d) Point of Interest
Stationing
Elevation

:
=
=

Equal tangent
-2.0%
+1.0%

=
=

11+000.000
420.000m AOD

=
=

11+710.000
421.500m AOD

2.0 Sketch Drawing

Note: There is need to determine, L such that station 11+071.000 is at elevation 421.500m AOD
3.0 Solving the Parabolic Equation for constants a, b and c
The parabolic equation is of the form;
bx c . i
2

b . ii

At PVC; x = 0
2 0
At PVT; x = L

100

0.02 . iii

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100

n m
200L

1.0 2.0

200L

0.015
. iv
L

The elevation at PVC; c = elevation at PVI + 0.5mL


420 0.5 0.02 . v
Equations (iii), (iv) and (v) in equation (i) gives;
0.015
0.02x
420 0.01L . vi
L
4.0

Determination of the Length of Vertical Curve, L based on the Point of interest


The point of interest (Sta. 11+071.000) is 71m from PVI (Sta.11+000.000). Hence, from PVC,
this point is located at:
0.5
71 . vii
Equation (viii) in (vi) for L gives;
0.015
0.5
71
0.02 0.5
71
420 0.01L 421.500
L
Multiply through by L and simplify to obtain
0.00375
1.855L 75.615 0
Solving for L gives;
1.855
1.855
4 0.00375 75.615

2 0.00375
44.825, 449.842
44.825m is not feasible since the point of interest is 71m beyond PVI, therefore L = 449.842. This
means that the point of interest is located x = 0.5(449.842) +71 = 295.921m from PVC.

5.0

Stationing and Elevation of PVC and PVT


Stationing of PVC
=
Stationing of PVI 0.5L
=
(11+000.000) 0.5(449.842)
=
10+775.079
Elevation of PVC

=
=
=

Elevation of PVI + m.L/200


420 + 2.0(449.842)/200
424.498m AOD

Stationing of PVI

=
=
=

Stationing of PVI + 0.5L


(11+000.000) + 0.5(449.842)
11+224.921

Elevation of PVI

=
=
=

Elevation of PVI + n.L/200


420 + 1.0(449.842)/200
422.249m AOD

Exercise
A 150m long equal tangent vertical curve connecting grades of +1.2% (initial) and -1.08% (final)
crosses a one-meter diameter pipe at right angles. The pipe is located at station 11 + 025.000 and
its centerline is at elevation 1091.6m. The PVI of the vertical curve is at station 11 + 000.000 and
elevation 1095.2m. Using offsets determine the depth, below the surface of the curve, to the top of
the pipe and determine the station of the highest point on the curve.

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4.8

Cross-Sectional Elements

4.8.1 General
The cross-sectional elements of a highway design pertain to those features which deal with its
width. They embrace aspects such as road reserve width, carriageway width, central reservation
(median), shoulders, camber, side slopes, horizontal and vertical clearances etc.
carriageway
support
strip shoulder
lateral
clearance

traffic lane
camber %

fill or
embankment

traffic lane
camber %

shoulder
lateral
clearance

edge strip for road markings

catch drain

back or outer
slope

safety zone

road prism

cut

fore or inner table drain


slope

natural terrain
verge

support
strip

right-of-way
boundary

roadside area

verge

road reserve

Figure 4.14: Single Carriageway Cross-section Elements


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2004
kerbed
footway

edge
strip

traffic lanes
outer

edge
strip

median

traffic lanes

inner
camber %

outer hard
shoulder

edge
strip

divider
separate
edge
footway/
strip
cycleway

camber %

inner hard
shoulder

outer hard
shoulder

Figure 4.15: Dual Carriageway Cross-section Elements


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2004

4.8.2 Road Reserve


The road reserve or right-of-way width is the width of land secured and preserved in public
interest for road development purposes. The road reserve should be adequate to accommodate all
the elements that make up the cross-section of the highway and may reasonably provide for future
development.
In order to prevent ribbon development along highways, it is sometimes necessary to establish
control lines and building lines. A control line is a line which represents the nearest limits of
future uncontrolled activity in relation to a road. This signifies that though building activity is not
totally banned between the building line and the control line, the nature of buildings permitted
here is controlled. A building line on the other hand is a line on either side of the road between
which no building activity is permitted at all.
4.8.3 Carriageway Width
The term carriageway is used here to cover the traffic lanes, any auxiliary lanes, and the
shoulders [MoWH&C, 2004]. The width of traffic lanes governs the safety and convenience of
traffic and has a profound influence on the capacity of a road. The factors that influence capacity
of a carriageway are:
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a) The design volume, i.e. the greater the traffic volume the wider the carriageway and,
normally, the greater the number of lanes;
b) Vehicle dimensions, i.e. heavy commercial vehicles require wider carriageways to ensure
adequate clearances when passing each other;
c) The design speeds, i.e. vehicles travelling at high speed, especially commercial vehicles,
require wider carriageways to ensure safe clearances between passing vehicles;
d) The road classification, i.e. the higher the road classification the greater the level of service
(and width of carriageway) expected.
Internationally, it is generally accepted that lane widths should normally be at least 3.5m,
although narrower lanes are often used for economic or environmental reasons on both rural
and urban roads. However, increasing the lane width up to 3.65m on two lane two way rural
roads decreases accident rates [OFlaherty, 2002].
4.8.4 Central Reservation (Median) Strip
A central reservation strip is the longitudinal space separating dual carriageways. The functions of
the median strip are:
a) To separate the opposing streams of traffic;
b) To minimise head-light glare;
c) To include space for safe operation of crossing and turning vehicles at intersections at
grade;
d) To provide a stopping area in case of emergencies.
The central reservations on high-speed heavily trafficked rural roads in the United States are
typically 15m to 30m. In Europe they tend to be much narrower (say 4 10m) and to be used with
safety barriers. Those in Britain are normally 4.5m wide, and include a crash barrier. In urban
areas they can be as narrow as 1m, but 3m is preferred so that a crossing pedestrian pushing a
pram or wheelchair has space to wait in safety [OFlaherty, 2002]. On severely restricted arterial
streets, where a narrow separator of 0.6 1.2m is feasible, it may be desirable to have few, if any,
openings in median except at intersections.
4.8.5 Shoulders
A shoulder is a portion of the roadway adjacent to the carriageway and is intended for
accommodation of stopped vehicles, emergency use and lateral support of base and surface
courses. The width of the shoulder should be adequate for giving working space around a stopped
vehicle. American practice recommends a 3m width for high type facility and a width of 1.2m 2.4m for low type facilities. UK practice for rural roads recommends widths ranging from 1.2m to
3.65m depending upon the road type and nature of kerb treatment.
4.8.6 Laybys and bus bays
When economic considerations do not favour the construction of shoulders on rural roads, laybys
should be provided instead, at spacings that are appropriate to the traffic volume. Thus, for well
trafficked and lightly trafficked single carriageways, it is British practice to provide 2.5m and 3m
wide by 30m long laybys at 1.5km and 5.8km intervals, respectively, on either side of the
carriageway, while 3m wide by 100m long laybys are provided at approximately 1km intervals on
each side of dual carriageways. Laybys should be located at sites with good visibility and
provided with tapered hard-strips at either end to assist in the safe deceleration and acceleration of
vehicles using them.
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Full bus bays (3.25m by at least 12m, plus 20m end tapers) may be provided at bus stops in urban
areas; however, the appropriateness of this provision is dependent on the traffic volumes on the
road in question.
4.8.7 Kerbs
A kerb (as termed as curb) is a vertical or sloping member along the edge of a pavement or
shoulder, forming part of gutter, strengthening or protecting the edge, and clearly defining the
edge to vehicle operators. Its functions are:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

To facilitate and control drainage;


To strengthen and protect the pavement edge;
To delineate the pavement edge;
To present a more finished appearance;
To assist in the orderly development of the roadside.

Kerbs are classified as barrier or mountable. Barrier kerbs are designed to discourage vehicles
from leaving the pavement. The face may be vertical or sloping and the height may range from
15cm to 25cm. Mountable kerbs are those which can be easily crossed by vehicles if required.
They are used at medians and channelizing islands.
4.8.8 Camber
Camber, also known as cross fall, facilitates drainage of the pavement laterally. The pavement can
have a crown or a high point in the middle with slopes downwards towards both edges. This is
favoured on two-lane roads and wider undivided roads. On divided roads, the individual
carriageways may be centrally crowned separately or a unidirectional slope may be provided
across the entire carriageway width. The amount of camber to be provided depends upon the
smoothness of the surface and the intensity of rainfall. In the UK, a value of 2.5% is generally
adopted for design. A cross fall for the shoulders should be generally steeper than for the
pavement by about 0.3 0.5% to facilitate quick drainage. The UK practice is to provide 5% slope
on the shoulder [Kadiyali, 2006].
4.8.9 Side slope
According to OFlaherty (2002), soil mechanics analysis enables the accurate determination of
maximum slopes at which embankments or cuts can safely stand. However, these maximum
values are not always used, especially on low embankments not protected by safety fences. The
slopes of embankments and cut sections depend upon the type of soil and the height of
embankment or depth of cuttings. A flatter slope is conducive for erosion control, but is costly.
Flatter slopes of embankments promote safety of traffic. Ordinarily, 1.5:1 to 2:1 in mild slope
conditions and 2:1 to 3:1 in overwhelming slope conditions will be adequate.

4.9

Intersection Design and Capacity

4.9.1 General
An intersection is defined as the general area where two or more highways join or cross, within
which are included the roadway and roadside design features which facilitate orderly traffic
movements in that area. An intersection leg is that part of any one of the highways radiating from
an intersection which is outside of the area of the intersection.

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The importance of intersection design stems from the fact that efficiency of operation, safety,
speed, cost of operation and capacity are directly governed by the design. Since an intersection
involves conflicts between traffic in different directions, its scientific design can control accidents
and delay and can lead to orderly movement of traffic. Intersections represent potentially
dangerous locations from the point of view of traffic safety. It is believed that well over half the
fatal and serious road accidents in built-up areas occur at junctions [Kadiyali, 2006].
The following principles should be considered in a good design:
a) The number of intersections should be kept to a minimum. If necessary, some minor roads
may be connected with each other before joining a major road;
b) The geometric layout should be so selected that hazardous movements by drivers are
eliminated. This can be achieved by various techniques such as channelizing and
staggering;
c) The design should permit the driver to discern quickly either from the layout or from
traffic signs about which path he/she should follow and the actions of merging and
diverging. This can be achieved by good layout, traffic islands, signs and carriageway
markings. Good visibility improves safety;
d) The layout should follow the natural vehicle paths. Smoothness, in contrast to abrupt and
sharp corners, should guide minor streams of traffic into stopping or slowing down
positions;
e) The number of conflict points should be minimised by separating some of the many
cutting, merging or diverging movements;
f) Vehicles that are forced to wait in order to cross a traffic stream should be provided with
adequate space at the junction.
4.9.2 At-grade and Grade Separated Junctions
An intersection where all roadways join or cross at the same level is known as an at-grade
intersection. An intersection layout which permits crossing manoeuvres at different levels is
known as a grade separated intersection.
The choice between an at-grade and grade separated intersection at a particular site depends upon
various factors such as traffic, economy, safety, aesthetics, delay etc. Grade-separated junctions
generally are more expensive initially, and are justified in certain situations. These are:
a) On high type facilities such as expressways, freeways and motorways;
b) Certain at-grade intersections which have reached the maximum capacity and where it is
not possible to improve the capacity further by retaining the at-grade crossing;
c) At certain locations which have a proven record of bad accident history when functioning
as at grade junctions;
d) At junctions where the traffic volume is heavy and the delays and economic loss caused
justify the provision of grade-separation;
e) At certain specific topographical situations where it is logical to provide a grade-separated
structure rather than an at-grade intersection, which may involve considerable earthwork or
acquisition of land.
4.9.3 Basic Forms of At-grade Intersections
Intersections can be divided into the basic forms shown in Figure 4.16 below. From a design
aspect these intersections can also be divided according to whether they are controlled, priority
controlled (stop, Give Way), space-sharing (i.e. roundabouts), time sharing (i.e. traffic-signal
controlled), or grade-separated (including interchanges) [OFlaherty, 2002].
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Figure 4.16: Basic Intersection Forms


Source: OFlaherty, 2002

4.9.4 Overview of the Design Process


The at-grade intersection design process involves data collection of both traffic and site
conditions, the preparation of preliminary designs from which a layout is selected, and the
development of the final design using appropriate design standards.
Traffic data gathered for design purposes normally include peak period volumes, turning
movements and composition for the design year, vehicle operating speeds on the intersecting
roads (these are needed for sight-distance/ speed-change lane design) pedestrian and bicycle
movements (these affect the layout/traffic control design), public transport needs (e.g. bus priority
measures and bus stop locations affect the layout/traffic control design), special needs of oversize
vehicles (the selected design may have to cope with the occasional heavily loaded commercial
vehicle with a wide turning path), accident experience (if an existing intersection is being
upgraded), and parking practices (especially in built-up areas).
Site data collected typically include topography, land usage, and related physical features (natural
and manufactured), public and private utility services (above and below ground), items of special
interest (e.g. environmental, cultural and historical features), horizontal and vertical alignments of
intersecting roads (existing and future), sight distances (and physical features which limit them),
and adjacent (necessary) accesses.
The preliminary design phase is essentially an iterative one. It involves preparing a number of
possible intersection layouts and generally examining each in terms of its operating characteristics
(especially safety and capacity), ease of construction and likely capital cost, and environmental
and local impacts that might affect the design selection. The most promising of the rough layouts
are then selected for further development and analysis (including road user and vehicle operating
costs, if appropriate), refined and examined in greater detail until that considered most suitable for
the intersection is selected for detailed design and preparation of final construction plans and
specifications [OFlaherty, 2002].
4.9.5 At-grade Intersection Types (from a design perspective)
Different at-grade junction (intersection) types will be appropriate under different
circumstances depending on traffic flows, speeds, and site limitations.

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a) An Access
According to MoWH&C (2005), an access is defined as the intersection of an unclassified road
with a classified road and shall generally be provided within the road reserve boundary of the
classified road. Access roads are used to connect properties etc. to the road network. Accident
risk increases with the frequency of access roads, so they should, as far as possible, be
discouraged on higher classes of roads. The lay out and location of the access must satisfy the
visibility requirement for "stop conditions given in Figure 4.17 below.

Figure 4.17: Typical Access Layout showing Visibility Requirements


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

b) A Junction or an Intersection
A junction is the intersection of two or more classified roads on the same surface / at grade. At
grade intersections can be classified in to two main intersection categories based on the type of
control used. For each category, there are a number of intersection types as shown below.
Table 4.10: Types of At-grade Intersections as recommended by MoWH&C

Traffic control

Intersection
category

Major road

Minor road

Priority intersection

Priority

Stop or give way


sign

Control intersection

Traffic signals or give way sign

Intersection types

A Unchannelised T-intersection
B Partly Channelised T-intersection
C Channelised T-intersection
D
E

Roundabout
Signalised intersection

Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

i)

Priority Intersections
Priority intersections will be adequate in most rural situations. Three types of T intersections are
given below:
Unchannelised T-Intersection (A)
The unchannelised design is suitable for intersections where there is a very small amount of
turning traffic. It is the simplest design and has no traffic islands (see Figure 4.18).
Partly channelised T-Intersection (B)
The partly channelised design is for intersections with a moderate volume of turning traffic. It
has a traffic island in the minor road arm. In urban areas, the traffic island would normally be
kerbed in order to provide a refuge for pedestrians crossing the road.
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Channelised T-Intersection (C)


The fully channelised design is for intersections with a high volume of turning traffic or high
speeds. It has traffic islands in both the minor road and the main road.

Unchannelised

Partly channelised

Channelised

Figure 4.18: Typical T-Intersections


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

The crossroads form of priority intersection must not be used. It has a very high number of
conflict points, and has a much higher accident risk than any other kind of intersection. Existing
crossroads should, where possible, be converted to a staggered intersection, or roundabout, or be
controlled by traffic signals [MoWH&C, 2005].
ii)

Control Intersections
Control intersections are mostly used in towns and trading centres. However, roundabouts can be
used in rural areas in intersections between major roads or other intersections with high traffic
volumes. There are two types of control intersections:
Roundabout (D)
Roundabouts are controlled by the rule that all entry traffic must give way to circulating traffic.
The ratio of minor road incoming traffic to the total incoming traffic should preferably be at least
10 to 15%. Roundabouts can be of normal size, i.e. with central island radius 10 m or more, or
small size, i.e. with central island radius less than 10 m (see Figure 4.18).
Signalised Intersection (E)
Signalised intersections have conflicts separated by traffic signals. No conflicts are allowed
between straight through traffic movements.
Typical design of control intersections is shown in Figure 8.3.

Roundabout

Signalised intersection

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Figure 4.19: Typical Designs for Control Intersections


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

c) Design Requirements
The design of at-grade junctions must take account of the following basic requirements:
safety
operational comfort
capacity
economy
i) Safety and Operational Comfort
A junction is considered safe when it is perceptible, comprehensible and manoeuvrable.
These three requirements can generally be met by complying with the following guidelines.
Perception
The junction should be sited so that the major road approaches are readily visible;
Early widening of the junction approaches;
The use of traffic islands in the minor road to emphasize a yield or stop requirement.
The use of early and eye-catching traffic signs;
Optical guidance by landscaping and the use of road furniture, especially where a junction
must be located on a crest curve;
The provision of visibility splays which ensure unobstructed sight lines to the left and right
along the major road;
The angle of intersection of the major and minor roads should be between 70 and 110 degrees;
The use of single lane approaches is preferred on the minor road in order to avoid mutual sight
obstruction from two vehicles waiting next to each other to turn or cross the major road.
Comprehension
The right of way should follow naturally and logically from the junction layout;
The types of junctions used throughout the whole road network should be as much as possible
similar;
The provision of optical guidance by the use of clearly visible kerbs, traffic islands, road
markings, road signs and other road furniture.
Manoeuvrability
A1l traffic lanes should be of adequate width for the appropriate vehicle turning
characteristics. To accommodate truck traffic, turning radii shall be 15 meters minimum;
The edges of traffic lanes should be clearly indicated by road markings;
Traffic islands and kerbs should not conflict with the natural vehicle paths.
ii) Capacity
The operation of uncontrolled junctions depends principally upon the frequency of gaps which
naturally occur between vehicles in the main road flow. These gaps should be of sufficient
duration to permit vehicles from the minor road to merge with, or cross, the major road flow. In
consequence junctions are limited in capacity, but this capacity may be optimized by, for example,
channelisation or the separation of manoeuvres.
iii) Economy
An economical junction design generally results from a minimization of the construction,
maintenance and operational costs.
Delay can be an important operational factor and the saving in time otherwise lost may justify a
more expensive, even grade separated, junction.
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Loss of lives, personal injuries and damage to vehicles caused by junction-accidents are
considered as operational "costs" and should be taken into account.
The optimum economic return may often be obtained by a phased construction, for example by
constructing initially an at-grade junction which may later become grade separated [MoWH&C,
2005].
d) Selection of Intersection Type
i) General
These selection guidelines provided by MoWH&C mainly deal with traffic safety. The ministry
recommends that other important impacts such as capacity/road user costs, environmental issues,
investment and maintenance costs should also be taken into consideration.
The selection is divided into two steps; selection of intersection category (priority or control) and
selection of intersection type. It is based on the following assumptions:

Priority intersections can be safe and give sufficient capacity for certain traffic volumes and
speed limits;

If a priority intersection is not sufficient for safety and capacity, the major road traffic must
also be controlled.
Depending on location, traffic conditions and speed limits, different types of priority or control
intersection should be selected.
ii) Selection of Intersection Category
Based on Safety
The selection of intersection category should mainly be based on safety. The selection can be
made by using diagrams with the relationships between the safety levels and the average annual
daily approaching traffic volumes (AADT in veh/day) based on accident statistics. The diagrams
shown in Figure 4.20 are for T-intersections on 2-lane roads with 50, 80 and 100 km/h speed limit.
The diagrams are, as already stated, based on general European experience on relationships
between speed, safety and traffic flows. They are judged reasonable to be used in Uganda until
sufficient local research is available.
Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day
6000

50 km/h

Q3
Q1

Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day

Q2

3000

Select control
intersection

Select control
intersection

4000

80 km/h
Q3
Q1

2000

Q2

Consider control
intersection

Consider control
intersection

2000

1000
Select priority
intersection

Select priority
intersection

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day

Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day

100 km/h

3000

2000

Select control
intersection
Consider
control
intersection

Q3
Q1

Q2

1000
Select priority
intersection

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day

Figure 4.20: Selection of Intersection Category based on Safety


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005
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Based on Capacity
The selection of intersection category based on safety should be checked for capacity. It can be
made by using diagrams with the relationships between the capacity and the approaching traffic
volumes during the design hour (DHV in pcu/design hour). The diagrams shown in Figure 4.21
are for T-intersections on 2-lane roads with 50, 80 and 100 km/h speed limit. The desired level
refers to a degree of saturation (actual traffic flow/capacity) of 0.5. The acceptable level refers to a
degree of saturation of 0.7.
The diagrams are based on Swedish capacity studies with findings similar to other European
countries. It is judged reasonable to be used in Uganda until sufficient Ugandan research is
available.
Minor road approaching DHV, Q3 pcu/design hour

Minor road approaching DHV, Q3 pcu/design hour

50km/h

400

Acceptable

Acceptable

Desired

200

80km/h

400

Control or grade-separated
intersection needed

Control or grade-separated
intersection needed

Desired

200

Q3

Q3

Q1

Q2

Q1

500

1000

1500

Q2

500

1000

1500

Major road approaching DHV,Q1+Q2 pcu/design hour Major road approaching DHV,Q1+Q2 pcu/design hour

Minor road approaching DHV, Q3 pcu/design hour

400

100km/h
Acceptable

200

Control or grade-separated
intersection needed

Desired
Q3
Q1

Q2

500

1000

1500

Major road approaching DHV,Q1+Q2 pcu/design hour

Figure 4.21: Selection of Intersection Category based on Capacity


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

iii) Selection of Intersection Type


Priority intersections
The selection of priority intersection type should mainly be based on safety. The selection can be
made by using diagrams with the relationships between the safety levels and the average annual
daily approaching traffic volumes (AADT in veh/day) based on accident statistics. The diagrams
shown in Figure 4.22 are for T-intersections on 2-lane roads with 50, 80 and 100 km/h speed
limit. Crossroads should be avoided. The number of right turners should obviously also impact the
decision. The diagrams are based on general European findings on safety effects of right turn
lanes. It is judged reasonable to be used in Uganda until sufficient Ugandan statistics are
available. Note however they are only a starting point for determining the most appropriate form
of intersection.

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Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day


6000

50 km/h

Q3
Q1

Select channelised
T-intersection

Q2

4000

2000

Select unchannelised
or partly channelised
T-intersection

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day
Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day
3000

80 km/h

Q3
Q1

Q2

2000
Select channelised
T-intersection

1000
Select unchannelised
or partly channelised
T-intersection

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day
Minor road approaching AADT, Q3 veh/day

100 km/h

1500

Q3

1000

Q1

Q2

Select channelised
T-intersection

500
Select unchannelised
or partly channelised T-intersection

5000
10000
Major road approaching AADT, Q1+Q2 veh/day

Figure 4.22: Selection of Priority Intersection type based on Safety


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

Partly channelised T-intersections should normally be used if needed to facilitate pedestrian


crossings and also if the minor road island is needed to improve the visibility of the intersection.
Control intersections
Roundabouts are suitable for almost all situations, provided there is enough space. Roundabouts
have been found to be safer than signalised intersections, and are suitable for both low and
medium traffic flows. At very high traffic volumes they tend to become blocked due to drivers
failing to obey the priority rules. Well-designed roundabouts slow traffic down, which can be
useful at the entry to a built-up area, or where there is a significant change in road standard, such
as the change from a dual carriageway to a single carriageway.
Traffic signals are the favoured option in the larger urban areas. Co-ordinated networks of signals
(Area Traffic Control) can bring major improvements in traffic flow and a significant reduction in
delays and stoppages. However, they must be demand-responsive, in order to get the maximum

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capacity from each intersection. Observance of traffic signals by Ugandan drivers is reasonably
good, and could be improved through enforcement campaigns.
For some traffic distributions, for example high traffic volumes on the major road, the total delay
can be shorter in a signalised intersection than in a roundabout. The diagram in Figure 8-8 shows
the traffic conditions for which signalised intersections are most suited, based on Kenyan and UK
experience.
Minor road approaching AADT, veh/day
15 000

10 000
Interchange
needed
Roundabout

5 000
Consider
Signalised
Intersection

10 000

20 000

30 000

Major road approaching AADT, veh/day

Figure 4.23: Selection of Control Intersection Type


Source: Uganda Road Design Manual, 2005

If a signalised intersection is considered due to planning conditions or traffic volumes, a capacity


analysis and economic analysis should be made. This should include road construction and
maintenance costs, accident costs, travel time costs, vehicle operating costs and environmental
costs [MoWH&C, 2005].
4.9.6 Capacity of a T-Junction
The capacity of a T junction is primarily dependent upon the ratio of the flows on the major and
minor roads, the critical (minimum) gap in the main road traffic stream acceptable to entering
traffic and the maximum delay acceptable to minor road vehicles. As traffic builds up on the main
road, headways between vehicles decline, fewer acceptable gaps become available, and delays to
vehicles on the minor road increase accordingly, theoretically to infinity.
Field measurements on single carriageway roads indicate that the critical time gaps accepted by
minor road vehicles at the head of a queue average about 3 seconds for left turn merging with, and
4 to 5 seconds for right turn cutting of, the traffic stream in the nearside lane of the main road.
Empirical research has resulted in predictive capacity equations for T-intersections, which were
derived from traffic flow measurements and from certain broad features of junction layout.
A T-intersection has six separate traffic streams (see Figure 4.24 below), of which the through
streams on the major road (C-A and A-C) and the left-turn stream off the major road (A-B) are
generally assumed to be priority streams and to suffer no delays from other traffic, while the two
minor road streams (B-A and B-C) and the major road right-turn stream (C-B) incur delays due to
their need to give way to higher priority streams. Predictive capacity equations for the three nonpriority streams are as follows:
627
745

14
0.364

0.364
0.144

0.114

0.229

0.520

. 4.38

. 4.39

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745
Where;
1

0.0345

0.364

. 4.40

. 4.41

0.094

3.65

0.0009

120

0.006 1

0.006

150 4.42

0.094

3.65

0.0009

120 . 4.43

0.094

3.65

0.0009

120 . 4.44

Figure 4.24: Selection of Control Intersection Type


Source: OFlaherty, 2002

The superscript s (e.g. qsB-A) denotes the flow from the saturated stream i.e. one in which there
is stable queuing.
The geometric parameters wB-A and wB-C denote the average widths of each of the minor road
approach lanes for waiting vehicles in streams B-A and B-C respectively, measured over a
distance 20m upstream from the Give Way line;
wC-B denotes the average width of the right-turn (central) lane on the major road, or 2.1m if
there is no explicit provision for right turners in stream C-B.
The parameters VrB-A and VlB-C denote right and left visibility distances, respectively, available
from the road;
VrC-B is the visibility available to right-turning vehicles waiting to turn right from the major
road;
W is the average major road carriageway width at the intersection; in the case of ghost or
raised islands, W excludes the width of the central (turning) lane;
WCR is the average width of the central reserve lane at the intersection on a dual carriageway
road.

All capacities and flows are in passenger car units per hour (pcu/hr) and distances are in meters.
One heavy vehicle is considered equivalent to two (2) pcu for calculation purposes. Capacities are
always positive or zero; if the right-hand side of any equation is negative, the capacity is taken as
zero. The ranges within which the geometric data are considered valid are as follows: w = 2.054.70m, Vr = 17 250m, Vl = 22 250m, WCR = 1.2 - 9m (dual carriageway sites only), W = 6.4 20m.

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4.9.7 Design Reference Flow (DRF)


One of the methodologies used to assess the adequacy of the capacity available to a non priority
traffic stream is the ratio of the design reference flow (DRF) to the capacity called the reference
flow to capacity (RFC) ratio. For the satisfactory operation of any given approach lane it is
generally considered that reference flow to capacity ratio should not exceed 0.85. DRF value
considers the function of the road. The 200th highest hourly flow in the design year is used on
recreational roads, the 50th highest hourly flow on interurban roads and the 30th highest hourly
flow in the design year on urban roads. It would be economically and/or environmentally
undesirable to design for the highest hours in the design year. For an existing intersection the DRF
values are often determined from manual counts (including classifications and turning
movements) of the existing flows which are grossed up to the design year using appropriate
factors.
4.9.8 Delay
An estimate of the total 24 hour delay due to congestion, D24x, at an existing T-intersection can be
estimated from the empirically derived equation
8

. 4.45

Where; D3 = total intersection delay (h) during the peak three hours, and P32 = ratio of flow in the
peak three hours to the 24-hour flow. The above formula assumes that delays are inflicted only on
minor road vehicles, which have to yield priority to the major road streams.
T-Junction Example
A new industrial complex is planned to be sited adjacent to an existing priority intersection. The
width of the main carriageway is 8m. The width of the carriageway for traffic movements B-A, BC and C-B are 3, 3 and 2m respectively. The visibility distances at the drivers eye height for the
junction are: VrB-A = 60m, VlB-A = 75m, VrB-C = 60m, VrC-B = 60m. The width of the central
reservation is 2m wide. The design flows (in pcu/hr) are represented in the figure below.

You are required to determine the following:


i) Calculate the capacities of the turning movements; qsB-A, qsB-C, qsC-B, for the priority
intersection shown in the figure above.
ii) Asses the arms of the junctions and advise on which arms have sufficient capacity and
which ones do not.

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Solution
1.0 Summary of Design Data
W = 8m
VrB-A = 60m
WB-A = 3m
VlB-A = 75m
WB-C = 3m
VrB-C = 60m
WC-B = 2m
VrC-B = 60m

qA-C = 800pcu/hr
qA-B = 500pcu/hr
qC-A = 800pcu/hr
qC-B = 400pcu/hr

qB-A = 100pcu/hr
qB-C = 400pcu/hr
qC-B = 400pcu/hr
WCR = 2m

2.0 Capacities of Turning Movements


627
745
745
Where;
1
1

14

0.364

0.364

0.114

0.144

0.364

0.229

0.520

. .

. .
. .

0.0345 . .
0.0345 8
0.7240

1 0.094
1 0.094 3

3.65 1 0.0009
3.65 1 0.0009 60 120

120 1 0.006 1 0.006


1 0.006 1 0.006 75
150

1
1

0.094
0.094 3

3.65
3.65 1

1 0.0009
0.0009 60

1
1

0.094
0.094 2

3.65
3.65 1

1 0.0009
0.0009 60 120

120

150 . .
0.4885

120 . .
0.8882
120 . .

0.7993

Substituting the above values in equation (i), (ii) and (iii), the required turning movement
capacities can then be obtained as shown below;
0.4885 627 14 2
0.7240 0.364 800
0.114 500
0.229 800
0.520 400
59
/
0.8882 745

0.7240 0.364 800

0.144 500

428

07993 745

0.364 0.7240 800

500

322

3.0 Assessment of Junctions Arms


The method used to assess the adequacy of the capacity available to a non priority stream is
the design reference flow (DRF) to capacity ratio called RFC (i.e. Reference Flow to Capacity
ratio). For satisfactory operation of any given approach lane, it is generally considered that
RFC should not exceed 0.85. The critically affected arms are:
Arm B-A
1.69

0.85

0.93

0.85

1.24

0.85

Arm B-C

Arm C-B

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Based on the reference flow capacity ratios obtained, it is apparent that all the arms have
exceeded their capacities and therefore need to be redesigned.
4.9.9 Rotary Intersections (Roundabouts)
A roundabout is a form of channelization intersection in which vehicles are guided onto a one-way
circulatory road about a central island. Entry to the intersection is controlled by Give Way
markings and priority is now given to vehicles circulating (clockwise in Uganda) in the round
about.
The main objective of roundabout design is to secure the safe interchange of traffic between
crossing traffic streams with the minimum delay. The operating efficiency of a roundabout
depends upon entering drivers accepting headway gaps in the circulating traffic stream. Traffic
streams merge and diverge at small angles and low relative speeds. For this reason, accidents
between vehicles in roundabouts rarely have fatal consequences [OFlaherty, 2002].
a) General Usage of Roundabouts
Roundabouts are most effective as at grade intersections in urban or rural areas that have all or a
number of the following characteristics:

High proportions and/or volumes of right turning traffic;


Priority is not given to traffic from any particular road;
Presence of accidents involving crossing or turning movements;
Traffic on the minor roads is delayed by the use of Stop or Give Way signs;
Where they cause less overall delay to vehicles than traffic signals;
Where there is a marked change in road standard e.g. from a dual to a single carriageway
road.

Roundabout intersections are not appropriate at the following sites:

Where there is inadequate space or unfavourable topography that limits a good geometric
design;
Where traffic flows are unbalanced, e.g. at major/ minor T-Intersections;
Where they follow a downhill approaches. The approach should be at least a 2% grade and
should be flattened at least 30m to the intersection.
Where there are heavy volumes of vehicular traffic and where there is heavy cyclist and
pedestrian traffic
Between traffic controlled signal intersections which could cause queing back into the
roundabout exits.

b) Types of Roundabouts
In Uganda there are two types of roundabouts namely:
i)

ii)

Normal roundabouts with a centre island radius greater than or equal to 10m. The central
island radius should normally be between 10m and 25m otherwise it becomes difficult to
control speeds for a radius bigger than the above range and puts pedestrians and cyclists at
risk. The width of the circulating carriageway depends on whether it is one or two lane.
Small roundabouts with a central island less than 10m. The inner central island radius
should be at least 2m.

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c) Design Features of Roundabouts


For small roundabouts, the central island should be approximately 1/3 of the inscribed circle
diameter (1/3D);
At larger sites the proportion should be >1/3 to limit the circulatory width to a maximum of
15m;
The circulatory width around the roundabout should be constant at about 1.0 to1.2 times the
highest entry width subject to the above maximum of 15m;
Steep downhill gradients should be avoided at roundabout approaches;
The frequent occurrence of roundabouts on high speed rural roads should be avoided;
Mini roundabouts must only be used at existing junctions where there are space limitations
and where the 85 percentile approach speed on all approaches is less than 50km/hr;
Entries should be flares. Single and two lane approaches should become 3 and 4 lanes
respectively at the give way line;
The entry flare taper should be approximately 1 in 3. Each lane should be 2.5m to 3.5m wide
at the give way line dependent on site conditions. The taper width at the Give Way line should
never be less than 3m. The best entry angle is approximately 30 degrees. Lanes may be
tapered to 2m width (minimum) on the roundabout approaches;
The entry width of an approach arm at a roundabout is one of the major factors apart from
approach carriageway half width that affects capacity. Flares on the approaches to roundabouts
should be designed in such a way that maximum entry widths are not greater than 10.5m on
single carriageway roads and 15m on dual carriageway approach roads. A typical flare length
on a rural road is 25m. The length can be as low as 5m on urban roads;
Pedestrian crossing places (including zebras) should normally be within the flared approach
but as far from the Give Way line as pedestrian convenience will allow. This reduces the road
width to be crossed by pedestrians. A central refuge should always be provided wherever
possible. A deflection island may fulfil this function but should be at least 1.2m wide;
Pedestrian guard rail should be used, where necessary to control haphazard pedestrian crossing
of the traffic streams. It also improves safety.
d) Capacity of Roundabouts
The capacity of a roundabout as a whole is a function of the capacities of the individual entry
arms. The capacity of each arm is defined as the maximum inflow when the traffic flow at the
entry is sufficient to cause continuous queuing in its approach road.
The main factors influencing entry capacity are the approach half width, and the width and flare of
the entry, while the entry angle and radius also have small but significant effects. The predictive
equation used with all types of single at-grade roundabouts is

. 4.46

. 4.47

Where;
Qe
Qc
k
F
fc

=
=
=
=
=

saturation or capacity entry flow (pcu/h);


circulating flow across the entry (pcu/h);
1 - 0.00347(-30) 0.978[(1/r)-0.05];
303x2; where; x2 = v + (e v)/(1+2S) and S = 1.6(e v)/l;
0.210tD(1 + 0.2x2) where tD = 1 + 0.5/(1 +M) and M = exp[(D-60)/10].

The symbols e, v, l, S, D, and r are described in Table 4.11. Qe and Qc are in pcu/h, and one
heavy goods vehicle is assumed equivalent to 2 pcu for computation purposes.

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Table 4.11: The Limits of the Parameters used in Roundabout Capacity Equation
Geometric Parameter
Symbol Unit Practical Limits
Entry width
e
m
4 - 15
Approach half-Width
v
m
2 -7 .3
Average effective flare length
l'
m
1 - 100
Sharpness of flare
S
0 - 2.9
Inscribed circle diameter
D
m
15 - 100
Entry angle

deg
10 - 60
Entry radius
r
m
6 - 100
Source: OFlaherty, 2002

From the roundabout equation above, entry capacity decreases as circulation flow increases. The
sharpness of flare, S is a measure of the rate at which extra width is developed in the entry flare.
Small S values correspond to long gradual flares and big ones to short severe ones. The angle
acts as an alternative for the conflict angle between the entering and circulating traffic streams.
The entry radius, r is measured as the minimum radius of curvature of the nearest kerbline at
entry.
e) Design Reference Flow (DRF)
When designing a roundabout intersection, the entry angle for each arm of a trial layout is
compared with the hourly flow for the design (DRF). The reference flow to capacity ratio (RFC) is
an indicator of the likely performance of an intersection under the future year traffic loading. If an
RFC ratio of 0.85 occurs, it can be expected that queuing will automatically be avoided in the
design year peak hour in five out of six cases.
Roundabout Example
The table below shows measured turning movements in the AM peak period as recorded in a
traffic survey at a four arm roundabout. The survey was carried out in 2005. The expected rate of
traffic growth is 2%. It is assumed that funding will be readily available and that if any redesign
and reconstruction is needed, the roundabout will be reopened to traffic in the same year the
survey was carried out. The roundabout is being assessed for capacity to carry peak flows in 2019.
The geometric parameters for arms A and B are as shown below:
Geometric Parameter
Symbol Unit
Entry width
e
m
Approach half-Width
v
m
Average effective flare length
l'
m
Sharpness of flare
S
Inscribed circle diameter
D
m
Entry angle

deg
Entry radius
r
m

Arm A
14.0
8.0
40.0
30.0
30.0
40.0

Arm B
9.0
4.5
40.0
30.0
40.0
30.0

The base year traffic survey carried out in 2005 revealed the following traffic flows in pcu/hr.

From
(Origin)

A
B
C
D

A
200
550
100

To (Destination)
B
C
220
450
320
250
420
220

D
210
450
320
50

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The general layout of the roundabout is shown below


Determine the following;

The design flows for the year 2019

The approach capacity of arms A and B of


the roundabout.

Establish which of the two arms still has


capacity and which one does not.

Solution
1.0 Summary of Design Data
a) Traffic growth rate, r
b) Design life, Y [= (2019-2005)+1]
c) Geometric parameters of Arm A and B

=
=

2%
15yrs
as shown in the table

2.0 Sketch Drawing


As shown in the diagram above
3.0 Traffic Assessment
3.1 Design Flow, DF
1.125
Where;
P
r
Y
DF
DRF

=
=
=
=
=

1.125

present flows (in pcu/hr);


traffic growth rate (in %);
design life (in years);
Design Flow (a modification of the future traffic flow);
Design Reference Flow.

The design flows, DF in 2019 are presented in the table below using the above formulae

From
(Origin)

A
0
303
833
151

A
B
C
D

3.2 Entry Capacity, Qe


0

To (Destination)
B
C
333
681
0
485
379
0
636
333

D
318
681
485
76

The parameters k, F, fc, and Qc are determined as follows


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a)

Values of k
k

0.00347

30

0.978

0.00347 30

30

0.00347 40

30

1
r

0.05

1
40
1
0.978
30

0.978

0.05

1.0245

0.05

0.9816

b) Values of F
F 303
Where;
1.6 e v
1.6 14 8
1.6 9 4.5
S
SA A
0.240,SA B
0.180
l
40
40
x

e v
1 2S

:
:

4.5

303 12.054
303 7.809

c) Values of fc
0.210
f

14 8
1 2 0.24

12.054

9 4.5
1 2 0.180

7.809

3652.362
2366.127

0.2x

Where;
M

60
10

exp

And;
tD

Therefore;
:
:

MA

0.5

t DA

0.210 1.476 1
0.210 1.476 1

d) Circulating Capacity Qc
=
Arm A:
Qc
=
=
Arm B:

Qc

=
=
=

0.2 12.054
0.2 7.809

0.5
0.0498

1.476,t DA

0.0498

1.476

1.057
0.794

QBB + QCC + QDD + QCB + QDB + QDC


0 0 76 379 636 333
1424
/
QAA + QCC + QDD + QDC + QAC + QAD
0 0 76 333 681 318
1408
/

Finally, the entry capacity, Qe for;


: 1.0245 3652.362
:

0.0498,MA

0.9816 2366.127

1.057 1424
0.794 1408

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1225pcu/hr

83

3.3 Approach Capacity, Q


Arm A: Q

Arm B:

=
=
=

QAA + QAB + QAC + QAD


0 333 681 318
1332
/h

=
=
=

QBA + QBB + QBC + QBD


303 0 485 681
1469
/h

3.4 Capacity Check, RFC


For sufficient capacity;
Q
0.85
RFC
Q
ArmA:RFC

ArmB:RFC

Q
Q
Q
Q

1332
2200
1469
1225

0.61

1.20

0.85

0.85

4.0 Conclusion
Arm C has a RFC ratio of 61% which is less than 70%, implying that queuing on this arm will
be avoided for 39 out of 40 peak hours.
Arm D, on the other hand, has a RFC ratio of 120% which is far greater than 85%, implying
that queuing will occur on this arm of the roundabout in all the peak hours.

4.10
1.
2.
3.

References
Banister, A. and Baker, R, 1998, Surveying, 7th Edition, Longman limited, Singapore.
Irvine W, H, 1998, Surveying for construction, 4th Edition, Patson press, Great Britain.
Kadiyali, L.R., 2006. Principles and Practices of Highway Engineering (including Expressways
and Airport Engineering), 4th Edition. Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
4. Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, 2004. Draft Road Design Manual.
5. Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, 2005. Road Design Manual Vol.1,Geometric
Design Manual, Republic of Uganda, Kampala.
6. OFlaherty C.A., 2002. Highways: The Location, Design, Construction and Maintenance of
Pavements. 4th Edition, Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.
7. Rogers, Martin 2003, Highway Engineering, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
8. Thagesen, B., 1996. Highway and Traffic Engineering in Developing Countries. 1st Edition. E &
FN Spon Publishers, London, Uk.
9. Transport Research Laboratory, 1988, A Guide to Geometric Design, Overseas Road Note 6,
Crowthorne, England.
10. Uren, J, and Price, W.F, 1989, Surveying for Engineers, 2nd Edition, Macmillan Publishers, Hong
Kong.

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5.0 Design of Flexible Pavements


5.1

Introduction
The highway pavement is a structure consisting of superimposed layers of selected and processed
material whose function is to distribute the applied wheel loads to the subgrade. This is to ensure
that the stresses transmitted to the subgrade do not exceed its support capacity. Road traffic is
carried by the pavement, which in engineering terms is a horizontal structure supported by in situ
natural material. In order to support this structure, existing records must be examined and sub
surface explorations conducted. The engineering properties of the local rock and soil are
established, particularly with respect to strength, stiffness, durability, susceptibility to moisture,
and propensity to shrink and swell over time. The relevant properties are determined by either
field tests, by empirical estimates based on soil type, or by laboratory measurements. The material
is tested in its weakest expected condition, usually at its highest moisture content. Probable
performance under traffic is then determined. Soils unsuitable for the final pavement are identified
for removal, suitable replacement materials are earmarked, the maximum slopes for embankments
and cuttings are established, the degree of compaction to be achieved during construction is
determined, and drainage needs are specified. If the road is in cut, the subgrade will consist of the
in situ soil. If it is constructed on fill, the top layers of the embankment structure are collectively
termed the subgrade [TRL, 1993].
The pavement designer must develop the most economical combination of layers that will
guarantee adequate dispersion of the incident wheel stresses so that each layer in the pavement
does not become overstressed during the design life of the highway. The major variables in design
of a highway pavement are:
The thickness of each layer in the pavement;
The material contained within each layer of the pavement;
The type of vehicles in the traffic stream;
The volume of traffic predicted to use the highway over its design life;
The strength of the underlying subgrade [Rogers, 2003].
Pavements are called either flexible or rigid depending on their relative flexural stiffness.

5.2

Types of Pavements

5.2.1 Flexible Pavements


These pavements are rather flexible in their structural action under loading. They are surfaced
with bituminous or asphalt materials. Flexible pavements consist of several layers of materials and
rely on the combination of layers to transmit load to the subgrade. As a result of this action,
flexible pavements distribute load over a small area of subgrade.
5.2.2 Rigid Pavements
Rigid pavements are made of Portland Cement Concrete (PCC). The concrete slab ranges in
thickness from 6 to 14 inches. These types of pavements are called rigid because they are
substantially stiffer than flexible pavements due to PCCs high stiffness. As a result of this
stiffness, rigid pavements tend to distribute load over a relatively wide area of subgrade. The
concrete slab that comprises a rigid pavement supplies most of its structural capacity.
In deciding whether to use flexible or rigid pavements, Engineers take into account lifetime costs,
riding characteristics, traffic disruptions due to maintenance, ease and cost of repair, and the effect
of climatic conditions. Often there is little to choose between rigid and flexible pavements.

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5.3

Elements of a Flexible Pavement and their significance


A flexible pavement is built up of layers namely; surfacing courses, roadbase, sub-base, capping
layer and subgrade [Kadiyali, 2000].

5.3.1 Surfacing
The surfacing forms the topmost layer of the pavement. It usually consists of a bituminous surface
dressing or a layer of premixed bituminous material. It is comparatively thin, but resists abrasion
and the impacts caused by wheel loads and the effects of weather condition [Bindra, 1999]. The
functions of this layer are; provision of a safe and comfortable riding surface to traffic, taking up
wear and tear stresses caused by traffic, provide a water tight surface against infiltration of water,
provide a hard surface which can withstand tyre pressure. Where premixed materials are laid in
two layers, these are known as the wearing course and the base course (or binder course) as shown
in Figure 1.1 (See next page) [TRL, 1993].
5.3.2 Roadbase
The roadbase is the main load-spreading layer of the pavement. It is structurally the most
important layer of a flexible pavement. It distributes the applied wheel load to the subgrade in
such a way that the bearing capacity of the subgrade soil is not exceeded. This layer requires
higher quality material often obtained by stabilizing sub-base materials. It will normally consist
of crushed stone or gravel, or of gravely soils, decomposed rock, sands and sand-clays stabilised
with cement, lime or bitumen [TRL, 1993].
Wearing Course
Base Course or Binder Course

Surfacing

Roadbase

Sub-base

Subgrade
Figure 5.1: Definition of Pavement layers
Source: TRL (1993)

5.3.3 Subbase
This is the secondary load-spreading layer underlying the roadbase. It will normally consist of a
material of lower quality than that used in the roadbase such as unprocessed natural gravel, gravelsand, or gravel-sand-clay. It may or may not be present as a separate layer since its presence is
justified by the insufficiency of the subgrade or reliability [TRL, 1993].
Major uses include:
Distribution of stresses to the subgrade; as a result the sub base material must be stronger
than the subgrade material;

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Acts as a drainage layer in case of poor subgrade. A good drainage layer should be able to
drain very fast if water is logged, but also must be able to retain some moisture in times of
extreme drought;
Serving as a separating layer preventing contamination of the roadbase by the subgrade
material;
Under wet conditions; it has an important role to play in protecting the subgrade from
damage by construction traffic;
Preventing capillary attraction effect.
The sub-base is omitted when the subgrade is a hard intact rock or if it is granular and has a CBR
greater than 30% and has no high water table [TRL, 1993].
5.3.4 Capping Layer (Selected or Improved Subgrade)
A capping layer may consist of better quality subgrade material brought in from somewhere else
or from existing subgrade material improved by mechanical or chemical stabilisation. It is usually
justified where weak soils are encountered [TRL, 1993].
5.3.5 Subgrade
This is the top surface of a road bed on which the pavement structure and shoulders including
kerbs are constructed. Generally the top soil portion up to 0.5m of the embankment or cut-section
is referred to as the subgrade [Bindra, 1999].
It may be undisturbed local material or may be soil excavated elsewhere and placed as fill. The
loads on the pavement are ultimately received by the subgrade layer; it is therefore, essential that
the layer should not be over-stressed. The top part of the layer requires preparation to receive
layers on top either by stabilizing it adequately and therefore reduce required pavement thickness
or designing and constructing a sufficiently thick pavement to suit subgrade strength. The
subgrade strength depends on the type of material, Moisture content, dry density, internal structure
of the soil particles, and type and mode of stress applied [TRL, 1993]. The major factors that
influence pavement thickness are; design wheel load, strength of subgrade (and other pavement
materials), climatic and environmental factors [Singh, 2001].
5.4

The Pavement Design Process


The overall process of designing a road consists of the following steps:
Surveying possible routes which are part of the feasibility study process;
Assessing traffic;
Measuring subgrade strength;
Selecting pavement materials;
Selecting the type of pavement structure to use including drainage system.
The three main steps to be followed in designing a new road pavement are discussed below.

5.4.1 Traffic Assessment


The first step involves estimating the amount of traffic and the cumulative standard axles that will
use the road over its design life. In this step, other sub-activities include: measurement of traffic
volume by class; measurement of axle loads; choosing the design life and Calculation of the total
traffic. The thickness of the pavement greatly depends on the design wheel load. In design of a
pavement, knowledge of the maximum wheel load is more important than gross weight of
vehicles. Heavier loads require thicker pavements provided other design factors remain constant
[Gupta, 1999].
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During structural design, emphasis is placed on commercial and heavy goods vehicles whose axle
weight is greater than 1,500 kg. It is these classes of vehicle that are most damaging to the
pavement. Their volume becomes critical in design [TRL, 1993].
5.4.2 Subgrade Assessment
The next step involves assessment of the strength of the subgrade soil. The sub-activities involved
in this step include: Assignment of climatic a regime, testing of soils, definition of uniform
sections, and designing of earth works. Properties of the subgrade soil are important in designing
the depth of the pavement. Weak subgrade material requires higher thickness to protect it from
traffic loads. Pavement deformation mainly depends on the subgrade properties and drainage.
During design and construction, proper drainage has to be maintained in order to control pavement
deformation. Climatic factors are important here because rainfall affects the moisture of the
subgrade and pavement layers. The daily and seasonal variations of rainfall are important in the
design and performance of the pavement. Where the water table is close to the formation level of
the roads, adjustments in the design of the pavement layer thicknesses are necessary. According to
Kadiyali (2000) and Arora (2000), the heights of embankments and the depth of water table below
the embankment affect the performance of an embankment and must be examined. Some of the
key tests in the design of the subgrade include the Compaction test, the Dynamic Cone
Penetrometer test and the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test.
5.4.3 Material Selection
The last step in pavement design involves the selection of the most economical combination of
pavement materials and layer thickness that will provide satisfactory service over the design life
of the pavement. Materials together with their grading determine the stress distribution
characteristics. Their durability under adverse weather conditions should be considered [TRL,
1993]. See Figure 5.2for a summary of the pavement design process.
5.5

Approaches to Design
Arora (2000) classifies the various approaches of pavement design into empirical and semiempirical methods. Empirical methods include; Group index method, CBR method (or thickness
design method) whereas semi - empirical methods include AASHTO method, Tri-axial test,
Nottingham method, California Resistance Value Test, McLeod method and Banister method. In
Uganda, the AASHTO and Thickness design methods are most commonly applied. These
methods will be looked at in more detail during the assessment of subgrade strength. The Group
index method is limited as it considers only the particle distribution of the soil and its atterberg
limits.

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Figure 5.2: Summary of the Pavement Design Process


Source: TRL (1993)

5.6

Highway Design Standards


In Uganda, design of flexible pavements has been based on a number of design standards that
include the TRL, Overseas Road Note 31 (1993), Uganda Road Design Manual (1994) which has
been updated, the Kenya Road Design Manual and the American Association of State Highways
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) interim guides for design of pavement structures 19721986. The latest version of the AASHTO design guide was printed in 1993. The above design
guides have been adapted to suit most materials and climatic conditions found in developing
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countries. The AASHTO design equation in the design guide 1972-1986 was also modified
through research done by the World Bank to suit conditions in developing countries.
It is important for engineers to exercise judgement in the use of a given design standard to ensure
that they come up with an economical solution for a pavement design. Use of local materials has
to always be taken into considerations. Sometimes, more than one design standard is used for the
purposes of comparing one pavement design with another so that the comparison guides the
engineer in selecting the most economical option.
5.6.1 Uganda Road Design Manual
The Uganda Road Design Manual November 1994 has incorporated the pavement design guide
prepared for SATCC countries. The SATCC design guide was developed for Southern Africa
Transport and Communication Commission for use in Angola, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Mozambique, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Tanzania [Thagesen, 1996]. The method follows
the AASHTO design concept as set forth in AASHTO interim guides for design of pavement
structures 1972-1986 published by the American Association of State Highways and Transport
Officials. The pavement strength required for a given combination of subgrade bearing capacity,
traffic load, service level and climate is expressed by means of the subgrade structural number.
Layer coefficients, according to the position in the structure, are given to determine the structural
number of the pavement. For each type of pavement, the thickness of the base and sub base layers
are determined so that the required structural number is satisfied [Uganda Road Design Manual,
1994].
5.6.2 Kenya Road Design Manual
The materials and pavement design in the Kenya Road Design Manual sets forth the standards for
structural design of new bitumen surfaced roads in Kenya. The Kenya Road Design Manual
includes design of gravel wearing course on unpaved roads.
5.6.3 TRL Road Note 31
The British Transportation and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) published the first version of
Road Note 31 in 1962 and subsequently revised it in 1976 and 1977. The Road Note 31 has in
1993 undergone a comprehensive revision by the transport research laboratory (TRL) and now
includes the structural catalogue where a layer thickness can be selected for a whole range of
common pavement combinations. The guidelines are based on an empirical method taking into
account the organisations vast experience in understanding the behaviour of road building
materials and their interactions in composite pavements.
5.7

The AASHTO Approach to Pavement Design

5.7.1 The AASHTO Design Equation


The total required structural number (SN) for the entire pavement is as below:
1
LogDT 9.36Log SN 1
0.20 Log
0.372 S 3.0 . 5.1
R
Where;
DT
SN
R
S

=
=
=
=

Design Traffic in 80kN e.s.a.;


Total Required Structural Number;
Regional Factor;
Soil Support Value.

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The above equation assumes a terminal serviceability index of 1.5. This equation represents the
relationship between the weighted structural number and the design traffic. The design traffic has
been grouped into classes as shown in Table 5.4. For low traffic volumes less than 0.5 million
equivalent standard axles, reference is made to TRL Overseas Road Note 31 for design
thicknesses [Ruhweza, 2005].
5.7.2 Regional Adjustment
A regional factor of 1.0 was assumed for areas with rainfall most of the year creating a
permanently saturated condition (12 wet months) of the subgrade and unbound pavement layers.
The required structural number for this condition was entered into the charts as SNW. A regional
factor of 0.1 was assumed for very arid climates (0 wet months) where the pavement structure and
the subbase never reach a saturated condition. The required structural number for this condition
was entered into the design charts as SND.
Based on research carried out by the transportation department of the World Bank in connection
with the development of the HDM III model, a method for weighing SNW and SND was developed
to obtain the Design Structural Number DSN taking the actual wet and dry periods into account.
The modified formula for weighing of the structural number in accordance with the applicable
seasonal conditions (rainfall) assumes the form:
DSN

SND SNW
n
12

Where;
DSN
SND, SNw
nD, nw

SND

=
=
=

Note: SND and SNw

nD
12

. 5.2
SNW

Design Structure Number;


The structure number for dry and wet condition respectively;
Number of wet and dry months respectively during one year (nD+ nw = 12);
are indicated on the design charts

5.7.3 Design Tables


Table 5.1: Subgrade Classes
Class
CBR Range ( % )
S0
2
S1
2-7
S2
8 - 14
S3
12 - 20
S4
18 - 30
S5
> 30
Source: AASHTO, 1993

Table 5.2: Traffic Groups


Group
Description
1
Private Cars and Small Pick-Ups
2
Light Goods Vehicles, e.g. Land Rovers, Minibuses
3
2-Axle and Tandem Axle Rigid Trucks
4
Rigid Trucks with Drawbar Trailers
5
Articulated Units with Semi-Trailers
6
Buses
Source: AASHTO, 1993

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Table 5.3: Average Vehicle Equivalence Factors, Ci


Group

Equivalence Factor
for =4.0
2.0
6.0
6.0
1.0

Description

3
2-Axle and Tandem Axle Rigid Trucks
4
Rigid Trucks with Drawbar Trailers
5
Articulated Units with Semi-Trailers
6
Buses
Source: AASHTO, 1993

Table 5.4: Traffic Classes


Traffic Class

Cum.No. Of standard
axles x 10

esa per day in

Maximum ADT in year one

year one

for Heavy vehicles x 10


10
15
20
125
83
63
50
33
25
15
10
7.5
3
2
1.5

T0 Very Heavy
> 20
8 - 20
T1 Heavy
2.5 - 8
T2 Medium
0.5 - 2.5
T3 Light
0.15 - 0.5
T4 Very Light
Source: AASHTO, 1993

> 2500
1000 - 2500
300 - 1000
60 - 300
20 - 60

5
250
100
30
6

25
50
20
6
1.2

Table 5.5: Determination of DSN for different Subgrade and Traffic Classes
Nw
S2

T4
T3
T2
T1

0
27.0
59.0
69.0
80.0

1
27.6
60.1
70.3
81.4

2
28.2
61.3
71.7
83.0

3
29.0
62.5
73.1
84.6

4
29.7
63.9
74.8
86.4

5
30.6
65.4
76.5
88.3

6
31.6
67.1
78.4
90.4

7
32.7
68.9
80.6
92.7

8
33.9
70.9
82.9
95.2

9
35.4
73.1
85.6
98.1

10
37.2
75.7
88.6
101.2

11
39.3
78.6
92.0
104.9

12
42.0
82.0
96.0
109.0

S3

T4
T3
T2
T1

24.0
54.0
64.0
74.0

24.5
55.0
65.2
75.3

25.0
56.1
66.5
76.7

25.5
57.3
67.8
78.3

26.1
58.6
69.3
79.9

26.7
60.0
71.0
81.7

27.4
61.6
72.7
83.7

28.2
63.3
74.7
85.8

29.1
65.2
76.9
88.2

30.1
67.4
79.3
90.8

31.2
69.8
82.1
93.8

32.5
72.7
85.3
97.1

34.0
76.0
89.0
101.0

S4

T4
T3
T2
T1

21.0
49.0
59.0
68.0

21.4
50.0
60.1
69.2

21.8
51.0
61.3
70.6

22.2
52.1
62.5
72.0

22.7
53.3
63.9
73.6

23.2
54.6
65.4
75.3

23.8
56.1
67.1
77.2

24.5
57.7
68.9
79.2

25.2
59.6
70.9
81.5

25.9
61.6
73.1
84.0

26.8
64.0
75.7
86.9

27.8
66.7
78.6
90.2

29.0
70.0
82.0
94.0

12.3
29.7
37.8
47.0

12.6
30.4
38.8
48.1

13.0
31.3
39.8
49.2

13.4
32.2
40.9
50.5

13.8
33.2
42.1
51.9

14.4
34.4
43.5
53.5

15.0
35.7
45.1
55.3

15.7
37.3
46.9
57.4

16.5
39.1
49.1
59.7

17.6
41.4
51.7
62.5

19.0
44.2
54.9
65.8

21.0
48.0
59.0
70.0

12.0
T4
29.0
T3
37.0
T2
46.0
T1
Source: AASHTO, 1993
S4

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Table 5.6: Layer Coefficients


Layer/Material
Surfacing
Surface dressing
Asphalt concrete

Layer Coefficient
a1 = 0.20
a1 = 0.35

Base
Bitumen Macadam
Natural or Crushed Gravel
Crushed Stone on:
Natural Gravel Subbase
Stabilised Subbase
Cement Treated Gravel:
Type A, 3.5 UCS (MPa) 5.0
Type B, 2.0 UCS (MPa) 3.5

a2 = 0.20
a2 = 0.12
a2 = 0.14
a2 = 0.18
a2 = 0.18
a2 = 0.14

Subbase
Natural Gravel, CBR 30%
Cement Treated Material:
Type B, 2.0 UCS (MPa) 5.0
Type C, 0.7 UCS (MPa) 2.0
Source: AASHTO, 1993

a3 = 0.11
a3 = 0.16
a3 = 0.12

Table 5.7: Compacted Thickness Ranges


Material Type
Layer
Surfacing
Asphalt concrete
Surface dressing
Base
Natural and Crushed Gravel
Crushed Stone
Cement Treated Gravel:
Type B
Type A
Bituminous Dense Graded Macadam
Bituminous Semi-Dense Macadam
Subbase
Natural Gravel
Cement or Lime treated Material, Type C
Cement Treated Gravel, Type B
Source: AASHTO, 1993

Min (mm) Max (mm)


30
10

100
30

125
125

200
200

125
125
70
70

175
175
150
150

100
100
100

250
200
200

5.7.4 Steps involved in the AASHTO method of Design


The steps followed in designing following the AASHTO method are as follows:
a) Determination of the Subgrade strength Class
The study of the alignment soil enables homogeneous sections to be defined in terms of the design
CBR Value. This is the CBR value of the subgrade. For each homogeneous section, the strength
class of the subgrade is determined as indicated in Table 5.1.
b) Determination of the Traffic Class
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The study of the initial traffic flows and axle load distribution, the choice of the design period and
the estimation of the traffic growth rate permits the calculation of the cumulative number of
standard axles to be carried by the road. This acts as the design criteria for structural bearing
capacity. The design equivalent number of standard axles is derived from the chosen traffic
expressed as the average annual daily traffic in vehicles per day, the traffic growth rate, the
vehicle fleet characteristics and the traffic composition. The contribution of the axle load from
private cars and light goods vehicles is ignored in the design of the equivalent number of standard
axles. The axle loading of a mixture of vehicle types is converted to a number of equivalent
standard axles using equivalence factors obtained using the formula below:
P
. 5.3
80

C
Where;
C =
P =
=

80kN equivalence factor;


Load of a single axle (in kN);
Influence coefficient (may be taken as 4.0 for most instances).

It is better to measure actual axle loads using a mobile weighbridge for medium to heavily
trafficked roads. For purposes of feasibility studies or where it may not be possible to obtain
actual axle loads especially in lightly trafficked roads, the equivalence factors in Table 5.3 may be
applied.
The average daily traffic from equivalent standard axles is obtained using the formula below:
T

V C . 5.4

Where;
Vi
Ci

=
=

average daily number of each type of commercial vehicle;


appropriate equivalence factor.

For all commercial vehicles having the same growth rate, a cumulative number of standard axles
during the design period are calculated using the formula below:
365T

DT

r Y
r

. 5.5

Where;
DT
Td
r
Y

=
=
=
=

Design traffic as cumulative number of 80kN esa;


Average daily number of esa in the first year after opening;
average growth rate for the design period in percent per annum;
Design period in years.

To obtain the traffic class, Table 5.4 is used.


Equation 5.5 can be rewritten as shown below:
DT

365T . G. Y 10

inmsa . 5.6

Where; G is referred to as the growth factor and is given by:


r Y 1
. 5.7
Y. r
c) Selection of Possible Types of Pavements
G

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94

Knowledge of the types and characteristics of the available pavement materials as well as of the
climates, allows selecting one type of pavement.
d) Calculation of the Required Structural Number
For the estimated number of wet and dry months (nW and nD) and the wet and dry structural
numbers (SNW and SND) taken from the appropriate design chart, the weighted structural number
is calculated using equation 5.2. SNW and SND are obtained from design charts 1 to 8.
e) Determining the Thickness of the Surfacing, Base and Subbase courses
The thickness of the surfacing, base and subbase layers are determined so that the following
equation is satisfied.
DSN

a h

Where;
DSN =
a1,a2,a3 =
h1,h2,h3=

a h

a h . 5.8

Weighted structural number for the entire pavement;


layer coefficients representing the surfacing, base and subbase course respectively.
actual thicknesses in mm of surface, base and subbase courses respectively

Note: The layer coefficients assumed are in Table 5.6. For different types of materials considered,
guide values for the minimum and maximum practical thicknesses of a layer are given in Table
5.7 for effective compaction [Ruhweza, 2005].
Pavement Design Example
The Kampala Gayaza road is in a state of failure and is due for reconstruction. The following facts
have already been gathered about the project road:
a) The road is located in a region that has a rainy season with a total span of 5 months;
b) The subgrade soil is a good quality gravel with a soaked CBR in the range of 20 30%;
c) The subbase material will be cement treated Type C;
d) The most economical material for the roadbase will be crushed stone
e) The most suitable surfacing material will be Asphalt Concrete (AC);
Traffic counts and axle load surveys have shown that the initial (unidirectional) daily number of
commercial vehicles will be as follows:
a) 2-Axle and Tandem trucks
:
140 veh/day;
b) Trucks with drawbar trailer
:
30 veh/day;
c) Articulated Units
:
16 veh/day;
d) Buses
:
40 veh/day.
The economic study has recommended a 15 year design life and forecasts a constant annual traffic
growth rate of 2.5%. Design the flexible pavement using the AASHTO approach.
Solution
1.0 Design Information
(a) Number of wet months in the region, nW
(b) Subgrade CBR
(c) Traffic growth rate, r
(d) Design life, Y
(e) Construction Materials:
Surfacing Material
Roadbase material
Subbase material
2.0
3.0

=
=
=
=

5
20 30%
2.5%
15yrs

Asphalt Concrete (AC)


Crushed stone on stabilised subbase
Cement treated Type C

Determination of subgrade strength, S


From Table 5.1, the given CBR range of (20 30%) falls in the range 18% < CBR < 30%
implying that the subgrade strength class is S4.
Determination of cumulative design traffic, T

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95


Where;
365. . . . 10

a)

Unidirectional traffic Flow, V


The directional split is 100% (i.e. unidirectional)
F
=
100% of the traffic volume for each vehicle class
e.g. for 2-Axle and Tandem Trucks;
F
=
100% x 140 =
140 Veh/day

b)

Wear factor, W
From equation 5.3

80

e.g. for 2-Axle and Tandem Trucks; C = 2.0 (from Table 5.3) since no axle loads were
provided.
c)

Growth Factor, G
According to AASHTO growth factor equation;
1 r Y 1
G

Y. r
1 0.025
1
1.1955
G
15 0.025

d)

Table of results
Vehicle Class

V
(Veh/day)
140
2-Axle and TandemTrucks
30
Trucks with Drawbar Trailer
16
Articulated Units
40
Buses
Cumulative Design Traffic, DT (in msa)

C
(esa)
2
6
6
1

G
1.1955
1.1955
1.1955
1.1955

Y
(years)
15
15
15
15

DT
(msa)
1.833
1.178
0.628
0.262
3.901

From Table 5.4 a cumulative design traffic of 3.901 msa corresponds to a traffic class of
T2 i.e. 2.5 < T (in msa) < 8.0.
4.0

Required Design Structural Number, DSN


The DSN is given by:
DSN

SND SNW
n
12

SND

nD
12

SNW

59 82

65.4

5
7
59 .
82 .
12
12
Layer Thicknesses based on the Actual Design Structural Number, DSNa
.

5.0

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The Actual Design Structural Number, DSNa is given by


DSN

a h

a h

a h

From design chart no. 6, for a subgrade strength class S4 and Traffic Class of T2 (i.e. S4
T2) corresponds to an asphalt surfacing thickness, h1 of 50mm. And from Table 5.6 a1 =
0.35, a2 = 0.18 and a3 = 0.12. Therefore;
DSN

0.35 50

0.18h

0.12h

By trial and error with guidance from Table 5.7, lets try h2 = 200mm and h3 = 200mm.
From which;
DSN

0.35 50

0.18 200

0.12 200

77.5

Since DSNa (= 77.5) > DSN (= 65.4), it implies that the design thicknesses of the layers are
acceptable.
6.0

5.8

Conclusion
The pavement should therefore be composed of the following layer thicknesses
a) Surfacing material
:
50mm
b) Roadbase
:
200mm
c) Subbase
:
200mm

References
1. Arora, K. R, 2000, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, 5th Edition.
2. Bindra, S.P, 1999, A Course in Highway Engineering, 4th Edition, Dhanpat Rai Publishers, New
Delhi.
3. Gupta, B.L, 1995, Roads, railways Bridges and Tunnels engineering, 4th edition, Standard
publishers Distributors, Nai sarak, Delhi.
4. Kadiyali, L.R., 2000. Principles and Practices of Highway Engineering, 4th Edition. Khanna
Publishers, New Delhi.
5. Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, 2004. Draft Road Design Manual.
6. Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, 2005. Road Design Manual Vol.1, Geometric
Design Manual, Republic of Uganda, Kampala.
7. Rogers, M., 2003, Highway Engineering, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
8. Ruhweza, D., 2005, Highway Engineering I. Course notes, Department of Civil Engineering,
Kyambogo University.
9. Singh, G, 2001, Highway Engineering, 3rd edition, Standard publishers and Distributors, Delhi.
10. Transport Research Laboratory, 1993, A Guide to Design of Bitumen Surfaced Roads in Tropical
and Sub Tropical Countries, Overseas Road Note 31, Crowthorne, England.

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