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R Basu and S Basu

1 TITLE PAGE
2
3 Geometric Design of Hill Roads to Minimize Natural Disaster Damages
4 Ranadeep Basu (M.Tech., MIE)1, Sridebi Basu (PhD, MIE)2
5
1
6 Principal Engineer, Roads and Rail, COWI India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon,
7 24D/C, SFS Flats, Mayur Vihar-III, Delhi-110096, India; +91 9810537423;
8 ranadeepbasu@gmail.com
2
9 Chief Executive Officer, Save Earth Consultancy, 24D/C, SFS Flats, Mayur Vihar-III,
10 Delhi-110096, India; +91 9818673778; bsridebi@yahoo.com
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12 Submission date : 20th March 2015
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14 Corresponding Author : Ranadeep Basu (M.Tech., MIE)
15 Principal Engineer, Roads and Rail,
16 COWI India Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon
17 24D/C, SFS Flats, Mayur Vihar-III, Delhi-110096, India;
18 GSM : +91 9810537423
19 e-mail : ranadeepbasu@gmail.com
20
21 Word Count: Abstract, Body & References = 4,322 Words (excl. tables &
22 figures)
23 Tables =4 nos. (4 x 250 words) = 1,000 Words
24 Figures = 3 nos. (3 x 250 words) = 750 Words
25 Total = 6,072 Words
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1
2 ABSTRACT
3 The northern Indian states which lie in the Himalayan range are susceptible to different kind
4 of natural disasters every year. The major types of disasters are landslides, flash floods,
5 avalanche and earthquake. Disasters cause damages ranging from minor blockage to total
6 destruction of the road formation and disconnect villages and towns for several days. With
7 the growing need for new metalled roads, capacity augmentation of existing roads and
8 human activities on the hill slopes, the slopes are becoming more vulnerable to such natural
9 disasters. Unplanned new alignments and cross-sections often make the roads more
10 susceptible to damages. The guidelines and standards for geometric design followed in
11 India may be used adapting to the changing ground conditions. The geometric design
12 standards and cross-sectional elements of the road need to be adaptive to the terrain,
13 geographic and geological characteristics of the area to produce a sustainable design of the
14 hill roads. The road alignment can be planned and designed section wise based on the
15 terrain, land use, nature of slope and geological characteristics. The geometric design
16 standards like vertical gradient, horizontal curve radius, sight distance, visibility splays can
17 be made flexible and related to the area characteristics over any section of the road. Similar
18 adaptive design of cross-sectional elements can also be proposed. The possible adaptive
19 geometric design standards for of hill roads discussed in this paper are the sustainable
20 solutions to minimize natural disaster damages of roads and its surroundings.
21
22 Keywords : Hill Road, Hill Slope, Road Geometry, Design Speed, Cross-section, Adaptive
23 Design
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1
2 INTRODUCTION
3 India has a vast and well-knit network of roads and highways. The network consists of
4 79,241 km of National Highways; 1,31,899 Km State Highways and 31,17,763 km other
5 category road (1).
6 Though the network of roads and highways is mostly concentrated in the plain lands,
7 the hilly and mountainous regions of country are also connected by different categories of
8 road. Data on length of hill roads in India is not available.
9 It is an established fact that the cost of construction and maintenance of hill roads is
10 always more than that of a similar road in the plains. The Indian government, in its budget
11 allocates substantial amount for the construction of new roads, capacity augmentation and
12 maintenance of the existing road network.
13 The hill roads in the Himalayan range are mainly in the northern states of Jammu
14 and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh,
15 Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. These states suffer natural disasters
16 from landslides, flash floods during the monsoon and also experience rare occurrences of
17 cloud bursts, severe earthquakes and avalanches (2). These cause damage ranging from
18 minor blockage to total destruction of the road formation and disconnect villages and towns
19 for several days. With the growing need for new metalled roads to connect villages,
20 capacity augmentation of existing roads and human activities on the hill slopes, the slopes
21 are becoming more vulnerable to such natural disasters. Due to unplanned alignments and
22 cross-sections adopted, hill roads often become more prone to damages from natural
23 disasters.
24 From the nature and type of natural disasters that occur in the hilly regions of India,
25 the key physical parameters can be identified. These parameters can be addressed to
26 minimize the damaging effects through an adaptive geometric design. The geometric design
27 standards and cross-sectional elements of the road need to be flexible to the terrain,
28 geographic and geological characteristics of the area to produce a sustainable design of the
29 hill roads.
30 When a mountainous road is poorly planned and constructed without well-designed
31 drainage systems, it may lead to destabilization of hill slopes and soil erosions, which
32 provide pathways of sediment transportation into streams and rivers. These results in
33 degradation of water quality, aquatic habitation, reduction in the agricultural productivity
34 due to loss of top soil the landslide causes causalities and damages (3-5). There are
35 instances where a lack of engineering geological or geomorphological appreciation has led
36 to recurrent problems, leading to redesign and even alignment modifications. Elsewhere,
37 engineering geology has provided sufficient information and interpretation to enable
38 designers to proceed effectively, and the evaluation of slope and drainage hazards as past,
39 recurrent and potential future risk elements has required geomorphological assessment as
40 the critical path activity (6). A sustainable highway should satisfy the functional
41 requirements of societal development and economic growth while reducing negative
42 impacts on the environment and consumption of natural resources (7).
43 The Indian Road Congress (IRC) codes (8, 9) have proposed remedial measures for
44 critical site conditions in all cases through engineering solutions like slope stabilization, soil
45 stabilizations, retaining structures, cross drainage structures etc. Such solutions are
46 sometimes not cost effective and short term measures. Design standards are based on terrain
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1 types classified as mountainous and steep. Design terrains are adopted based on the
2 predominant terrain in the stretch (8) which sometimes results in huge cut fill situations. In
3 most practical cases solutions like alternate alignment in situations where a total avoidance
4 of critical and natural disaster susceptible locations is required become costly and thus not
5 adopted. As the chance of occurrence of a natural disaster is rare, the cost of maintenance
6 and repair of damages is assumed to be incurred during the life of the road. A sustainable
7 solution through adaptive geometric design can reduce the chance of damages and thus
8 reduce cost of repair and maintenance of hill roads.
9 By addressing the geotechnical, geometric and construction issues simultaneously at
10 the design stage for highways in hilly terrain the possibility and probability of damages to
11 the roads due to natural disasters can be minimized.
12 This paper addresses each of the factors through possible geometric designs
13 solutions during route selection and feasibility study stage.
14
15 METHODOLOGY
16 To propose an adaptive approach and sustainable solution through geometric design of hill
17 roads, the inter-relation and dependency of the physical parameters of a hilly terrain and the
18 geometric design parameters need to be identified. The following paragraphs identifies the
19 parameters, their inter-relation and relevance to the topic.
20
21 Hilly Terrain Physical Parameters
22 During the route selection and geometric design of the hill roads, the major parameters that
23 needs to considered and those which affect the design standards, geometric design of a hill
24 road and technical decision of route selection are terrain and topography; river morphology
25 and regime; hydrological condition; soil and rock types; geological structure of rocks; side
26 slope stability etc.
27
28 Terrain and topography
29 Terrain generally refers to the lay of the land and is usually expressed in terms of the
30 elevation, slope, and orientation of terrain features. Terrain affects surface water flow and
31 distribution. The terrain classification is the most importance decision to be taken at the
32 inception stage of a hill road project. While deciding the terrain, generally the level
33 difference between two points at 50m distance from the centreline of the alignment is
34 considered. The geometric design standards are adopted based on the type of terrain as
35 classified as mountainous and steep (8).
36 The geometric design standards which are governed by the terrain classification are:
37 a) Design Speed
38 b) Sight distance
39 The topography along an alignment is recorded through map studies at the inception
40 stage and further by detail topographical survey in the feasibility study stage. The
41 topography along the alignment is the guiding factor for fixing the following geometric
42 design standards and taking technical decisions:
43
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1 a) Width of cross-sectional elements
2 b) Horizontal geometry
3 c) Vertical geometry
4 d) Sight distance
5 e) River/Stream crossing location and geometry
6 f) Alternate alignment
7
8 River Morphology and Regime
9 Road alignments along riverbanks have the inherent advantage of comparatively gentle
10 gradients and proximity of villages that the road connects (9). Hill roads closely following
11 river banks are common in the hilly regions of India and are thus susceptible to damages
12 due to the change of river morphology i.e. the shapes of river channels and their change
13 over time and also the river regime i.e. in the discharge of the river throughout the year. No
14 specific guideline is available for alignments along a river channel in Indian codes. The
15 geometric design parameters that are dependent on the river morphology and the regime are
16 horizontal geometry; vertical geometry; proposed side slope; river/stream crossing location
17 and geometry and alternate alignment.
18
19 Hydrological Condition
20 The hydrology of the road consists of the subsurface and surface drainage along a road
21 alignment and plays a vital road in the stability and integrity of the pavement layers and
22 stability of side slopes. Avoidance of locations with seepage, flow from springs,
23 subterranean channels, water logging, etc. to the extent possible is suggested in IRC codes
24 as a general guideline while selecting the alignment. This is practically not possible as such
25 stretches are an inherent feature of any hill road and thus the adverse affects need to be
26 addressed through technical solutions. The geometric design parameters and technical
27 decisions that are dependent on the hydrological conditions are horizontal geometry;
28 vertical geometry; proposed side slope; carriageway cross-fall and location of cross-
29 drainage structures.
30
31 Soil and Rock Type
32 The type of soil and rock present along a hill road alignment varies frequently along its
33 length and thus due consideration to geometric standards can be given to produce an
34 adaptive solution. The geometric design parameters and technical decisions that are
35 dependent on the soil and rock type are horizontal geometry; sight distance; proposed side
36 slope and carriageway cross-fall.
37
38 Geological Structure of Rocks
39 The structural geology of rocks reveal the information about the history of deformation
40 (strain) and the stress field in the rocks that have resulted in the observed strain and
41 geometries. When road alignment passes through unstable and fragmented rock formations,
42 the chances of damage during landslides and earthquakes are more. Thus by knowing the
43 structural geology, the alignment can be relocated or suitable geometric standards can be
44 adopted to reduce the chance of damage. The strike and dip angles are the measures of
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1 rock’s structural geology and the relevant geometric design parameters are horizontal
2 geometry; proposed side slope and carriageway cross-fall.
3
4 Side Slope Stability
5 The stability of the side slopes along an alignment is based on the slope material, slope
6 angle, presence of vegetative growth and groundwater conditions. The stability of a cut
7 slope is critical for any hill road and by adopting suitable geometric standards the chance of
8 landslides can be reduced. The relevant geometric design parameters are width of cross-
9 sectional elements, horizontal geometry; vertical geometry; carriageway cross-fall; sight
10 distance and proposed side slope.
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12 Inter-relation among Geometric and Physical Parameters
13 The different physical parameters of a hilly terrain and the geometric design parameters as
14 discussed above are presented as a co-relation matrix in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively
15 for geometric design standards and technical decisions respectively.
16
17 TABLE 1 Co-relation Matrix for Geometric Design Standards
Geometric Design Standards
Width
Hilly Terrain of
Design Sight Carriageway Horizontal Vertical
Physical Cross-
Speed distance cross-fall geometry geometry
Parameters sectional
elements
Terrain

Topography
River morphology
and regime
Hydrological
condition
Soil and rock types
Geological
structure of rocks
Side Slope stability

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19
20
21
22
23
24
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1 TABLE 2 Co-relation Matrix for Technical Decisions
Technical Decisions
River/Stream Location
Hilly Terrain Proposed
crossing Alternate of cross-
Physical side
location and alignment drainage
Parameters slope
geometry structures
Topography
River morphology
and regime
Hydrological
condition

Soil and rock types

Geological
structure of rocks
Side Slope stability

2
3 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
4 Before the actual start of the geometric design of a hill roads, extensive and variety of
5 engineering data along the proposed/existing alignment and along any alternate alignment is
6 required for decision making and for fixing the design standards. The design considerations
7 must include:
8 • The terrain classification all along the alignment is established through topographic
9 data
10 • Contours of the area are available through aerial survey
11 • All location features like river course, streams, cross-drainage structures (for
12 existing alignment), flooding areas, high flood levels, landslide areas, etc.
13 • River morphology and regime data
14 • A chainage wise inventory of the side slope material type i.e. soil with classification
15 and properties, rock type and its structural geology of the area
16 • Hydrological data for all stream and river crossings
17 • Available material and resources that can be used in the road construction
18 • Geometric standards for different conditions of physical parameters and
19 combinations thereof
20 • The deviated geometric design standards with technical backup
21
22 ADAPTIVE GEOMETRIC DESIGN STANDARDS
23 With the understanding of the terrain physical parameters, their inter-relations and their
24 relation with the geometric standards, the following paragraphs have suggested adaptive
25 approaches to minimise probability and severity of the natural disaster damages.
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1
2
3 Design Speed
4 As per IRC guidelines, design speeds are based on the terrain classification and category of
5 road with a difference of 10 km/hr between the ruling and minimum speeds of same terrain
6 condition. The difference between ruling speed in mountainous terrain and minimum speed
7 for steep terrain in same category of road is 20 km/hr. The ruling minimum and absolute
8 minimum horizontal curve radii are also based on these speeds. A hill road may have
9 intermittent mountainous and steep terrain conditions. In such cases, recommendation of
10 code suggests to adopt a uniform terrain over a significant length. No limiting length is
11 specified for adopting a particular terrain. As per the provisions in IRC codes, the designers
12 have to decide a suitable terrain based on judgement and available data. While deciding the
13 design speed over a stretch the intermittent terrains are thus ignored. This result in high cut
14 fill heights at those isolated stretches and may create unstable cut fill slopes.
15 In most practical situations, it is observed that the design speed cannot be
16 maintained over a stretch and a speed envelop of 10 km/hr is not enough to cover such
17 differences. It is suggested to provide a design speed envelop of 20 km/hr for stretches
18 where intermittent mountainous and steep terrains exist and so the design speed can be
19 suitably decided by the designer. Apart from reducing the impact on the hill slopes, the
20 safety and operational aspects also need to be evaluated while adopting a design speed
21 value.
22 The design speeds given in Indian codes and the suggested adaptive design speeds
23 are given in Table 3 below:
24
25 TABLE 3 Adaptive Design Speed values (km/ hr)
IRC Recommendations
Mountainous Intermittent Terrain
Steep Terrain
Terrain Condition
Sl. Road
Ruling Minimum Ruling Minimum Ruling Minimum
No. Classification
National and
1 50 40 40 30 50 30
State Highways
Major District
2 40 30 30 20 40 20
Roads
26
27 While the provision of an increased speed envelope shall add flexibility in geometric
28 design and reduce the effect on hill slopes, it can lead to hazardous driving conditions if
29 design speed variations are not used judiciously in conjunction with other speed related
30 components and without proper road signs, road markings and traffic calming measures.
31
32 Sight Distance
33 Sight distance on hill roads is a critical geometric design parameter from safety and
34 operational point of view. A design value on sight distance needs to consider terrain,
35 topography, soil and rock type and side slope stability. Thus, adaptation of a single design
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1 standard value may result in high cut heights for steep and unstable side slopes and thus
2 makes slopes susceptible to damages during natural disasters.
3 The set-back distance at a horizontal curve is recommended based on the sight
4 distance and sight distance is based on design speed. So, when a design speed is fixed the
5 set back is also fixed for any hill side slope and material condition. In an adaptive approach,
6 the design speed at such locations can be reduced to reduce the requirement of sight
7 distance and set-back distance.
8 From the IRC recommendations of set-back distance for a single lane carriageway
9 presented as Figure 1 below, it can be seen that for a design speed of 30 km/hr a wide range
10 of curve radii can be covered. So, for critical condition of any of the physical parameters, an
11 adaptive approach with a fixed design speed can be used. This shall result in less cut on
12 inner side of curves and can minimize damages due to landslides, rock fall, etc.
13

4
Set-back Distance (m)

0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110
Curve Radius (m)
20 km/hr 25 km/hr 30 km/hr 40 km/hr 60 km/hr
14
15
16 FIGURE 1 Set-back distances for design speeds and curve radii
17
18 The set-back distance is a critical safety and physical parameter in design of hill road
19 geometry, so reduction of set-back distance shall reduce large hill cuts. This can lead to
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1 safety concerns, if such reduced set-back distances are not proposed in conjunction with
2 reduced design speeds or through traffic calming measures.
3
4 Width of Cross-sectional Elements
5 The widths of the cross-sectional elements of a hill road are fixed at the planning stage
6 based on the category of road and capacity requirements. The carriageway width being
7 considered as fixed over the entire length of a road, the only variable is the shoulder widths
8 and the total roadway width which exclude the roadside drains (usually 0.6 m) and parapet
9 walls (usually 0.6 m). For National and State Highways the carriageway width is 7.0m with
10 0.9m shoulder on both sides, i.e. total roadway width is 8.80 m (8). The total roadway width
11 was revised to 10.0m excluding drain and parapet (10). The shoulder widths has been
12 stipulated as 1.0m on hill side and 2.0 m of valley side for both mountainous and steep
13 terrains, carriageway being kept same at 7.0 m (10).
14 The topography along the alignment needs to be considered while adopting the
15 widths of shoulder on hill and valley sides. Though, operational benefits have been
16 achieved by providing a wider roadway by 1.20 m, but the same has resulted in higher cut
17 heights. As in most of the cases, the new codal stipulations are enforced during
18 rehabilitation / upgradation of a road, the extra width of 1.20m is achieved by cutting the
19 hill side without disturbing the valley side parapet walls. This sometimes makes the side
20 slopes unstable and vulnerable to damages during natural disasters.
21 By adopting a rational approach, a location specific engineering decision on whether
22 to keep the roadway of 8.80m or widen it to 10.0m should be made, so as not to disturb the
23 critical slope locations.
24 While some hill cut may be avoided by change of the shoulder widths, but uniform
25 widths of shoulder is desirable for safe driving condition and to avoid change of driver
26 perceptions on edge shyness.
27
28 Carriageway Cross-fall
29 Carriageway cross-fall plays a vital road in road surface drainage, pavement layer drainage
30 as well as groundwater movement across the road. Generally, IRC stipulates bi-directional
31 cross-fall of 2.5% with crown at the middle for bituminous surfaces (8). Alternately, it
32 recommends a uni-directional cross-fall towards the hill side (in-sloped with ditches) for
33 winding alignment stretches only.
34 The possibility of a uni-directional cross-fall towards the valley side (out-sloped) is
35 not discussed in IRC codes. Out-sloped roads have the advantage of better drainage, shorter
36 cut slope (≈1/4 shorter) and less spoils from excavation (≈45% less) as presented for a
37 typical two-lane hill road in Figure 2 below.
38
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1
2
3 FIGURE 2 Comparison of In-sloped and Out-sloped Road
4
5 Out-sloped road eliminates inner ditches, narrows the roadway width, rises inside
6 edge of road and minimize the chance to intercept with groundwater as presented in Figure
7 3 below.
8

9
10 FIGURE 3 Advantage of Out-sloped Road
11
12 Depending on the drainage condition, soil and rock type and slope stability (angle of
13 cut slope required) along the alignment, the carriageway cross-fall can be changed from bi-
14 directional, out-sloped and in-sloped along the alignment instead of adopting a fixed type of
15 cross-fall. This shall not only reduce the chance of instability of the slopes but also shall be
16 cost effective in terms of less cut volume.
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1 The dip angle of a rock slope is an important factor which decides the stability of a
2 rock slope. At locations where the dip is such that the bedding planes are inclined towards
3 the face of the slope, the chances of instability are more. The carriageway cross-fall,
4 proposed side slope angle and the roadway formation cut slope of the road can be decided
5 such as to decrease the stress on the underlying rock bed.
6 The disadvantage of an out-sloped road is that the road surface water shall flow
7 towards the valley side, thus increasing the probability of rain cuts if proper slope protection
8 and drainage system is not adopted. So, a decision need to be taken considering the
9 suitability of valley side slope protection measures.
10
11 Horizontal Geometry
12 The horizontal geometry of a hill road is proposed and selected after alternate alignment
13 study. If during the alternate alignment selection, the critical ground conditions are
14 considered at a more detail level, the road alignment shall have fewer chances of damages
15 during natural disasters. In case the road corridor is fixed, the actual geometry of the road is
16 designed based on the design standards adopted. Designing the horizontal geometry by
17 strict adherence of standards may result in high cut-fill heights, unstable cut slopes,
18 proximity of river course, etc. All these make the road susceptible to damages during
19 natural disasters. Sometimes minor deviation from the selected corridor can avoid some of
20 the critical locations.
21
22 The horizontal alignment of a hill road need to be adaptive by :
23 • Aligning road where ground slopes are within 10% - 40% for gentle road gradients,
24 better drainage and less cut fill quantities
25 • Introduction of matching horizontal curves based on ground topography (matching
26 contours as much as possible) to result in less disturbance of the natural slopes
27 • Maintaining sufficient distance from the river course and any possible future change
28 of course to avoid lateral erosion by stream undercutting and minimize crossing of
29 tributary streams
30 • Minimizing or avoiding multiple river crossing by keeping alignment on one side of
31 the river
32 • Avoiding any surface flow areas and minimizing stream crossing shall ensure a dry
33 road pavement
34 • Avoiding areas with loose soil and fragmented rock types which if disturbed can be
35 prone to landslides and rock fall
36 • Avoiding areas with unfavourable dips of rock surface to avoid the damage due to
37 movement of rock faults
38 • Avoiding active landslide and rock fall areas
39
40 As all the above critical physical conditions on a hill road alignment may not be
41 possible to avoid by one single horizontal and vertical alignment, so the designer need to
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1 consider all options to propose best solution which minimize the disturbance of natural
2 conditions and surrounding habitats.
3
4 Vertical Geometry
5 Best hill road alignment is a combination of well-fitted horizontal and vertical geometry,
6 which would result in balanced cut-fill and have minimum adverse effect on the
7 surrounding ground. Thus, vertical geometry plays an equal important role and can
8 minimize the damages if designed considering the critical physical parameters of the
9 ground. Design of vertical geometry by adherence of standards may result in high vertical
10 grades, disturbance of the groundwater table, change of watercourse of small streams, etc.
11 All such locations can become more susceptible to damages during natural disasters.
12 The vertical alignment of a hill road need to be adaptive by:
13 • Adopting mild vertical grades for reduced potential for erosion of road bed,
14 avoidance of stream diversion at stream crossings and allowing road surface to drain
15 down slope
16 • Designing vertical profile compatible with natural topography for optimum and
17 balanced cut-fill quantities hence generate less spoil
18 • Keeping finished road level and fill slopes higher than the high flood level (HFL)
19 which is ascertained for rare occurrences of change of river regime also (mainly in
20 case of strategically important roads)
21 • Avoiding interception with water table line which cause wet pavement layers
22 • Optimizing the cut height at landslide and rock fall prone areas
23
24 As all the above critical physical conditions on a hill road alignment may not be
25 possible to avoid by one single horizontal and vertical alignment, so the designer need to
26 consider all options to propose best solution which minimize the disturbance of natural
27 conditions and surrounding habitats.
28
29 ADAPTIVE TECHNICAL DECISIONS
30 During the project inception stage and feasibility stage, the designers study the various
31 varying technical parameters of the terrain along the alternate corridors. The technical
32 decisions like river/stream crossing locations and geometry, alternate alignment for existing
33 roads through landslide prone/unstable areas, proposed side slope/protection and location of
34 cross-drainage structures are taken at the inception and feasibility stages.
35 A dynamic approach to select the best alternative alignment should be taken
36 considering all the aspects rather than based on single most critical criteria. The alternative
37 solution chosen without proper analysis may result in a solution which is more susceptible
38 to damage during natural calamities than the existing road when evaluated over a longer
39 time period.
40 A matrix and ranking approach may be adopted for the specific location which shall
41 evaluate each of the locations/solutions/alignments with the pros and cons for each of the
42 physical parameters individually and then as combinations. A typical ranking format for a
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1 existing road running parallel and close to the HFL of a perennial river when got damaged
2 from flash flood can be evaluated for the possible alternate solutions against the site specific
3 physical parameters, is presented as Table 4.
4
5 TABLE 4 Typical Ranking and Evaluation format
Marks for each criteria
(Scale of 1-5, with mini./least effect = 1 and max./most severe= 5)

drainage structures
Cut height > 3.0 m
Alternate Fill height > 3.0 m

Overtopping/ side
creation of new
landslide prone

Ground- water
Disturbance of
natural slopes/

River crossing
over % length

over % length
Geometric

Total marks
interference

No. of cross

geometry
Solution

erosion
Length

areas
Minor
realignment on
same river bank

Major
realignment by
crossing to
other bank

Raising of
existing road

Road taken on
structure

Keep existing
road at same
level and
provide more
slope protective
structures

6
7 CONCLUSION
8 Hill roads are susceptible to natural disaster damages like landslides, rock fall, flash floods,
9 embankment erosion from river runoff, etc. With such occurrences becoming an annual
10 affair, the cost of repair and rehabilitation incurred is also becoming substantial. By
11 providing an adaptive geometric design standard on hill roads, the probability and severity
12 of such damages can be minimized. The paper presents that few of the geometric
13 parameters when deviated from IRC provisions can provide a sustainable solution. A
14 dynamic approach to evaluate alternate geometric solutions shall provide a clear
15 understanding of the severity of any problem area and give the designer the insight for
16 taking the best technical decision. The alternatives discussed in the paper has disadvantages
17 when proposed in isolation or in combination with other factors, which need to be
18 considered by the designer. The paper considers the geometric design of hill roads affected
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1 by heavy rainfall during monsoon. Further study can be carried out in same direction for hill
2 roads in snow clad areas.
3
4
5 References
6
7 1. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Road Network.
8 http://www.nhai.org/roadnetwork.htm. Accessed Oct. 10, 2014.
9 2. National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India, Vulnerability Profile.
10 http://www.ndma.gov.in/en/vulnerability-profile.html. Accessed Oct. 10, 2014
11 3. Sidle, R. C. & Ochiai, H. Landslides: Processes, Prediction and Land Use Water
12 Resources Monogr. 18 (Am. Geophys. Union, 2006).
13 4. Sidle R. C. et al. Erosion processes in steep terrain—Truths, myths, and
14 uncertainties related to forest management in Southeast Asia, Forest Ecol. Manag. 224,
15 199–225 (2006).
16 5. Sidle, R. C., Furuichi, T. & Kono, Y., Unprecedented rates of landslide and
17 surface erosion along a newly constructed road in Yunnan, China Nat. Hazards 57, 313–326
18 (2011).
19 6. Hearn. G.J., Engineering geomorphology for road design in unstable
20 mountainous areas: lessons learnt after 25 years in Nepal, Quart. J. of Eng. Geology and
21 Hydrogeology, 35 no. 2, 143-154 (2002).
22 7. Armstrong. A., Reid. L., Davis. A.J., An Integrated Approach for Designing and
23 Building Sustainable Roads, Green Streets, Highways, and Development, 1-20,2
24 8. Indian Road Congress (IRC), Special Publication 48, Hill Road Manual, India (1998)
25 9. Indian Road Congress (IRC), IRC:52, Recommendations about the Alignment
26 Survey and Geometric Design of Hill Roads, India (2001)
27 10. Indian Road Congress (IRC), Special Publication 72, For Two Laning of State Highway
28 on B.O.T Basis, India (2007)