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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 4/5
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper XIX.1

Computer Aided Highway Design

T.J. Nash and W.T. Bell

Contract Data Research Ltd, Sheffield, UK

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
T.J. Nash, W.T. Bell, "Computer Aided Highway Design", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 177-180, 1987. doi:10.4203/ccp.4.19.1
Computer software for highway design has been long standing, albeit expensive and often relatively complex to operate. This paper describes an easy to use computer aided highway design suite which is available on most desktop micro-computers. The system allows the engineer to explore and compare his designs relative to geometric layout and earthwork quantities with great ease. The system is called MR3, originally known as Micro-Road or MROAD and has been recently updated to MR3 to take full advantage of current popular cheap screen graphics options.

MROAD has been used for the last four years to design major road schemes in developing countries. Such schemes are characterised by their long lengths and low cost design standards and relatively high proportion of earthworks costs to total costs. Typical projects have been designed in Botswana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Angola, and Bangladesh. The design procedure for such schemes is simpler than that used in industrialised countries; there is usually far greater flexibility on horizontal alignment but greater emphasis on achieving minimum earthworks costs. A horizontal alignment selected from photomosaics is set-out on the ground and cross-section existing ground levels are taken at each chainage. This data is then used to determine the best vertical alignment.

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