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Special Transportation Structures

- Exam -

1. The architecture of a pavement management of road structures

2. The architecture of a pavement management system (PMS)
3. Define the transportation as social and economic activity. Describe the main components of a transportation system.

Each mode of transport has inherent advantages of cost, travel time, convenience
and flexibility that makes it right for the job under the certain set ofcircumstances.

7. Horizontal alignment. Draw the main functions of a classical connection of two intersecting alignment with a circular

The automobile is considered a reliable, comfortable and flexible form of personal

transportation for many people.
Air transportation, supplemented by the auto for local travel will be selected when
distances are great and time travel is at a premium
Trucks have the advantage of mobility and flexibility and the ability to provide
door-to-door services
The main components of any of these various modes of transportation are: the fixedplant (the
infrastructure network)/the rolling stock (the park of specific vehicles)/the management scheme (these
systems are permanently planned, designed, built,operated and maintained by specific organizations and
agencies). New techniquesare being applied for operating and maintaining these systems, safely
4. The main highway research centers in this country and their involvement in developing various PMS or BMS systems.

National Administration of Roads

CESTRIN - Romanian Centre for Road Engineering Studies and Informatics
5. The main steps in the geometric highway design procedure
Geometric roadway design can be broken into three main parts: alignment, profile, and cross-section. Combined, they
provide a three-dimensional layout for a roadway.
The alignment is the route of the road, defined as a series of horizontal tangents and curves.
The profile is the vertical aspect of the road, including crest and sag curves, and the straight grade lines connecting
The cross section shows the position and number of vehicle and bicycle lanes and sidewalks, along with their cross
slope or banking. Cross sections also show drainage features, pavement structure and other items outside the category
of geometric design.

6. Define the geometric design of road. The main features of the horizontal alignment.

Geometric design of highways,deals with the dimensions of the visiblefeatures of the highway such as the alignment, site
distances, widths, slopes, grades, etc. ; Thegeometric design is neatly distinguished from the structural design which
deals with thickness,composition of materials, load carrying capacity, etc.
By projecting the axis of a highway or of a railroad on a horizontal plane, one may get the socalled the route in plane or
the so called horizontal alignment.

8) The curvature of a circular are fixed by its radius or by the degree of curve. The degree ofcurve D, may be described
in relation with Fig.3.4. and Fig.3.5. by arc or chord definition, as follows:

1) If the tangents be produced, they will meet at a point of intersection PI (or the vertex V)
2) Proceeding from left to right around the curve, point A, the beginning of curve is calledpoint of curvature PC, while
point B, the end of the curve is called PT point of tangency
3) The external angle of deflection between tangents is called the intersection angle or angle.
This angle is equal to the central angle subtended by the arc AB.
4) The distance VA=VB from the PI to the PC or to the PT is called tangent distance T. Therelation 3.1.for the
calculation of the tangent distance T, may be derived from Fig. 3.2. as follows:T = R tan 1/2 (3.1)
5) The straight line AB from the beginning to the end of the curve is called the long chord or
LC. From Fig.3.2. one may derive the relation 2.2. for the calculation of the long chord:
sin/2 = AD/OA = LC/2R
LC = 2R sin /2 (3.2)
6) The external distance E is the distance from PI to the middle of the curve. From may derive the relation
3.3. for calculation of the external distance, as follows:
cos/2 = OA/OV = R/(R + E)
E = R( 1/cos/2 - 1)
E = R( sec /2 - 1) (3.3.)
7) The middle ordinate M is the length of the ordinate from the middle of the long chord LC
to the middle of the curve and its value may be derived as follows:
cos/2 = OD/OA = (R - M)/R
from which
M = R( 1 - cos /2) (3.4)

10. Graphically describe the road transportation system

9) The length of the curve C

8. Draw the specific diagram representing the evolution of a road curvature 1/ in case of two intersecting alignments
with a simple circular arc.
9. Draw the specific diagram in case of connection with a circular arc and two symmetrical transition curves. Justify the
need of introduction of the transition curves.

Figure 10.1. Conventional scheme representing the main factors involved in road pavement
design: the wheel loads, the road pavement structure with its different layers and the foundation
soil (subgrade)
11. Define the main features involved in the structural design of pavements (highway or road)

Transition spirals for railroad and highways are curves which provide gradual change incurvature from a straight to a
circular path. Such easement curves have been necessary are high-speedrailroads, from the stand point of comfortable
operation and of gradually bringing the fullsupereleveation of the outer rail on curves. The use of transition spirals in the
design of highways,possesses the same general advantages as for railroads, with the added "factor of safety", namely
atransitional path is provided, thus reducing the tendency to deviate from the logical traffic lane.
When a car, travelling on a straight of highway a circular path, the wheel must be set at a newangle, depending the radius
of the curve. This movement cannot be done instantly but in measurabletime interval, thus creating a demand for a
transition curve [1], as shown in Fig.4.1., the length ofsuch transition curve ( spiral) equals speed by time.

I. Determine volume and type of current traffic

Determine the current volume and type of traffic along the specific desired line ( e.g. where thetraffic has to go) of your
project, including the peak loads and directions. You have to acquiresufficient traffic data in order to account for daily,
weekly and seasonal variations. The trafficinvestigations should be performed by using manual or automatic, fixed or
portable counters,supplemented by Origin Destination (O/D) (see O/D form, Fig.1) studies implying Driver
Interview (minimum sampling 25%) or Driving Postcard (100% distribution desirable/ see Fig.2,). Also investigation of
speed, travel time and route by using specific tests conducted inunder varied traffic conditions should be undertaken.
II. Determine project traffic data to future design year
Fifteen or twenty-year period is usually taken into consideration for the design life of a road.
Also you have to review and take into consideration the regional population trends, census data,
transportation studies available from the other modes of transport such as railroads, buscompanies and airlines and utility
expansion studies available in the area from telephone, gas andwater-supply companies. Regional trends on motorvehicle registration, motor-vehicle mileageand public transit use related with the industry and commerce trends should
be investigated. Alsothe master planning including new or transit highways, scheduled for activation prior to designyear,
should be consulted.
III . Select the type and size of highway to accommodate the estimated traffic
At this stage a basic design decision on the degree of access control must be made and thedesirable design speed shall be
established, by using the average recommended values forjudging the highway capacity, presented in the specific
chapters devoted to highway capacity and design speed in this volume. These average data concerning the highway
capacity may bemodified and adjusted in accordance with pertinent local experience.
IV. Route location survey, preliminary plans and profiles, map study for all reasonablealternative routes, selection of
the best route.
At this stage make the preliminary plans and profiles based on field studies for all reasonablealternate routes which
satisfy the desire lines, analyze and compare them ( see Fig.3) and selectthe optimal location by comparing cost
estimates, road user benefits, capability of incorporatingthe alternates into the regional master plans, types of vehicles
versus feasible design andoperating speeds, traffic safety and other pertinent factors including the following:
- location of interchanges and intersections with respect to traffic and topography;
- frequency of steep grades and the need for slower lanes or reduced speed for heavyvehicles, thus reducing highway
capacity and traffic safety;
- right-of-way problems and presence of historical sites, cemeteries, etc;
- suitability to stage construction and appropriate accommodation of traffic duringconstruction period;
- effect of local climate, degree of exposition of the road to drifting snow and ice;
- location with respect of harmonization with the other existing transport modes;

- the type and stability of the subgrade soil and its influence on structural design andcosts;
- the impact of the new road on its environment;
- the financial feasibility of project
V. Study of the selected route
Establish geometric criteria and design speed for each major segment of the project inconjunction with preliminary
alignment and grade. Preliminary intersection design must include
in addition to geometrics, the layout of traffic signs and pavement markings. The aesthetics oflandscaping, of views from
the highway and of road structures shall also be considered in thispreliminary stage.
The design procedure consists of the following steps:
Select or determine the input data : traffic characteristics, subgrade engineering
properties, subbase and base engineering properties ;
Select surface and base materials ;

Determine the minimum thickness required for the input data;

Evaluate feasibility of stage construction
Carry out economic analyses of alternative designs and select the best design
12. Describe the main factors involved in the structural design of airport tracks. What is the difference between road and
airport tracks?

9.7.1. The physical features of the aircraft

The characteristics of the landing train are taken into consideration at the structural and geometrical design of the
pavement superstructure. Function of the l number and type of loads transmitted to the earth, in relation with Fig. 9.5.
and fig. 9.6., the aircraft can be equipped with for types of main landing trains :
(a) Landing gear with single tires;
(b) Tandem landing gear;
(c) Twin tandem landing gear;
(d) Double twin tandem gear

Fig. 9.5.. Types of landing trains

a-landing gear with single tire; b- tandem landing gear; c-twin tandem landing gear
E- ecartament; D-the total width of the main landing train; L- distance between the twin tandem landing gear .

Fig. 9.6. Double Twin Tandem Landing Gear [1]

The distance between the wings extremities of an aircraft are taken into consideration at the geometrical design of
various airport surfaces, together with the height of the aircraft, both these characteristics dictating the dimensions of the
hangars and of other facilities.
9.7.2. Principles of structural design of runway pavements.
The diversity of traffic loads combined with that of the foundation soils, makes from every structural design study a
particular case. According French practice, informative catalogues forflexible and rigid pavements has been proposed for
each specific class of airport, and for specific values of strength of soil foundation ( CBR for flexible pavements,
reaction modulus K for rigid pavements)
Recommended thickness for various pavement layers for flexible pavements are given in Table
The structural design of flexible pavements involves the following steps:
the traffic forecast for the envisaged design period;
the characteristics of soil foundation (CBR)
evaluation of climatic factors( surface waters, underground waters, freezing index)
determination of the equivalent thickness of the pavement structures;
conceiving the real composition of the road pavement structure
Fig. a design diagram for determining the equivalent thickness He, as function of
theaircarft loads and CBR value of foundation soil.
The structural design of rigid pavements involves the following steps:
the traffic forecast for the envisaged design period;
the characteristics of soil foundation (K)
evaluation of climatic factors( surface waters, underground waters, freezing index)
determination of the type and thickness of the foundation layer;
determination of the thickness of the concrete slab Hnecessary, as function of allowable tensile stress t, the load P
and the corrected K value, with design diagram, as shown in Fig.9.8. (The allowable tensile stress t, is derived as the
ratio between the tension.

13. Draw the main components of a flexible asphalt road structure

In the structural design of flexible pavements, the pavement structure is considered as a multilayered elastic system, with
the material in each layer characterized by certain physicalproperties such as modulus of elasticity, the resilient modulus
and the Poisson ratio. The subgrade layer is assumed to be infinite in both the horizontal and vertical directions,
whereasthe other layers are finite in the vertical direction and infinite in horizontal direction. The application of the
wheel load caused a stress distribution as presented in figure from below:

16. Draw the main components for long lasting flexible pavements. In what technical aspect does the difference between
classical and long lasting pavements consist?

1. Uniform Sub-base Layer

2. Lower Uniform Road Base Layer
3. Variable Upper Road Base Layer
4. Uniform Surfacing Layer
a. Preferential Strips Constructed of Asphalt Concrete
b. Edge Strips (Non-Preferential) Constructed of Granular Material
c. Between Wheels Strips (Non-Preferential) Constructed from Granular Material

14. Draw the main components of a semi-rigid asphalt road structure

The VRPS represent an advanced and feasible solution for road construction, and in the history of road pavements they
could be considered as the fifth generation and the most efficient. In comparison with conventional pavement structures,
VRPS are more efficient, with a reduction of superior construction materials of up to 30%, derived from this new
concept which leads to the adoption of the most economic combination of pavement layers, in relation both to thickness
and the type of material. In a more suggestive manner, it can be assumed that with the quantity of materials (asphalt mix,
concrete, bricks or blocks, etc.) necessary to build 100 Km of classic road pavement, a road administration could build
130 Km of VRPS. This evaluation, extended to a national road network, may bring great hopes for the developing
countries, confronted with the dramatic lack of funds necessary for road maintenance and development. The solution of
VRPS is recommended principally for low volume roads. Examples of specific design and results of performance of
VRPS obtained from the experimental sectors undertaken in Romania during the last years are presented

15. Draw the main components of a rigid asphalt road structure

17. Define the equivalent standard axle load used as traffic input in the Asphalt Institute Traffic Design
Although it is not too difficult to determine a wheel or an axle load for an individual vehicle, it becomes quite complicated
to determine the number and types of wheel/axle loads that a particular pavement will be subject to over its design life.
Furthermore, it is not the wheel load but rather the damage to the pavement caused by the wheel load that is of primary
concern. The most common historical approach is to convert damage from wheel loads of various magnitudes and
repetitions (mixed traffic) to damage from an equivalent number of standard or equivalent loads. The most
commonly used equivalent load in the U.S. is the 18,000 lb (80 kN) equivalent single axle load (normally designated
ESAL). At the time of its development (early 1960s at the AASHO Road Test) it was much easier to use a single number
to represent all traffic loading in the somewhat complicated empirical equations used for predicting pavement life.
There are two standard U.S. ESAL equations (one each for flexible and rigid pavements) that are derived from AASHO
Road Test results. Both these equations involve the same basic format, however the exponents are slightly different.

The estimated or projected magnitude and occurrence of the various traffic loading are converted to the TOTAL number
of passes of equivalent standard axle loading (ESAL), usually the equivalent 80KN (18kips) single axle load.
The TOTAL no. of ESAL is used as the traffic loading input for design of pavement structure.

18. Define the resilient modulus Mr characterizing the bearing capacity of the subgrade and write down the formula for its
evaluation, based on the value of Californian Bearing Ratio CBR.
The Resilient Modulus (MR) is a measure of subgrade material stiffness. A materials resilient modulus is actually an
estimate of its modulus of elasticity (E). While the modulus of elasticity is stress divided by strain for a slowly applied
load, resilient modulus is stress divided by strain for rapidly applied loads like those experienced by pavements.
Resilient modulus is determined using the triaxial test. The test applies a repeated axial cyclic stress of fixed magnitude,
load duration and cycle duration to a cylindrical test specimen. While the specimen is subjected to this dynamic cyclic
stress, it is also subjected to a static confining stress provided by a triaxial pressure chamber. It is essentially a cyclic
version of a triaxial compression test; the cyclic load application is thought to more accurately simulate actual traffic
Mr = 1500 * CBR
The California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test is a simple strength test that compares the bearing capacity of a material with
that of a well-graded crushed stone (thus, a high quality crushed stone material should have a CBR @ 100%). It is
primarily intended for, but not limited to, evaluating the strength of cohesive materials having maximum particle sizes
less than 19 mm (0.75 in.) (AASHTO, 2000[1]). It was developed by the California Division of Highways around 1930 and
was subsequently adopted by numerous states, counties, U.S. federal agencies and internationally. As a result, most
agency and commercial geotechnical laboratories in the U.S. are equipped to perform CBR tests.
The basic CBR test involves applying load to a small penetration piston at a rate of 1.3 mm (0.05) per minute and
recording the total load at penetrations ranging from 0.64 mm (0.025 in.) up to 7.62 mm (0.300 in.). Figure 1 is a sketch
of a typical CBR sample

19. Draw the main features of a road in transverse profile

pg 115, nu are desen
20. Define the pavement management system and the integrated concept PMS/BMS

A pavement management system (PMS) is an established, documented procedure treating one ormore of the pavement
management activities listed in the following in a systematic and coordinatedmanner: 1. Monitoring pavement condition
2. Organizing and tabulating pavement data
3. Analyzing pavement data
4. Deciding on the proper course of action
5. Implementing the decisions
As the results of this and other experiments undertaken till today by CESTRIN, proved the pour performance of this
PMS alternative, now new concepts and programs are in the attention of specialists.One of the most valuable one is the
integrated concept seeking the conception and development of an integrated PMS/BMS SYSTEM, which to permit the
management of a road sector or of an entire road network, at regional or national level, by taking into consideration also
the bridges included in that road sector or road network. It seems to be a very ambitious project, but its feasibility have
been confirmed by the experts involved in these both fields.
21. Define the cyclic character of the road management system, including a graphical spiral with all stages of development of
a road project