The Complex Design Process of America’s Roads

The Complex Design Process of America’s Roads

Lidar technology

The United States is made up of hundreds of thousands of roads. These roads are essential for convenient travel and transportation. Many rely on them on a daily basis to get from their house to additional destinations. Those who travel from state to state, or across the country, rely on these roads for straight paths to their location. The planning of the countries roads was complex and continues to be improved upon today.

Inspired by the network of high speed roads he saw in Germany during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower championed the passing of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. The law funded the first 41,000 miles of paved glory that made up the early U.S. interstate system, which now boasts 46,876 miles and runs through all 50 states. Today, a lot of planning goes into the creation or remake of a state?s road.

Structural engineering planning

Before a city or state road is ever placed, excessive planning is required. The state has to figure out where exactly the road will sit, how the road will sit on existing land, and the exact path that the road will take. This involves a professional civil engineering company that is aware of city and state road regulations, land conditions, and structural design services. The transportation planning process often take the same amount of time, if not longer, than the road building process.

Road closure planning

Sometimes the build of a new road requires closing down another one. This is especially true if the new road will cross over an existing road. When the existing road is closed down, it allows the civil engineering company to better plan and to speed up the road building process. Specialized computer programs may be needed to visualize and effectively plan the crossing of the roads.

In most applications, photogrammetry is the process by which two or more dimensional (2D) images are translated into three dimensional (3D) measurements or models. It typically involves analyzing and comparing 2D photographs. All of these planning and designing services are completed by a professional civil engineering company. Civil engineer services can often be found by consulting with multiple geotechnical engineering firms that are familiar with the build and upgrade of existing and new road structures.

Planning for optimal safety

Millions of people will be using the roads that are built. For this reason, the roads need to be planned and upgraded with optimal safety conditions in mind. One of the most important tasks of the civil engineering company is to create a road that is safe for all types of drivers and vehicles. The planning should also include maintenance inspection requirements. Depending on the materials that are used to build the roads, they will need to be inspected and maintained every few years.

The roads are also designed and built with specific vehicle usage needs in mind. If a city?s population grows or the road is used more than planned, the designs need to be changed and the road needs to be updated. This is one of the most common problems with America?s roads today. More than half of America?s interstate miles are at 70% of traffic capacity, and nearly 25% of the miles are strained at more than 95% capacity. The roads are at too high of a capacity and they are in poor condition as a result. However, they are not being maintained and updated as often as they should.

America?s roads open up travel possibilities for many. You can hop on your local freeway and drive all the way across the country. You will notice, along the way, that many of the countries roads are in poor shape and that there are too many vehicles on them. Most of the roads were not designed to hold as much traffic as they do. When planning a new road, civil engineering companies focus on location, build process, and safety standards. The safety standards often do not hold up as cities become more popular and more vehicles are on the road.


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