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Civil Road Design Considerations

Civil engineers play an important role in local, regional, and national infrastructure. At the core of this infrastructure is road design which ultimately provides valuable transportation networks in our communities and throughout our country. In Wyoming, our civil engineers must be especially fluent in highway road design with multiple highways connecting the state’s sparse communities. At WLC, our teams are well equipped and experienced in both highway, county and municipal roadway design. Here are the important considerations for each.

Highway Road Design

Highways are essential to transport goods across the nation. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, U.S. highways transport 72%, roughly $17 trillion, of our country’s goods. It’s obvious that efficient roadway design is crucial to our highways. When preparing for highway road design, our civil engineers take in to account many considerations.

  • Client preference: certain clients have very specific infrastructure needs or requirements. Therefore, depending on the client, our team must be clear on different needs and specifications to ensure we’re delivering on the client’s expectations.
  • Cost: how much is available to spend? Budget is undoubtably one of the largest considerations when determining the scope and feasibility of the project.
  • Stormwater runoff: a stormwater runoff system with adequate capacity to convey water across the highway and along the highway is critical to the sustainability and safety of the highway.
  • Soil Conditions: In order to achieve the desired life span of the new highway, the soil existing soil conditions must be evaluated and taken into account during the design.

Municipal Road Design

When it comes to city street systems and connections, several similar factors are taken into consideration for the road design. Local roads and streets impact the economic development and overall quality of life within the community. That’s why research, planning, and other considerations greatly impact the civil street design in municipalities.

  • Drainage: controlling water runoff is essential to flood safety within a city. Surface and subsurface drainage is a major consideration when planning road design in order to mitigate flood risk and erosion.
  • Sanitary sewer and water: when preparing for road design, civil engineers look at the current sanitary sewer and water system throughout the project location. This ensures the design of the road does not interfere with the system or that the system is updated at the same time as the road for cost and project efficiencies.
  • Soil Conditions: As with a highway design, soild conditions play a major role in municipal roadway design.  Understanding and designing for varied soil conditions is crucial to the longevity a new roadway.
  • Community: when designing a municipal street, the overall value and safety that the roads and streets add to the community must be considered. How many people will this road serve? Does it offer expansion opportunities for the community? Are there sidewalks and spaces for additional amenities? Will it serve traffic needs in the area?

At WLC, our civil engineers take roadway design considerations seriously. When adding to the infrastructure within our communities, we want to make sure it is nothing short of safe and sustainable. While these are just a few of the major considerations for road and street design, make no mistake that our teams are carefully examining each and every consideration needed for road design, big or small. Read about our design projects and contact our team today for your road design project.