highway engineering

highway engineering


Following on from the knowledge base acquired in Project Part 1, you are required to

Prepare a technical report based on the scenario outlined in the project brief below.


– A proposed alternative coastal route along the west coast of Auckland linking the city with Hamilton is to be investigated.

– This option is to cater for future growth in both cities that would assist in alleviating traffic congestion.

– You have been assigned to a design team prospecting for this new coastal highway connecting Muriwai Beach to Raglan by Raglan Harbour, on the west coast of the North Island of N.Z.

– Much of the highway is to be developed in environmentally sensitive areas of the Waitakere Ranges so it is important that your investigations are kept confidential.

– This highway proposal will also be located Bethells Beach and Piha Beach communities so careful consideration of the consultation process is crucial.

– The starting point at Muriwai Beach is Oaia Road. The exact point of connection is your choice so you will have to justify this.

– The highway will involve 2 major bridge structures at the Manukau Harbour entrance and the Waikato River (Port Waikato) both of these structures must provide for passage of shipping under the bridges.

– The proposed highway’s end point at Raglan doesn’t necessarily have to cross Raglan Harbour entrance. However, there will be future need to connect this proposed route to the existing State Highway network.

– Therefore, you are required to justify where the termination point is at this end.

Student Tasks:

– Use Google Maps and /or Auckland Council website to select your possible route. You are also expected to find information relating to the type of soils to be considered along the proposed alignment.

– It would be useful to obtain maps with contour lines in order to assist in deciding the best horizontal and vertical alignment to minimise earthworks requirements.

1. For your route you must document all locations of historical, recreational or cultural significance.

2. Locate and comment on any geological, geometrical alignment & geotechnical challenges you may encounter on your selected route. Describe your proposed solutions.

3. Locate and comment on local sources of materials that could be used in construction of the highway.

4. Typical cross sections for a 2 lane highway plus an allowance for an extra two lane expansion in future are to be presented.

1 x typical cross section for the route prior to the Manukau Harbour crossing.

1 x typical cross section for the route between the Manukau Harbour crossing and the Port Waikato crossing and 1 cross section before Raglan.

1 x typical cross section for the bridge crossings.

Additional typical cross sections you may deemed necessary,

Nominate the type of material to be used for your sub-base, basecourse and surfacing along the alignment including the bridge crossings.

5. The word limit for this report is set at 4000 excluding maps, plans, photos, appendices and drawings.

6. Your chosen route is to be presented either on an A2 or A3 sheet size map. Hand drawn is totally acceptable as long as it is clearly marked on the page.



– I have reviewed the project brief content again. The tasks you are requested to perform isn’t as daunting as the description.

– As ‘Prospective Civil Engineer Technicians’ you will be expected to approach challenging tasks in a logical and methodical manner.

– By merely reading the brief then decide that the tasks are too daunting isn’t going to prepare you well for the future in this industry.

– Engineers are expected to think and are problem solvers not problem creators. That’s the essence of being an engineer and is a fundamental expectation in the industry.

– So, I decided to assist you with your first few steps into this, as no one has raised any issues directly with me and am concerned that this will impact severely on your chances of passing or failing this course.

– So failing short in telling you all how to do this, this should definitely help.

1. Download or find a map for this coastal area (I have done this and it took a few seconds!)

2. Decide on your possible alignment (by drawing lines on the map – use pencils until finalised). This is where you look to avoid sharp bends, hills etc. – hence the reference to contour plans. This is also the bit you need to justify (vertical and horizontal alignments). Explain all.

3. Identify locations associated with Item 1 of the brief.

4. The cross sections are your own design based on the lecture notes on highway requirements such as lane widths etc.

5. I don’t expect you to draw a bridge! However, you will need to allow the width as per the brief. There are existing bridges throughout Auckland to review – you need to go and look at bridges NOT expect them to come to you. There are bridge examples on line etc etc etc.

6. Geotechnical info. Find the geotech maps of Auckland! Then look at the soils types for the area – then think about how this would impact on your pavement design.

– The road alignment and the bridge locations are drawn by hand ON the map. No need for fancy diagrams etc.

– The important part is describing your decisions along the way.

”One thing you need to add to this report at the beginning is:

Location Map’s as part of your Background.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to let me know. As per the Project Part 1, questions are welcome except for ones similar to the following:

How do I find maps, How do I start the project? Where is the Auckland Transport office?etc..

Drawings can be done by AutoCAD or by hand as described in class.


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