Understanding the landscape is vital for proper road design and construction. Road surveyors play a vital role in ensuring proposed roads meet the requirements of the appropriate design specifications, standards and codes. The acceptable criteria for road design may vary slightly from area to area, and state to state, but most aspects of the design process are the same.
Here is a look at some of the top factors road surveyors take into account when designing a road.
What is the proposed road meant to be used for? How much traffic is it projected to experience? A road surveyor will consider the current and future uses of the proposed road to ensure it can bear up against the structural load effects of the traffic it will experience.
Generally, roads are classified by traffic volume. There are light traffic, medium traffic and heavy traffic roads. The various types of roads built across Australia are categorised according to the specific traffic volume they are expected to experience.
Roads are critical transport infrastructure built to last for many years to come. But they require some level of upkeep to remain in good working condition. When designing a road, road surveyors will assess the requirements and costs of maintaining the transport system to ensure that the road can be maintained at a reasonable cost.
Local and state governments, for example, usually maintain public roads using money raised by imposing a levy on road usage. So, they will want to ensure they can comfortably raise enough funds to meet the requirements and costs of road maintenance.
Impact of the Road Construction Project on the Environment
The location of a road will also impact the surrounding natural environment in one way or another. This includes the topography of the land, as well as natural habitats for both plants and animals.
If, for example, surveyors establish that a proposed road will have to traverse a sloping terrain, their expert advice would help project managers determine whether to follow the contours of the land or build roads parallel to the slope.
It is important to keep in mind that both the road owner and contractor may be legally held liable for the consequential costs of damage caused to the environment. A road surveyor's input is critical in determining road designs that will have minimal impact on the ecosystem.
For more information on road design, consult an experienced road surveyor in your local area.