HIGHWAY ENGINEERING WASHINGTON, DC & VIRGINIA
The Engineering Groupe offers highway engineering services throughout metro Washington, DC and Virginia as a part of our engineering and planning services for public works projects. You can browse a partial list of our previous work or contact us today about your project for a consultation.
An overview of highway engineering
Highway engineering refers to the construction and design of safe roads and highways. Based on the principles of civil engineering, highway engineering grew with the 20th century as America’s infrastructure of road systems was built out to today’s current usage. Throughout the process, agencies and firms have continuously improved standards within highway engineering as we have learned more about important concepts such as surface texture, sight distance, horizontal and vertical curves as they relate to design speed, and grade. And if you’ve ever been on an older designed “clover leaf” style on or off ramp, you can appreciate some of the other major improvements in the areas of intersection and interchange designs.
Generally speaking, there are several types of highways, parkways and highway systems. These include:
- Limited access and controlled access highways
- The Strategic Highway System
- The Interstate Highway System
In the United States, standards for highway design, construction and usage are developed and published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Transportation Research Board, The Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Traffic Engineers, and the Department of Transportation. These boards take into consideration a number of important design and construction factors including:
- Traffic barriers
- Geometric design of roads
- Road furniture
- Traffic lights
- Transition spirals
- Traffic signs
- Pavement engineering
- Road traffic safety
The Future: Human factors and highway engineering
Today more than ever, human factors must be taken into account for future highway design and construction. The reasons are simple. First and foremost are the continual advances in technology which contributes to increasing speeds on our highway system, making safety a paramount concern. Secondly, as urban areas continue to expand our population is aging, thus leading to more congested roadways and an aging population of drivers.
Demands at intersections, for example, challenge a person’s vision, attention, judgment, reactions, and decision making. Signs and markings must be easily recognized and understood by the entire driving population.
Thus, highway design and engineering professionals must rely on sound planning practices to make sure than all drivers will benefit from future infrastructure investment and, to the best of our ability, allow for future expansion of roadways.
Highway Engineering and the Engineering Groupe
The Engineering Groupe provides highway engineering throughout the Washington, DC and Virginia areas. Contact us today to review your project requirements.