Sight distance restriction on highways’ horizontal curves: insights and sensitivity analysis

The study focuses on sight distance restrictions on horizontal curves in highway design. Barriers along open highways and walls on tunnels may restrict the available sight distance in the design of horizontal curves. The study aims to finalize a desirable horizontal radius by examining the equilibrium requirement of the centrifugal force vs. horizontal sight distance constraints. The study examines these restrictions for the conventional case when the stopping sight distance lies within the length of the horizontal curve (case 1) and when the stopping sight distance lies outside the length of the horizontal curve (case 2). Also included in this study is a sensitivity analysis when the stopping sight distance is longer than the length of horizontal curve (case 2), based on the ratio between them. For the conventional case (case 1) the minimum horizontal radius that is based on the equilibrium of centrifugal force, is too small for the requirements of stopping sight distance when there are obstructions along the road that intrude on the line of sight. Sensitivity analysis results for case 2 show that the gap between the available horizontal stopping sight distance (for the minimum horizontal radius) vs. the design (demanded) stopping sight distance values and between the minimum horizontal radius vs. the desirable radius can be totally resolved when the ratio between stopping sight distance and the length of horizontal curve equals to 4.5 (for horizontal sightline offset of 4.8 m, i.e. shoulder width of 3.0 m plus half lane width of 1.8 m). Practically, the resulted conditions of the ratio between stopping sight distance and the length of horizontal curve are not feasible in horizontal curve design especially when the horizontal sightline offset equals to 3.0 m. When the limitations of horizontal stopping sight distance are valid and the obstruction height is higher than the maximum, the highway engineer might consider a tradeoff by increasing the horizontal curve radius as well as adjusting the design to case 2.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01608965
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 5 2016 8:32AM