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ROAD: An Interactive Geometric Design Tool for Transportation Education and Training


  • Chen-Fu Liao
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)


Traditionally, students use pencil and ruler to lay out lines and curves over contour maps for roadway geometry design. Numerous calculations of stopping sight distance, minimum turning radius, and curve alignments are required during the roadway design process in order to ensure safety, to minimize economic and environmental impacts, as well as to reduce construction costs. Iterative computations during the design process are usually performed manually by the students in order to meet any given design criteria and environmental constraints. The traditional design process of roadway geometry design is often cumbersome and time consuming. It limits students from taking a broader perspective on the overall roadway design process. An Internet-based roadway design tool (ROAD: Roadway Online Application for Design) was developed to enhance the learning experience for transportation engineering students. This tool allows students to efficiently design and to easily modify the roadway design with given economic and environmental parameters. A 3D roadway geometry model can be generated by the software at final design to allow students immerse themselves in the driver's seat and drive through the designed roadway at maximum design speed. This roadway geometry design tool was deployed and tested in a civil engineering undergraduate class in spring 2006 at University of Minnesota, Department of Civil Engineering. Feedback was collected from instructors and students that will lead to additional enhancements of the roadway design software.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen-Fu Liao & David Levinson, 2007. "ROAD: An Interactive Geometric Design Tool for Transportation Education and Training," Working Papers 000020, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:road

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    File Function: Second version, 2013
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate

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