Roadway Designer Manual: 2 - Create Templates


Within the FLH Template Library, many Components, End Conditions, and Templates have been created for use.  A model of the proposed roadway design is generated by assembling project templates and applying them to the project using the Roadway Designer.  Templates are defined cross sectional typical sections used to create the proposed design by applying them to an alignment.  Individual templates are created and stored in the Template Library File, which has the file extension .itl.

In Roadway Designer, templates are assigned to specific stations along the mainline alignment at specific intervals, which are called template drops.  Roadway Designer connects the points of the template drops, forming a model of the roadway, from which a surface model can be extracted. The connected template points form longitudinal breakline features in the surface model.

FLH Template Library

The Standard FLH Template Library will be located in a read-only directory on a server at each division location.  The FLH Template Library will be copied to the GEOPAK working directory for the specific project.  Once the template library has been copied to the project working directory, it will be renamed for that specific project. Components, End Conditions, and Templates can then be modified to meet the specific needs of the project.

ImportantThe Administrators at each location EFL, CFL, and WFL will have the MicroStation and GEOPAK workspace configured to allow proper access to the needed files for working on projects.

The FLH template library can be shared by many people, but it must be accessed as read‐only when it is being shared. 

Accessing the Template Library

The standard Template Library is accessed through the Corridor Modeler dialog using the icon located at the top of the dialog. This opens the Create Template dialog, which is the primary place where templates are created and edited.

Corridor Modeling dialog, Create Template location

Figure 1

The default Template Library should load automatically provided the setting in the Preferences section of the Corridor Modeling dialog is set to point to the correct library.

ImportantNote that when a new GEOPAK Project is created and Roadway Designer is used, copy the FLH.itl (FLH Template Library) to the GEOPAK Project Working directory.

Template Library Interface

The interface for the Create Template dialog is comprised of several windows and tools all of which facilitate construction of new Templates or editing existing Templates.

Create Template dialog

Figure 2

Template Library

The template Library is a database of sorts where all components, points, and templates are stored. It is structured in a tree format so that it can be easily navigated and folders and subfolders can be created to organize a logical combination of components and templates.

Right clicking on an item or category will provide typical cut, copy, paste options so that items can be stored in a logical structure. In addition, drag and drop functionality is provide to assist with organization.  Before making changes to a component or template for a project, copy the component or template from its original location and place it in the Project Templates folders.  The Project Templates folder is found at the bottom of the folder structure in the template library.  All project specific templates and components are managed in this folder.  Do not make changes to templates and components in their original location within the template library.

Template Library expanded

Figure 3

Current Template Window

In the center of the Create Template dialog is the main graph for creating templates. The graph is called the Current Template window. The Current Template window uses its own graphics engine and is not a view of MicroStation. The scale of the graph is dynamic and changes when zooming in and out.

Template Window

Figure 4

The center point of the Current Template window is marked by the dynamic origin, which is a magenta‐colored box. The dynamic origin is a reference point and can be moved to any location in the graph.

At the bottom of the graph are numerous view commands which allow manipulation of the template view.  These operate similar to MicroStation view commands.  The mouse scroll wheel can be used to pan and zoom.  The two buttons with the left and right scroll icons are used to undo and redo template creation operations.  CTRL‐Z will undo the last edit or creation.

ImportantRight-click in the graph area to access additional commands.  Double‐click elements in the graph for editing purposes.

Template Preview Window

The Template Preview Window displays various components and templates within the library without physically moving from the Current Template.

Template Preview Window

Figure 5

When highlighting (clicking on) a template, the template is displayed in the Preview area, which is located under the Template Library area.  Use the preview to assemble templates from their parts or components, using drag and drop.

ImportantTo change the insertion point location, click the desired insertion point within the preview window.  The cyan‐colored box in the preview represents the insertion point for any drag and drop operation.

Display Modes

There are several toggles to control the Display Modes at the top of the Create Template dialog.

Snippet showing display modes

Figure 6

The two side-by side radio buttons toggle the view from Components to Constraints. With Components set, the current template view will display all components that comprise the template. With Constraints set, the view changes to display only the constraints between points, showing the parent child relationship and an indicator showing what type of constraints has been applied. This can beneficial for trouble shooting various templates and components.

Dynamic Settings

The Dynamic Settings dialog is used for precision input of the template components and for assigning point names and styles when creating components. 

Dynamic Settings dialog

Figure 7

It also serves as a compass for the location of the cursor with respect to the dynamic origin.  The dynamic origin can be moved using Set Dynamic Origin, located at the bottom of the dialog.

The Dynamic Settings dialog is accessed by selecting Tools > Dynamic Settings or using the view control icons located below the Current Template window.  A pull‐down specifies the type of key‐in to be performed.  Beside the key-in selection (xy=), the values can be entered.

Location of Dynamic Settings under Tools on Create Template dialog

Figure 8

Active Template View:  Parent and Child Relationships

The Active Template tree view shows components relationships to each other. 

Active template view on Create Template dialog

Figure 9

The components listed in the Components and End Conditions Branches leafs are listed in “tree” format: child components are listed as leafs of their parent components.  A component can be made a child of a component using drag‐and drop methods or editing the component properties.  Selecting a component and dragging it to another component makes it a child of the targeted component.  Dragging a child component to the parent folder makes the component a child of the folder, in other words a child of no component.


Components are logical parts of a template.  Examples of components include curb and gutter, median barrier, pavement layers, cut and fill slopes, and ditches.

Component example in Create Template dialog

Figure 10

Drag and Drop

Components are normally kept in a separate folder in the template library.  They are used to assemble complete templates, by dragging and dropping the components to the Current Template window.  When connecting two components, the connecting point changes to a white plus sign prior to placing the component.  This is the indication that the points coincide.  When the components are connected together, using drag and drop from the template library folders, any coincident component points will use the point name of the previously placed component.  Template point names can be edited any time during the creation process.

Applying Affixes

Prefixes and suffixes to the template points can be automatically added during component placement when they are used to create completed templates.  Prefixes and suffixes are controlled using Tools > Options in the Create Template dialog and can be set and cleared in the Dynamic Settings dialog during placement using the Apply Affixes check box.  The FLH standard is to use a Suffix as shown in figure 23.

Template Options dialog

Figure 11

ImportantComponents are normally created with point names that are not specific to the left or right side of the roadway.  Apply Affixes are used to specify prefixes or suffixes on a template point when it is placed to the left or right of the template origin( 0,0).

Merging Points

When a template/component is dragged into the current template, the drag and drop function automatically merges a new point into existent point if they are geometrically exact.

ImportantIf a template/component is dragged into the current template and the points are not initially coincident, a later repositioning of that point will not automatically result in a merge.

There are two ways to merge the point after it has been initially placed.  Right-click on the points that need to be merged and manually merge the points, or use the Check Point Connectivity command.

Manual point merges typically are performed when the intentions of why the action is being performed are known.

Right-clicking in the Template window provides access to the Check Point Connectivity command, which searches all points in a template searching for any point within a user‐specified tolerance. Each set of points within the tolerance is shown on screen in a Delete Point dialog. The user can select a point or points within each set to merge.  Or press the Escape key if the tolerance violation is intended.

Check Point Connectivity dialog

Figure 12

Deleting Components

Right-click on the Current Template Window (but not over a graphic component element), then select Delete Components.  Hold down the left mouse button and draw a line across a few components, then release the left mouse button when done.  All of the components that the line crossed are deleted.  To undo the deletion, press CTRL+Z or select Edit > Undo.

Merging Components

When combining two components of a pavement section together, two separate components are produced with a vertical segment dividing them.

ImportantTo remove the vertical segment and merge the two components into one, position the cursor over the vertical segment and right‐click.  Then select Merge Components.

Merge Components location

Figure 13

Testing End Conditions

Once a template has been created by dragging and dropping components, all end conditions should be thoroughly tested before attempting to use it.

Determining constraints can be complex and multi‐layered.  Correspondingly, End Conditions solutions can be equally complex.  The Test End Conditions dialog is a robust tool to evaluate how End Conditions behave and is available during the design process.  Errors can be caught without having to create design surfaces.  The design of the Test dialog makes it easy to catch errors that reveal themselves only rarely when creating surfaces.

To test that the end conditions produce the desired results, select the Test button located under the Current Template window.  This brings up the Test End Conditions dialog.  

Test End Conditions dialog

Figure 14

The window in the Test End Conditions dialog displays non-end condition components as solid lines and end conditions as dotted lines.  The scale of this window is dynamic and view controls are located at the bottom.

To test the end conditions, select one of the available targets and select the Draw button located on the right side of the dialog.  Move your cursor over the testing window.  The end conditions will change from a dotted line to a solid line, revealing the final solution for the proposed target intercept.  If there are any priority conflicts, you will receive a warning message.  Select the Check Priorities button to review and edit the priority of each end condition will be received.





Workflow 1: Create a Guardrail Component

Click this link to access the workflow: Create Template Workflow 1

Workflow 2: Drag and Drop to Create Template

Click this link to access the workflow: Create Template Workflow 2

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