Roadway Designer Manual: 3 - Roadway Designer (Part 2)

See first part of Section 3 - Roadway Designer

Secondary Alignments

Secondary Alignments are used to modify the direction of cross section processing.  By default, at any given station, the cross section is created perpendicular to the main alignment/feature. 

Secondary Alignments

Figure 17

If a secondary alignment exists, then that portion of the cross section which lies outside the secondary alignment will be perpendicular to the secondary alignment instead of the main alignment.  To change the perpendicularity of a model at any point in the solution, a Secondary Alignment can be defined.

Key Stations

The Key Station function identifies and manages processing stations in the corridor. Stations can be entered in this dialog or on the Roadway Designer dialog.  Entering a station value then clicking the Add button specifies the processing station in the design or drawing file. Identify the station by key-in or using the locate button.  A single station can be deleted by highlighting the value in the list then clicking the Delete button.  Use the left mouse button and hold the control button on the keyboard to select multiple stations at once.

To add a Key Station in the Roadway Designer Cross Section Navigator, Enter the numeric station value without the '+' and press the tab key on the keyboard.

Key Stations dialog

Figure 18

Create Surfaces

Create Surface combines the corridor and template drops data to create a surface model of the proposed roadway design.  This creates a surface consisting of the top surface of the roadway design and the subgrade components, which are Exclude from Triangulation points and children of the top surface.  Components can be displayed in cross sections and used for volume calculations.

Create Surface dialog

Figure 19

Create Alternate Surfaces

The option for creating Alternate Surfaces is provided to facilitate creating surfaces for points that would normally not be included in the default surface. This allows the creation of a subgrade surface or material surfaces for additional processes such as machine control project deliverables.

A few considerations have to be evaluated prior to creating an alternate surface. The main consideration is to determine which points within a given template the surface should be created from.

To allow for the creation of alternate surfaces the template points have to have this property set in the Point Properties dialog. This is accomplished by editing the desired points in the Create Template application.

Point Properties

Figure 20

Simply provide the desired surface name to each point to be included in the alternate surface. This is a user definable name but must be the same for each point.

When creating a surface for the corridor the toggle for Create Alternate Surface can be toggled ON and the resulting surface for the subgrade will be created in addition to the design surface.

Create Surfaces dialog

Figure 21

When checked, all points that are part of the solution that have their respective Include in Alternate Surface option checked on, are added to an alternate surface. If the toggle in the Create Surface dialog is checked on, and no alternate surface name is provided in the Point Properties dialog, the alternate surface is created and named "No Name Given". If each corridor is creating a new surface, then the alternate surface for each corridor is pre-appended with the corridor name.

ImportantAll features included in the Alternate Surface are marked as Exclude from Triangulation.


A superelevation section is a named portion of the road which is being superelevated.  A given Corridor can have one or many superelevation sections.

For each superelevation section, define a name, then select the crown point, the left and right range point, and the pivot point. In a divided highway scenario, where there are two different pivot points, two superelevation sections are created.

FLH creates super elevation by using the tools provided in GEOPAK Project Manager.

GEOPAK Project Manager dialog

Figure 22

GEOPAK computes superelevation based on user-defined parameters and superelevation preferences files (.sep) established by FLH.  The computation results are in a created auto-shape input file (.inp).

Automated Superelevation dialog

Figure 23

This file can be modified if the user chooses to override the computed superelevation. Any modifications to the input file should be done prior to importing into Roadway Designer. Once satisfied with the input file settings it can be imported into Roadway Designer to create the super elevation section. This is accomplished by selecting the Import Superelevation from INP file option on the Superelevation pulldown.

Location of Import Superelevation on Roadway Designer dialog

Figure 24

When prompted, simply select the input file used to create the super elevation.  After selecting the file, provide a section name to assign to the superelevation in Roadway Designer.

Import Superelevation from INP file

Figure 25

ImportantRoadway Designer will automatically select the pivot point and the left and right range points by using the offset values in the input file and matching up the corresponding points on the template. If the Left and Right Range points do not show up in the point column, this is due to the fact that the lane width values entered when creating the input file are different than the widths that can be paired-up with points inside the template for the specific widths.

To select the correct left and right range points, Click in the point column to select the point to be used for the corresponding side of the template (you must know the point name to select it from the list. There are no graphical selection tools and once the Import dialog is invoked you cannot choose another tool. You will need to cancel the Import, list the point in the template, then return to the Import command).

Once the input file has been imported, point controls are established to override the vertical constraints on the range points. These can be controlled and reviewed in the point control dialog.

Point Controls dialog

Figure 26

To remove superelevation, be sure that the Display Mode is set to Superelevation in the lower right corner of the Roadway Designer dialog.  Right-click in the Control Line Diagram window and select Superelevation Display List.  Be sure All Available Superelevations in the list are highlighted.  Then, Left-click once on the name of the superelevation Section.  Click the Delete button and select Yes on the warning dialog that appears.  The Superelevation and corresponding Point Controls are removed permanently.

Left-click once on the name of the superelevation Section.  Click the Delete button and select Yes on the warning dialog that appears.  The Superelevation and corresponding Point Controls are removed permanently.

Template Transitions

Complicated designs often call for multiple templates that vary throughout the corridor. Whenever two or more different templates are applied to a single corridor using the Roadway Designer, transitioning between the templates occurs. For example, a template transition occurs when the roadway design changes from a two-lane to a four-lane roadway. Transitioning can be as simple as the width of the travel lane increasing. Regardless of the transition complexity, transitions must be identified and verified to obtain desirable results. How template points are connected between two consecutive templates greatly influences the design results.

Template Transition Areas

When adding more than one template using the Template Drops command, template transition areas are displayed in the Roadway Designer’s Plan View window. They are shown as colored rectangles between the template drops. Template drops are shown as transverse brown colored lines.

Transition Area Colors

The color of the transition areas indicates the condition of the transition with respect to how the points are connected. Template points of two different templates are connected automatically if they have the same point names. This is the most desirable condition. If the points names are different or the number of points between the two templates are not the same, then the point connection must be manually specified for each transition. Regardless of the condition, each transition area must be verified prior to processing. Template point constraints greatly affect the transitioning results.

To access the Edit Transition dialog simply double click on the shape in the plan view.

Edit Transition dialog

Figure 27

The transition points displayed in bold are points that need to be tied into the previous template by clicking on each and manually selecting the desired point to tie to.  An additional dialog will allow confirmation that the transition works as expected and will apply the changes to the design.

ImportantRight clicking on the shape in the plan view will allow activation or deactivation of the transition.  The transition can be deleted and re-established by reconnecting the points again using the Edit Transition dialog.

Template Drops

Template Library Synchronization

When a template is applied to a station using the Template Drops command, the template is copied from the template library to the Roadway Designer.  Templates can be revised in the Roadway Designer or in the template library.  This allows minor changes to be made to a template directly in the Roadway Designer without affecting the template library.

Template Drops dialog

Figure 28

In the Template Drops dialog, there are indicators that display if the template has been revised and whether the template matches the one in the template library.

Template Drop Indicators

The Template Drops area of the dialog shows template names and the station where that template is applied.  In addition, the Revised In column indicates where the template was edited: the IRD or the ITL.  In addition to this basic information, the dialog uses color-coding that represents various conditions of the template drop.

Template Drops dialog with current drops higlighted

Figure 29

Synchronize with Library Button

The Synchronize with Library button is used to update the template stored in the roadway design file with the template stored in the template library.  This is normally done when a change is made to a template in the template library and that change is needed in a previously created roadway design.  To synchronize a template, highlight a template drop and click the Synchronize with Library button.

The Edit button is used to revise a template saved in the roadway design file.  It brings up the Create Template dialog.  This is normally done when a minor change is made to the roadway design template and the change does not need to be committed to the template in the project template library.

ImportantIf the template is edited or synchronized, the template transitions that use that template may need to be re-established.

Template Revisions in the Roadway Designer

To revise a template saved in the Roadway Designer, select Corridor > Template Drops.   Highlight the template in the Current Template Drops section of the dialog and click Edit.  This displays the Create Template dialog.  Edit the template in the Create Template dialog and click OK.  All changes to the template are stored in the roadway design file and the template library is not changed.

ImportantIf a modification is desired for an individual station along the corridor, double-click the Cross Section View window when that station is displayed.  Single station modifications are normally done when the design is nearing completion and only minor refinements are desired.

Double clicking in the cross section view of Roadway Designer displays the Create Template dialog. Edit the template in the Create Template dialog and click OK.  All changes to the template are stored in the roadway design file and the template library is not changed.  The edited station is added to the Template Drops dialog as single station template drop assignment.  The modified station is also displayed as a green line in the Plan View window.

Parametric Constraints

Parametric constraints are used to override constraint values. For example, a template with a 2 inch layer of asphalt is required, but the design calls for 3 inches. The 2 inches is a vertical constraint value that can be overridden to 3 inches using parametric constraints.

Many Parametric Constraints are embedded in the default templates FLH Standard Templates. These include options to control ditch dimensions, pavement coarse depths, etc.

ImportantTo create parametric constraints,  edit the template points and type a name in the Labels field.  The name that is entered is what will be associated to a specific constraint value.

Accessing Parametric Constraints

Parametric Constraints are controlled from within Roadway Designer. The dialog is accessed from the Tools pulldown.

Location of Parametric Constraints on Roadway Designer dialog

Figure 30

The dialog provides many options for controlling, editing, importing and exporting of constraint values.

The constraint label is selected from the available list and values are entered to control the construction of the proposed template as it is applied to the proposed design. Each label and its value is set and then added to the list window for Roadway Designer to read when processing the templates.

Parametric Constraints dialog

Figure 31

ImportantRed station text indicates geometry of an alignment has been modified and the station value is no longer valid.  Orange text indicates parametric constraints that overlap.


After a design has been completed using Roadway Designer the next step is to create the design surface. The design surface will be used to create the design cross sections. In addition to cross sections alternate surfaces of the subgrade may be created for delivery on machine control projects.

The Create Surface dialog is accessed from the Corridor pulldown.

Location of Create Surface on Roadway Designer dialog

Figure 32

Only the top points in the surface model generated by the Roadway Designer are triangulated. All subsurface points that are lower than the triangulated surface are “Exclude from Triangulation” points in the proposed surface.  

When you create a surface, the software automatically creates an .tin file as it creates the .dtm file.  The .tin file includes only surface data and is created in the GEOPAK working directory.   The .tin file is given the same name as the surface.  For example, if you name the new surface "Final", the software will create a Final.dtm file and a Final.tin file.

ImportantIf required for a specialized workflow, individual template layers (including subsurfaces) can be triangulated.

The Create Surface dialog has several options for controlling the creation of a surface. There are options to create multiple surfaces from multiple corridors and options for merging multiple corridors to create a single surface.

Create Surface dialog

Figure 33


Specifies the name of the new surface. This field is available only when creating a single surface.

Default Preference:

Specifies the default preference for the new surface.

Create Surface(s) from:

Allows you to select which corridors are processed for surface creation.

General Options:
Densify using Chord Height Tolerance:
Display in Plan View:






To access this workflow, follow this link: Roadway Designer Workflow

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