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Design Traffic

The structural deterioration of paved roads caused by traffic mainly


depends on (MoW, 1999):
magnitude of the loads (axle loads)
number of load repetitions

The damage that vehicles due to a road depends greatly on the


magnitude of the axle loads & as such the damaging effect of an axle
loading follows an exponential function.

The damaging effect of all axles expected to traverse the road is


converted into Equivalent Standard Axles (ESA) and added up over a
chosen design period to become the basis for the structural pavement
design.

Traffic analysis
1. DESIGN PERIOD
Design life is the period the pavement will need to be strengthened so that
it can continue to carry traffic satisfactorily for a further period.

Many factors may influence the decision of the design period:

Functional importance of the road


Traffic volume
Location and terrain of the project
Financial constraints
Difficulty in forecasting traffic

Table 7.1 Design period for different class of roads (ERA 2002)
Road Classification

Design period(years)

Trunk Road

20

Link Road

20

Main Access Road

15

Other Roads

10

Vehicle classification is an essential aspect of traffic volume


evaluation (as well as evaluation of equivalent axle loads).
The types of vehicles are defined according to the breakdown adopted by
ERA for traffic counts: cars; pick-ups and 4-wheel drive vehicles such as
Land Rovers and Land Cruisers; small buses; medium and large size buses;
small trucks; medium trucks; heavy trucks; & trucks and trailers.
This breakdown is further simplified, for reporting purposes, and expressed
in the five classes of vehicles (with vehicle codes 1 to 5) listed in Table 7-2.
Table 7-2: Vehicle Classification
Vehicle Code

Type of Vehicle

Small car

Bus

Medium Truck

Heavy Truck

Articulated
Truck

Description
Passenger cars, minibuses (up to 24-passenger seats),
taxis, pick-ups, and Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, etc.
Medium and large size buses above 24 passenger seats
Small and medium sized trucks including tankers up to
7 tons load
Trucks above 7 tons load
Trucks with trailer or semi-trailer and Tanker Trailers

2. TRAFFIC VOLUME
In order to determine the total traffic over the design life of the road, the
first step is to estimate the Average Daily Traffic (ADT).
ADT is usually obtained from actual traffic counts over a shorter period on
existing road or estimated from the traffic on near by roads with similar travel
patterns for new roads.
AADT is defined as the total annual traffic summed for both directions and
divided by 365.

However, for the pavement design of roads with unavailable AADT, it is estimated by
conducting a seven day traffic survey.

3. TRAFFIC FORECASTING
Its natural that the traffic will always grew due to many complex socioeconomic factors.
In line with this, ERAPDM identifies three types of traffic growth sources.
Normal traffic: Traffic which would pass along the existing road or track
even if no new pavement were provided.
Diverted traffic: Traffic that changes from another route (or mode of
transport) to the project road because of the improved pavement, but still travels
between the same origin and destination.
Generated traffic: Additional traffic which occurs in response to the
provision or improvement of the road.

Design period Traffic Volume Forecasting Procedure according to ERA

1.
2.
3.

4.

Determine the initial traffic volume (AADT0) using traffic survey for each type
of vehicle.
Estimate the annual growth rate i and anticipate the year x between traffic
survey and road opening date.
Determine AADT1 the traffic volume in both directions on the year of the road
opening by:
AADT1 = AADT0 (1+i)x
The cumulative number of vehicles, T over the chosen design period N (in
years) is obtained by:
T = 365 *AADT1 *[ (1+i)N 1] / ( i )

NB: For paved roads adjust the above Traffic Volume for Directional and Lane Distribution by
multiplying with some factors.

T adj = T* Dd * DL
Dd = a directional distribution factor, expressed as a ratio, Generally taken as
0.5 (50%) for most roadways unless more detailed information is known.

DL = a lane distribution factor, expressed as a ratio, that accounts for the


distribution of loads when two or more lanes are available in one direction.

Table 7.3 lane distribution factor

Number of Lanes in Each Direction

Percent of Traffic in Design Lane

100

80 100

60 80

50 75

Axil load survey

Axle load surveys must be carried out in order to determine the axle load
distribution of a sample of the heavy vehicles using the road.
These values are then used in conjunction with traffic forecasts to determine
the predicted cumulative equivalent standard axles (CESA) that the road
will carry over its design life.
Most of the countries have a regulations on the size & weight of vehicles to
ensure road safety and to contain the weight of vehicles within the carrying capacity of
the road pavements and bridges.
Once the axle load data has been gathered, it remains to be used to
determine the mean equivalency factor for each class of vehicle.
Computer programs may be used to assist with the analysis of the results from axle
load surveys.
Such programs provide a detailed tabulation of the survey results and determine the
mean equivalency factors for each vehicle type if required.
Alternatively, standard spreadsheet programs can be used.


I.

II.

The following method of analysis is recommended:


Determine the equivalency factors for each of the wheel loads measured
during the axle load survey in order to obtain the equivalency factors for
vehicle axles.
The factors for the axles are totaled to give the equivalency factor for each of
the vehicles. For vehicles with multiple axles i.e. tandems, triples etc., each
axle in the multiple group is considered separately.
Determine the mean equivalency factor for each class of heavy vehicle
travelling in each direction. It is customary to assume that the axle load
distribution of the heavy vehicles will remain unchanged for the design
period of the pavement.
Cumulative Equivalent Standard Axil Over deign period

Finally, the cumulative ESAs over the design period (N) are calculated as the products of
the cumulative one-directional traffic volume (T) for each class of vehicle by the mean
equivalency factor for that class and added together for each direction. The higher of the
two directional values should be used for design.
The relationship between a vehicles EF and its axle loading is normally considered in
terms of the axle mass measured in kilograms. The relationship takes the form:

Where,
axlei= mass of axle I

n = a power factor that varies depending on the pavement construction type and subgrade but
which can be assumed to have a value of 4.5 and the standard axle load is taken as 8160kg
with the summation taken over the number of axles on the vehicle in question.

When the pavement design is for carriageways with more than one traffic lane in each
direction, a reduction may be considered in the cumulative ESA to take into account for
the design.

The ranges given in Table 7.4 are suggested for the percentage of design ESAs to consider in the
design lane:
Traffic Classes

Based on the ESAL, ERA Pavement Design Manual classifies the traffic into eight classes for
flexible pavement design as shown below in table 7.4; If ESA > 30 million ;then Rigid pavement
should be Constructed.
Traffic Class

ESAL range in 106

T1

< 0.3

T2

0.3 0.7

T3

0.7 1.5

T4

1.5 3.0

T5

3.0 6.0

T6

6.0 10.0

T7

10.0 17.0

T8

17.0 30.0

Select Design
Period
Estimate Initial Traffic
Volume (Initial AADT) per
Class of Vehicle
Estimate Traffic
Growth
Determine Cumulative
Traffic Volumes over the
Design Period
For Paved Road
Estimate Mean Equivalent
Axle Load (EALF) factors per
Class of Vehicle
Estimate Cumulative ESALs
Over the Design Period

For Gravel road


Select Appropriate
AADT for Design of
Gravel Wearing Course

Figure 7.1 ESAL Calculation procedure According to ERA

Example 1

Vehicle Class

Initial traffic volumes in terms of


AADTs have been established for 2002
for a section of a trunk road under
study, as follows:

Car

250

Bus

40

Truck

130

The anticipated traffic growth is a


constant 5%, and the opening of the
road is scheduled for 2005.

Truck Trailer

180

In addition, an axle load survey has


been conducted, giving representative
axle loads for the various classes of
heavy vehicles, such as given below for
truck-trailers (it is assumed that the
loads are equally representative for
each direction of traffic) and the
average axle loads for Busses and
trucks found to be 5200 kg and 12500
kg respectively.
Determine the ESAL taking Dd= 0.5
and lane factor to be 100%.

2002 AADT

Axle Loads in Kg

Axle 1

Axle 2

Axle 3

Axle 4

6780

14150

8290

8370

6260

12920

8090

9940

6350

13000

8490

9340

5480

12480

7940

9470

6450

8880

6290

10160

5550

12240

8550

10150

5500

11820

7640

9420

4570

13930

2720

2410

4190

15300

3110

2450

Solution

The projected AADTs in 2005 can be calculated as (AADTs in 2001) x (1.05) 3, and the
corresponding one-directional volumes for each class of vehicle in 2005 are:

Vehicle classification

One-directional traffic volume in 2005

Car

(250 ) x (1.05)3 /2=145

Bus

(40 ) x (1.05)3 /2= 23

Truck

(130 ) x (1.05)3 /2= 75

(180 ) x (1.05)3 /2=104


Truck-trailer
Selecting, for this trunk road, a design period of 20 years, the cumulative
number of vehicles in one direction over the design period is calculated as
follows

Vehicle classification

Cumulative no. of vehicles in one direction over 20 years

Car

365x145[(1.05)20-1]/0.05=1750016

Bus

365x23[(1.05)20-1]/0.05=277589

Truck

365x75[(1.05)20-1]/0.05=905180

Truck-trailer

365x104[(1.05)20-1]/0.05=1255184

Equivalency factors for the sample of truck-trailers, and a mean equivalency


factor for that class of heavy vehicles, can be calculated as outlined below:

Axle 1

Axle 2

Axle 3

Axle 4

Total

Load

Factor

Load

Factor

Load

Factor

Load

Factor

6780

0.43

14150

11.91

8290

1.07

8370

1.12

14.54

6260

0.30

12920

7.91

8090

0.96

9940

2.43

11.60

6350

0.32

13000

8.13

8490

1.20

9340

1.84

11.49

5480

0.17

12480

6.77

7940

0.88

9470

1.95

9.77

6450

0.35

8880

1.46

6290

0.31

10160

2.68

4.80

5550

0.18

12240

6.20

8550

1.23

10150

2.67

10.28

5500

0.17

11820

5.30

7640

0.74

9420

1.91

8.12

4570
13930 11.10
Mean0.07
equivalency
factor2770
for

4190

0.05

15300

16.92

3110

0.01

2450

0.00

16.99

10

4940

0.10

1506

15.76

2880

0.01

2800

0.01

15.88

Factor

0.01
2410 = 0.0011.475
11.18
truck-trailers

Giving mean equivalency factors for buses and trucks of 0.14 and 6.67
respectively.
Finally, the cumulative numbers of ESAs over the design period are
calculated as follows, using the cumulative numbers of vehicles
previously calculated and the equivalency factors:

Vehicle classification

Cum. no. of vehicles

Equivalency factor

106 ESAs

Car

1750016

0.00

0.0

Bus

277589

0.14

0.0

Truck

905180

6.67

6.0

Truck-trailer

1255184

11.47

14.4

Total ESAs

20.4

Based on the above analysis, the trunk road under study would
belong to the traffic class T8 for flexible pavement design.

End of Chapter 7