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By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.

Topic Area
Approximate Percentage of Test Content 11%
A. Surveying
B. Angles, distances and trigonometry.
C. Area computations.
D. Closure
E. Coordinate systems (e.g., GPS, state plane).
F. Curves (vertical and horizontal)
G. Earthwork and volume computations.
H. Leveling (e.g. differential, elevations, percent
grades).

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Angle Measurement
Reference
meridian

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Relationship of Bearings to the Reference Meridian

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
 Law of Consines or Sines

given equation
A, B, a

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


given equation
A, B, b

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


given equation
C, a, b

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


given equation
A, b, c

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Circle and Circular Curve Geometry

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Horizontal Curve Formulas
D = Degree of Curve, Are Definition
PC = Point of Curve (also called BC)
PT = Point of Tangent (also called EC)
PI = Point Intersection
I = Intersection Angle (also called )
Angle Between Two Tangents.
L = Length of Curve, from PC to PT
T = Tangent Distance
E = External Distance
R = Radius
LC = Length of Long Chord
M = Length of Middle Ordinate
c = Length of Sub-Chord
d = Angle of Sub-Chord
l = Curve Length for Sub-Chord

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Deflection angle per 100 feet of are length equals D/2 Station means 100 ft in horizontal
curve. All the stations should be along the curve.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Vertical Curve Formulas

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


It is worth to mention that the length of the vertical curve is the horizontal distance between PVC and PVT not along the
curve.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Earthwork Formulas
Average End Area Formula V = L (A1 + A2)/2
Prismoidal Formula, V = L (A1 + 4Am + A2)/6,
Where Am = area of mid-section, and
L = distance between A1 and A2

As shown in the below figure

Pyramid or Cone, V = h (Area of Base)/3

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Area Formulas

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
I m is equivalent to which of the following:
(A) 39.37 in
(B) 3.28 ft
(C)1.094 yd
(D) All of the above

Solution
The Correct Answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
What is the area of a sector with a central angle of
47° within a curve that has a radius of 1100 ft?
(A) 10.34 ac
(B) 10.76 ac
(C) 10.99 ac
(D) 11.39 ac
Solution
A=
=496 284.4 square feet
=496 284.4/ 43 560 = 11.39 ac
The Correct Answer is (D)
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Horizontal Curve
Problem
A circular curve is to be constructed with a 225 ft
radius and an interior angle of 55°. Determine the
length of the curve.

Solution

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
An interior angle of I = 8.4° is specified for a
horizontal curve. The PI station is 64 + 27.46. Use
a 2° curve and locate the PC and PT stations.
Solution

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
If the center angle is 56° and the radius is 5000 ft
of the above horizontal curve, what is the shortest
approximate distance between point A and point
B?
(A) 590 ft
(B) 660 ft
(C) 2700 ft
(D) 4700 ft
Solution
Compute the long chord.

The Answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
How many parameters of a horizontal curve must
be known in order to calculate the remaining
parameters?
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
Solution
At least two parameters, such as distances and
angles, must be know in order to calculate the
remaining parameters of a horizontal curve.
The Answer is (B)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The station line is which of the following?
(A) From point A to point V to point B
(B) From point A to point C to point B
(C) From point A to point O to point B
(D) Determine by the design engineer
Solution
The station line is from A to point C to point
B.Stationing on a horizontal curve is along its arc,
whereas the stationing on a vertical curve is along
a horizontal datum drawn between the BVC and
EVC.
The Answer is (B)
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
If the degree of curvature (arc definition) is
1.1459°, what is the radius of the curve?
(A) 3200 ft
(B) 3800 ft
(C) 4200 ft
(D) 5000 ft

Solution
Using the conversion equation, for D in degrees,

The Answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
Vertical Curveof the curve is defined
A The length
as which of the following?
(A) The distance along a
horizontal datum
from point A to point B
(B) The distance along the curve
from
point A to point B
(C) The distance along the
tangents
from point A to point C to
point B
(D) Designated by the design
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
engineer
Solution
The length of the curve is the distance along a horizontal
datum from point A to point B.

The answer is (A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
At what station does the curve crest?
(A) 33+93.71
(B) 34+35.40
(C) 34+45.40
(D) 35+11.00
Solution
To find where the curve will crest,

The curve will crest at (sta 33+00) + (1+45.40 sta)= sta


34+45.40
The answer is (B)
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
If the vertex is at an elevation of 549.20 ft at sta 35+00,
what is the approximate elevation of Point A?
(A) 546.90 ft
(B) 547.20 ft
(C) 548.10 ft
(D) 548.30 ft
Solution
The elevation can be computed directly using the tangent
grade and a portion of the curve length.

The answer is B

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
What is the elevation difference between PVC and a point
on the curve at Sta 35+00?
(A) 0.62 ft
(B) 0.97 ft
(C) 1.24 ft
(D) 32.71 ft

Solution
Begin by computing the equation of the curve.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


The answer is
(A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
What is the station at point B?
(A) 36+00
(B) 36+25
(C) 37+00
(D) 37+50

Solution
The PVT is a distance L/2 from the vertex.

The answer is C

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
What is the highest elevation on the curve?
(A) 547.93 ft
(B) 548.44 ft
(C) 548.62 ft
(D) 549.38 ft
Solution
Applying the equation for the curve,

The curve crests at

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


So,

The answer is A

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
Which of the following are used in defining a vertical
highway curve?
(A) A circular curve
(B) A spiral curve
(C) A parabolic curve
(D) A broken back curve
Solution
A parabolic curve is used in defining a vertical highway
curve.
The answer is C

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The area inside of the quadrilateral PC, PI, PT, and O below
equals 83.164 m2. The shaded area (m2) between the circular
curve and the tangents is most nearly:
(A) 2.879
(B) 3.577
(C) 5.407
(D) 8.286

Solution
Find the area of the fractional part of the circle.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Shaded area = total area – fraction of circle

The correct answer is (A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The cross-sectional areas to be excavated (cut) at certain
sections of a road of a road project are as follows:

Station Area (ft2)


3+00 247
4+00 269
4+35 322
5+00 395
5+65 418
6+00 293
7+00 168

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Using the prismoidal method, the earth to be excavated (yd 3)
between Sections 4+35 and 5+65 is most nearly:
(A) 1.460
(B) 1.840
(C) 1.860
(D) 1.900
Solution
Refer to the earthwork formulas in the Civil Engineering
section of FE Reference Handbook.
Volume to be excavated =130 [322+ (4)(395)+418] / [(6)
(27)]=1.862 yd3

The answer is C
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
A slope distance and zenith angle of 123.456 m and
102°54’00”, respectively, are measured using a total
station. The horizontal distance (X) is most nearly:
(A) 123. 335
(B) 123. 298
(C) 120. 511
(D) 120. 340
Solution
=102° 54’ 00”- 90° 00’ 00” =12.9°

X=(123.456)(0.975) =120.340 m
The correct answer is D
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
The arc definition of the Degree of Curve (D) is defined
as the:
(A) Central angle subtended by 100 ft of arc
(B) Central angle subtended by 50 ft of chord
(C) Central angle subtended by 50 ft of arc
(D) Total arc length of the curve in stations
divided by the total central angle in degrees
Solution
The Degree of Curve is defined as shown in the following
figure
Solution
The answer is A

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


**The following three problems are based on the
following information and illustration.  

The proposed vertical profile for a transport airport


runway is shown.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The minimum required length of vertical curve at the
point of vertical intersection (PVI) A is most nearly:
(A) 300 ft
(B) 390 ft
(C) 1000 ft
(D) 1300 ft
Solution
At point A, the grade change is from -0.5% to 0.8%.
Therefore, the absolute value of the total percent grade
change at PVI A is:

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


For transport airports, the minimum required length of
vertical curve at the point of vertical intersection is:

The answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The minimum allowed longitudinal grade (maximum
allowed downward slope) to the right of PVI B is most
nearly:
(A) -2.0%
(B) -1.5%
(C) -1.2%
(D) -0.7%
Solution
Two criteria must be checked for this problem. First, the
maximum allowed longitudinal grade change is 1.5% for
transport airports. Second, the maximum longitudinal
grade is 1.5% for transport airports.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Checking the first criteria, the absolute value of the
total grade change at PVI B can be rearranged to give
the maximum allowed longitudinal grade (maximum
allowed downward slope), Z, as

 maxB = 1.5%
=0.8% - Z
Z= 0.8% - 1.5% = 0.7%

The second criteria is that not exceed 1.5%, which it


does not. Therefore, the maximum allowed longitudinal
grade (maximum allowed downward slope), , is -0.7%.

The answer is (D)


By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
If the grade to the right of the point of vertical
intersection B is -0.4%, (i.e, Z=-0.4%), the minimum
required distance between PVIs A and B is most nearly:
(A) 250 ft
(B) 630 ft
(C) 1000 ft
(D) 2500 ft
Solution
From Sol.3, the grade change at the point of vertical
intersection A is

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Therefore, for transport airports, the minimum required
distance between PVIs A and B is

The answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The value of  is most nearly:
(A) 13° 09’ 07”
(B) 23° 27’ 53”
(C) 36° 52’12”
(D) 53° 07’ 48”

Solution
is found trigonometry using the basic relationship for
slopes.

The answer is (D)


By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Problem
A 6° curve has forward and back tangents that intersect at
sta. 14+87.33. The station of the point of beginning
curvature (BC) is most nearly:

(A) Sta 5+32.4


(B) Sta 9+92.6
(C) Sta 11+27.9
(D) Sta 13+92.4

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Solution
First, find the radius of the curve.

Next, solve for the tangent.

PC is the same as station BC in this problem.

The answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
A boundary and transverse line bordering an irregular
area are shown.

Using Simpson’s 1/3 rule, the total area between


the boundary and traverse line is most nearly:

(A) 141 m2
(B) 143 m2
(C) 148 m2
(D) 151 m2
By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.
Solution
By Simpson’s 1/3 rule,

The answer is (C)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


**The following two problems are based the following
information.

A back tangent with a 7% grade meets a forward


tangent with a -5% grade on a vertical alignment. A 350
m (10 sta) horizontal length of vertical curve is placed
such that the point of vertical curvature (PVC) is at sta
10+35 at an elevation of 60.0 m.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The vertical curve elevation at sta 11+35 is most nearly:
(A) 65 m
(B) 67 m
(C) 69 m
(D) 71 m

Solution
From the PVC at sta 10+35 to the location of desired
elevation at At sta 11+35
X = 1135 -1035 = 100 m

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


The horizontal vertical curve length, from PVC to PVT, is
given in the problem statement as L=350 m

The grades are given as g1= 7% and g2 = -5 %


The elevation of the PVC is given as YPVC=60.0m
Therefore, the curve elevation at sta. 11+35 is

The answer is (A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The tangent elevation at the point of vertical
intersection (PVI) is most nearly:
(A) 66 m
(B) 68 m
(C) 70 m
(D) 72 m
Solution
The PVI is located at from the
PVC. The tangent elevation is:

The answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


**The following two problems are based on the
following information and illustration.

A horizontal curve is laid out with the point of curve (PC)


station and the length of long chord (LC) as shown.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The radius of the curve is most nearly:
(A) 158 m
(B) 160 m
(C) 316 m
(D) 320 m
Solution
The intersection angle, I, is

The radius of the curve is

The answer is (A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The point of tangent (PT) is most nearly:
(A) Sta 13+27.1
(B) Sta 13+28.5
(C) Sta 13+34.4
(D) Sta 13+39.2
Solution
From problem above, R=157.98m.
The length of curve from PC to PT is L=RI

The answer is (C)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
Boundary and traverse lines bounding an irregular area
are shown.

The total area between the irregular


boundary and the traverse line is most nearly:
(A) 330 m2
(B) 350 m2
(C) 370 m2
(D) 390 m2

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Solution
The trapezoidal rule is

The correct answer is (C)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


**The following two problems are based on the
following illustration.

Problem
The tangent distance is most nearly:
(A)195 m
(B)197 m
(C) 284 m
(D) 286 m

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Solution
Convert the intersection angle into decimal format

The tangent distance is

The answer is (D)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
The length of curve is most nearly:
(A) 370 m
(B) 380 m
(C) 390 m
(D) 410 m
Solution
Convert the intersection angle into decimal format.

Calculate the radius of the curve.

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Convert the intersection angle into radians

The length of curve from point of curvature (PC) to point


of tangent (PT) can be found using the following
equation.

The answer is (B)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
What is the length of the curve with an intersection
angle of 11.25° and a radius of 352 m?

(A) 69 m
(B)170 m
(C) 310 m
(D) 350 m

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Solution
In highway work, the length of the curve is understood
to be the actual curved arc length, and the degree of
the curve is the angle subtended by an arc of 100 ft.

The answer is (A)

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Problem
Compute the latitude and departure for earth of the
following courses.
(A) N 25°13’07” E, 135.40 ft
(B) S 30°57’12” E, 157.90 ft
(C) S 2°20’26” W, 144.64 ft

Solution
Case (A)
A) Lat= cos (25°13’07)( 135.40 ft) = +122.495 ft
dep= sin (25°13’07)( 135.40 ft) = +57.690 ft

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.


Case (B)
B) Lat = cos (30°57’12”)(157.90 ft)= -135.413 ft
dep = sin (30°57’12”)(157.90 ft) = +81.214 ft

Case (C)
C) Lat = cos (2°20’26”)(144.64 ft)= -144.519 ft
dep = sin (2°20’26”)(144.64 ft)= -5.907 ft

By Dr. Gamal Helmy, Ph.D., P.E.