Did You Know: GIS Mapping

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017
Did You Know: GIS Mapping

Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface. This system utilizes a combination of computerized drafting technology (for drawing point, line, and polygon features that represent real world objects) and relational database technology (for storing detailed information about those objects).

Did You Know: Roadway Signing

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017
Did You Know: Roadway Signing

By Justin Watson, E.I., Infrastructure Designer Roadway signing can directly affect the safety of the public by warning drivers and pedestrians of any number of roadway hazards, traffic maneuvers, navigation information, etc. Signing and/or resigning is one aspect of a safety project where the designer relays active information to the driver, whereas things such as […]

Did You Know: Superelevation

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016
Did You Know: Superelevation

By Mark Randall, P.E. Similar to how NASCAR tracks utilize “banking” to help a car’s downforce and velocity through a turn, civil engineers use superelevation on regular roadways to do the same thing. While some tracks, such as the Talladega Superspeedway, are banked up to 33 degrees (an increase of 6.5’ in vertical elevation every […]

Did You Know: Roundabouts

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016
Did You Know: Roundabouts

Posted by Nathan Currie, P.E. Although Alabama does not have as many roundabouts as some of its neighboring states, such as Florida or Georgia, these intersections are becoming more common throughout the state. This could be due to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT)’s 2015 release of a Roundabout Planning, Design, and Operations Manual providing […]

Did You Know: Roadway Design and Guardrails

Posted by on May 10, 2016
Did You Know: Roadway Design and Guardrails

As civil engineers and surveyors, there are many aspects of our daily jobs that are second nature to us. But we hear common questions about our field often from the public. In this “Did You Know” blog series, we’ll answer some of these questions. The Federal Highway Administration’s guidebook entitled Flexibility in Highway Design stresses the importance […]

Did You Know: How Speed Limits Are Determined

Posted by on May 3, 2016
Did You Know: How Speed Limits Are Determined

Speed limits are used to set the maximum (or minimum in some cases) speed at which vehicles may legally travel on particular stretches of road.  Speed limits in the United States vary depending on jurisdiction, with 75 to 85 mph common on interstate highways in the Western United States and 65 to 70 mph common […]

Did You Know: The Difference Between Detention Ponds and Retention Ponds

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016
Did You Know: The Difference Between Detention Ponds and Retention Ponds

As cities grow and land development expands, properly diverting water becomes an important issue. Cities typically require that the developer not increase the amount of water discharging from the site after construction is complete. In order to control excess water and prevent runoff, or the water that flows downhill after a storm, detention or retention ponds are used to prevent any flooding or erosion.

Did You Know: The Inconvenience of Road Construction

Posted by and on Nov 17, 2015
Did You Know: The Inconvenience of Road Construction

As engineers who work in the traffic and transportation sector, we are very involved in the roadway construction process. Because it affects us all, people are not shy about asking questions related to the inconvenience of the road construction process.

Did You Know: Counting Cars is Fundamental to Traffic Engineering

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015
Did You Know: Counting Cars is Fundamental to Traffic Engineering

People frequently ask our traffic engineering staff, “Do you really sit on the side of the road and count cars?” The answer to that is yes, but we also have many other ways to measure and record traffic on roadways and at intersections.

Did You Know: Precise Measuring Devices and Accurate Boundary Surveys

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015
Did You Know: Precise Measuring Devices and Accurate Boundary Surveys

As civil engineers and surveyors, there are many aspects of our daily jobs that are second nature to us. But we hear common questions about our field often from the public. In this “Did You Know” blog series, we’ll answer some of these questions.