Two of our areas of specialty at Howard Civil Engineering are roadway engineering, also known as highway engineering, and traffic engineering. Through our expertise as a roadway or highway engineer, we design the way that roads intersect and merge with one another while considering their horizontal and vertical alignment. Through our specialty as a traffic engineer, we take steps to improve the flow of traffic within the roads. For example, we assess the capacities of different lanes and provide possible solutions, including sensors to gauge flow and automated guidance systems. In one of our capacities as a roadway engineer, developers will contact us when they need our expertise to get the necessary permissions to move forward with their project. Our input is critical to developments because the new construction can influence the concentration or flow of traffic or pedestrians; plus, public transportation may be strained, and additional access points may be needed.
One key aspect to any road engineering project is that of the road designer. A roadway or highway designer creates a vision that allows roads to meaningfully interconnect, with consideration of their horizontal and vertical alignment. The ultimate goal of the designer is promotion of safe and continual movement of traffic. It is worth noting that a qualified and licensed road designer will be able to address both vehicle roadways and railways. (When railways and other transportation modes are included, the field is often called transportation engineering or transport engineering.)
With over 20 years in business, Howard Civil Engineering knows to take into account factors such as the following when working on a road design:
- Design speed
- Road width
- Sight distance
Traffic Impact & Trip Generation Studies
At Howard Civil Engineering, one task at which we excel is site planning – a comprehensive effort that examines a development in terms of the building, parking areas, public road access, and site circulation. The site planning process includes a financial feasibility report, traffic impact study (TIS), and site plan review. The traffic impact study contains projections for the number of trips created by the development and directional distribution of traffic that is expected, along with other information pertaining to vehicle flow.
Note that the trip generation study, which estimates how many trips are generated within zones used for the development, can also be considered one of the core components of a thorough traffic impact report or study (as indicated above). Through creative problem-solving, Howard Civil Engineering acts as your dedicated agent while you prepare these important documents and fill in the details of your development project.
Traffic Maintenance & Roadway Improvement Plans
When your development is underway, Howard Civil Engineering can keep things moving with a strong traffic maintenance plan. Our highway planners and traffic planners offer strategies to maintain and control the circulation of traffic, such as flagging and signing. Working in conjunction with our traffic engineers and traffic management consultants, our specialists base their plans on the sequencing of construction projects.
In our capacity as an experienced roadway improvement planner (with more than two decades of experience), Howard Civil Engineering can approach a project with a sophistication few other firms can match. Instead of simply considering vehicular capacity, we consider the roadway in terms of all transportation forms. While building in more lanes can mean more cars on the road, you can influence how the public approaches transportation and engages with the environment by including more inviting bike lanes, sidewalks, public transportation stops, and median islands.
Intersection Design & Analysis
One critical aspect of roadway or highway engineering is intersection design. A skilled intersection designer will analyze the place where two roads cross in consideration of elements such as signage and striping; signal controlling; curb extensions; detection and actuation; and signal phasing for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Bikeways & Pedestrian Paths
A key capability of our transportation engineers and transport engineering consultants at Howard Civil Engineering is the development of pedestrian paths and bikeways. The core concern when dealing with pedestrian walkways and bikeways is safety, which is threatened when these paths intersect with roadways. Intersections can be protected for bikers and walkers through forward stop bars, refuge islands, and signal enhancements. Other features that an engineer might incorporate into these plans are hybrid beacons – a.k.a. High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) beacons – and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs). The licensed engineers, designers, and support staff at Howard Civil Engineering have the skill and dedication to adeptly incorporate a bikeway or pedestrian pathway into any project.