Creating Cross Sections on a Horseshoe Shaped Road

This question comes up from time to time - in this case it is related to a mine haul road / access road in hilly terrain where the alignment snakes up a hillside and has several horseshoe shaped bends in it. The request was how they could create good quality cross section drawings from the provided surface models and 3D feature lines for edge of pavement and daylight left and right.

The road looks as follows in plan view

The problems here fall into the following areas

  • When you add a surface as a surface instruction - TBC creates a Corridor Surface Output model that will look awful - no issue - just delete it because you don’t need the output surface at all as you have a perfectly good surface that you are starting out with.
  • If you are doing Volume work, how do you not double count or triple count volumes from end section areas - because at the horseshoe bends you will likely pick up the other side of the horseshoe in the cross sections resulting in sectional areas which will drive quantities - no problem - limit your surface instruction on left and right side to the provided daylight lines using the limit lateral extents options which stops the slice going any further - there are other ways to do that but this is the simplest and fastest in this example.
  • Using the surface as a Reference Surface in the corridor means that you can also plot the adjacent road elements if needed in the sections as you go into the horseshoe bends.
  • Adding the 3D lines as Reference Lines into the corridor makes them plottable in the cross sections and you can label them with names and or elevations as needed.

Video shows you how