Road Estimator – Easiest software for cross-section and quantity calculation

July 7, 2021

Road quantity calculation as per typical cross section for a highway construction project is a time taking and tedious process. Generally contractors and consultants prefer cross sections at an interval of 10m along the length of the road. At working stage, billing engineers use geometric and pavement design details for cross sections generation. For as-built cross sections, they use level data collected after each stage of the construction. This procedure automatically generates pavement materials required and consumed along with cutting and filling quantities as an offshoot.

Engineers used to prepare road cross sections and quantities manually in the earlier times. And it used to take good amount of time. The process started easing with the introduction of CAD software. And now with Road Estimator, the entire process is automated till the final stage to calculate the quantity of all materials resulting in exponential reduction in time. Road Estimator is a CAD based application that is useful for cross section generation and quantity calculation.

It is a template-based solution. And user can easily define templates for all types of road including expressways, with service roads, district roads etc. Lane widths and cross slopes including superelevation can be provided for each chainage giving required control to the engineer.

Site Clearance

Construction of a highway requires using different pavement materials. And quantity calculation of each of them is a tedious process. To start with, there can be fixed provision for clearing and grubbing or dismantling of existing pavements during site clearance. Road Estimator identifies existing road edges automatically. Because of which it is easy to provide depth of cutting from identified offsets of the road.

Typical road cross section

Cut and Fill in Road Construction

Identifying cutting and filling in road construction is an automatic process in Road Estimator. The proposed road can be in cut or in fill based on the finished road level (FRL) derived from the vertical design. With special feature for automatic identification of embankment top, getting cutting and filling road construction quantities is extremely simplified. In case of hill road definition, there are various criticalities for road quantity take-off and Road Estimator is proven with many use cases of different side slope conditions, strengthening layers, retaining structures like retaining and gabion wall, composite wall etc.

cut and fill in road construction

Pavement Layers

Quantity take-off of pavement layers seems easy because depths and widths are usually common. However, constructors need to fulfill many conditional requirements those are project specific. And that can add to the complexities. For example, design requires sub-base materials like subgrade or granular sub base only in filling. Or the depth of a particular layer may vary for each cross section, the list can be enormous. Anchor point based design layer definition and applying those layer groups chainage wise in Road Estimator has simplified the procedure to process large data. This further adapts the pavement layer conditions required for each chainage flawlessly.

Profile Corrective Course

When it comes to widening and strengthening of a road also called as brownfield projects, defining profile corrective course (PCC) for road overlay and other related pavement layers are challenging. Because it may require meeting different conditions. Such conditions can vary for a very short stretch of the road. And this requires change in cross-section even from chainage to chainage. Not only Road Estimator takes care of all such conditions but you can get quantities too with extreme ease.

Profile Corrective Course

As-built Drawing

You can generate as-built cross sections based on level data collected periodically or after completion of each stage of the construction. After importing his data into Road Estimator, you can easily obtain cross sections and road quantities. Sometime site conditions may not allow collecting complete data. Or user might have to correct the captured data to replicate the actual site. For this, there are special tools and options provided to get precise material quantities.

Area / Volume Reports

Detailed quantity calculation reports for any materials like pavement layers, cutting and filling in road construction, shoulders, elements like drains, retaining walls etc. are automatically generated along with the cross-section. Area and volume reports can be obtained within few clicks. Options are provided to define customized elements and report too those are not part of the standard reports. And this gives Road Estimator an additional edge. And the definition of customised elements is useful when the project has some detailing which are not as per the standards. There are options to define custom area enclosed by different layers like embankment, cut level, finished road etc. Formula definition helps with mathematical functions creation that can make adding all the cut area or fill area or pavement material.


road quantity calculation

area report


Cross Section Display Settings

The display of area statement in the cross-section is a useful information. Coordinate table below the cross section shows elevation and offset values of required layer. And cross section display includes toe distance and right-of-way (RoW) limits along with dimensions and other variables like chainage.

cross section display settings

The complete length of the road can be very long. As there are more cross sections, printing them directly or saving to PDF or CAD formats saves lot of effort. It is possible to attach user defined print template with company name, signatories and other information.

With nearly two and a half decades of experience, Road Estimator has matured to be a complete software that is assisting quantity surveyors for road quantity calculation of all types of road.

Watch how easily Road Estimator creates typical cross sections and reports to know the process.Typical cross section of a road

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