Initial Design Errors

Sometimes roads are just wrong to begin with.

A sharply curved road can lead to cars leaving the roadway

  • A curve banked in a manner that results in cars leaving the roadway
  • An unnecessarily sharp curve
  • A combination of vertical and horizontal curves that places a sharp horizontal curve at the crest of a vertical curve
  • A road that conflicts with pedestrian traffic
  • A bridge without a sidewalk for pedestrians
  • A highway with a steep embankment
  • A road with a series of trees or utility poles right next to the lane of travel

In some cases, the design started out okay (back in the 1920s). But design inadequacies under current standards should be identified and corrected when the opportunity arises.

While it’s true that our streets and highways don’t need to be brought to compliance with design standards immediately, new requirements for roadway safety should be implemented when a significant project is undertaken. At that point, the project engineer should look around to assess and correct all substandard conditions. And, until substandard conditions are corrected, a municipality needs to post warning signs or implement an interim solution.

Excerpt from my Highway Design Liability booklet.  Contact me, if you’d like a copy free of charge.

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