What is the significance of transportation engineering to civil engineering?

Question by Lean: What is the significance of transportation engineering to civil engineering?

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Answer by alpha b
*Transportation engineering is the application of technology and scientific principles to the planning, functional design, operation and management of facilities for any mode of transportation in order to provide for the safe, rapid, comfortable, convenient, economical, and environmentally compatible movement of people and goods (transport). It is a sub-discipline of civil engineering.

Transportation engineering is a major component of the civil engineering discipline. The importance of transportation engineering within the civil engineering profession can be judged by the number of divisions in ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) that are directly related to transportation. There are six such divisions (Aerospace; Air Transportation; Highway; Pipeline; Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean; and Urban Transportation) representing one-third of the total 18 technical divisions within the ASCE (1987)

Transportation engineering, as practiced by civil engineers, primarily involves planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation facilities. The facilities support air, highway, railroad, pipeline, water, and even space transportation. The design aspects of transport engineering include the sizing of transportation facilities (how many lanes or how much capacity the facility has), determining the materials and thickness used in pavement designing the geometry (vertical and horizontal alignment) of the roadway (or track).

Before any planning occurs the Engineer must take what is known as an inventory of the area or if it is appropriate, the previous system in place. This inventory or database must include information on (1)population, (2)land use, (3)economic activity, (4)transportation facilities and services, (5)travel patterns and volumes, (6)laws and ordinances, (7)regional financial resources, (8)community values and expectations. These inventories help the engineer create business models to complete accurate forecasts of the future conditions of the systemReview.

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