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 cross sections are to be created at an interval of 10m along the length of the road. At working stage, cross sections are generated using geometric and pavement design details. While as-built cross sections are prepared using level data collected after each stage of the construction. Cutting and filling in road construction along with other road quantity calculation are obtained to know the materials required and consumed.

Road cross sections and quantities were prepared 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 road quantity calculation resulting in exponential reduction in time. Road Estimator is a CAD based application that is useful for cross section generation and quantity calculation.

Road Estimator is a template-based solution, and it is extremely easy to define cross section templates for all types of road including main carriageway, service roads, expressways, urban roads or any other type. Road widths and cross slopes including superelevation can be provided for each chainage giving required control to the engineer.

Site Clearance

Various activities are to be carried out during the construction of a highway and quantity calculation is a tedious process for each of them. 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 which makes it easier to provide depth of cutting with reference to ground levels from identified offsets.

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. There is no additional definition required. In case of hill road definition, there are various criticalities for road quantity calculation 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

While quantity take-off of pavement layers seems easy because depths and widths are usually common, many conditional requirements needs to be fulfilled and that can add to the complexities. For example, sub-base materials like subgrade or granular sub base may be required only in filling and the ground should not be cut or the depth of a particular layer may be varying 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 also the entire process can be defined with extreme ease.

Profile Corrective Course

As-built Drawing

As-built cross sections are generated based on level data collected periodically or after completion of each stage of the construction. This data can be imported into Road Estimator and cross sections and road quantity calculation can be obtained easily. Sometime collecting complete data may not be possible because of the site conditions or captured data may have to be corrected to replicate the actual site. For this, there are special tools and options provided to get precise material quantities.

Area / Volume Reports

Detailed road 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. 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 along with coordinate table that shows elevation values, provide useful information of the cross section. Toe distance and right-of-way (RoW) limits can also be shown along with dimension and other variables like chainage.

cross section display settings

The complete length of the road can be very long. After all the cross sections are prepared in Road Estimator, printing all of them either directly or saving them to any other file formats like PDF or CAD 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.