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Highway Engineering and Design Application Software

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Best Features

Uses of HEADS Pro

HEADS Pro is widely used by various Govt. Departments and Private Sector Consultants.

The development of effective road transport system is the primary need of any developing country and the upgrading of existing road network system is essential for the developed countries as the capacities of roads in urban and non-urban roads are reached to saturation level with the passage of time. The road development involves very high degree of attention by the project Authorities as well as by the Consultants, Engineers and Contractors. Any mistake May result in expenditure of a few millions which could have been avoided. Normally the design of route alignment and the pavement structure decide the cost of a highway project and for this job the best experienced manpower and best available tools must be deployed. The best available tools essentially Include the selection of most appropriate Highway Design software which must be capable of handling any type of situation and the best manpower is the engineers and other technical staff who have the essential educational background and sufficient experience in working for similar projects and most essentially have required level of training to use high quality design software products. String based software generally starts functioning using the Detail Survey data primarily using Total Station instrument. But there are a lot more tasks to do in an actual project, before obtaining the Detail Survey data. These essential tasks are most commonly the Obtaining two Reference points at every 5 Kilometres using GPS instrument, Using the GPS Co-ordinates carrying out Traverse Survey by using Total Station instrument, Obtaining Correct Traverse Co-ordinates by Bowditch or Transit or Closed Link method followed by installation of Reference Pillars to help in carrying out the Detail Survey. These are essential tasks for any Detail Survey project. Once the GPS data are available in Easting and Northing, these become usable by the Total Station instrument. The Coordinate conversion needs correct parameters and the process is also quite cumbersome. In HEADS Pro the Conversion of Survey Data or Survey Base Plan is very simple. Additionally the Correction of Traverse Co-ordinates to install Reference Pillars also needs considerable amount of time and effort by the engineers at the project site. Without carrying out the Topographical Survey it is also possible to download the Ground elevation data from internet using SRTM facilities and the same is to be processed for developing Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and Ground Contours. This enables the engineers to carry out the alignment design work for widening of existing roads or construction of new roads. Here comes HEADS Pro as the complete one stop solution for these requirements by the site engineers at simplest effort. Being a String based software HEADS Pro is very versatile to handle various site situations and eventually comes as an ‘All Complete Solution’ for various Transportation Engineering projects.

Applications for Engineering Design

  • Alignment design for Highways, Low cost rural roads, Tunnels, Railways, MRT, LRT etc.
  • Processing Geometric design with complete set of site setting-out information
  • Producing best formatted construction drawings for PLAN, PROFILE, Cross Sections
  • Produces Estimation of Quantities,
  • Analysis of Item Unit Rates,
  • Flexible pavement design as per IRC SP 20, SP 72, AASHTO etc.,
  • Rigid Concrete Pavement design
  • Pavement Overlay design
  • Layered System Analysis for Pavement improvement using Geotextiles, Fiber Glass reinforcements etc.
  • Bituminous Mix Design
  • Hydrological design of road Drainage,
  • Multi-level Grade separated Interchanges etc.
  • Detailed and well formatted Design Reports and Drawings.
  • Produces LANDXML output for 3D Visualization Drive Through by software UC/winRoad.

Applications for Construction

  • Processing Cross Sections Survey by Auto Level,
  • Bill of Quantities for Running Account Billing
  • Chainage wise Cross Section Drawings,
  • Analysis for Unit Item Rates,
  • Generating Site Setting out details with desired modifications as and when required,
  • Preparation of As built Drawings
  • Alignment Control for Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM),
  • String Tables with Elevations at Normal Cross fall & Super elevated sections for construction by advanced motor grader and Paver.

Special Points on Technical Specifications

  • Co-ordinate Conversion to exchange data between GPS & Total Station.
  • Traverse Survey with String Modeling and closing error distribution.
  • Contouring with user defined intervals and display of Elevations.
  • DTM is accurate & can take up to 300,000 points.
  • Model Strings may take up to 20,000 Strings.
  • Conceptualization of Route Alignment on Aerial Photograph / Satellite Imagery.
  • Co-ordinate transformation from Long-Lat to East-North and the reverse
  • Low Cost Rural Road design using IRC SP 19, SP 20 & SP 72.
  • Design and estimating of Rural Roads with “No Land Acquisition” criterion
  • Optimized road profile design for Exact Quantity of Pavement, Profile correction & Overlay.
  • Design of Hill Roads with Sharp bends and variety of design conditions.
  • Expressway design with Speed higher than 100 KPH following AASHTO.
  • Hydrological design of Highway Drainage.
  • Pavement design & Cost Estimation with Analysis for Unit Item Rates.
  • Asphalt Concrete Mix Design & Quality Control.
  • Auto level survey for Cross Sections and Bill of Quantities.
  • Extended ground in Cross Section drawing to show full Survey Corridor.
  • Built-in CAD engine for viewing and editing drawings compatible to AutoCAD.
  • DXF Plan, Profile & Cross Section Drawings compatible to all CAD software.
  • Long Section Drawing with Alignment & Super Elevation details, even in Pieces.
  • Plan drawings in sheet wise pieces by Sheet Layout.
  • Interactive design for a length of 100 Km in one go (in True Sense).
  • Control on Shifting of Alignment for Tunnel Centre Line.
  • Design interchangeability with other popular Road design software.
  • 3D perspective view from various angles
  • Exporting LANDXML data for “Drive Through” Simulation by UC winRoad.
  • Straight forward interactive design for Main Alignment & Interchange Loops.
  • Irregular occurrence of Service Roads on either side and change of cross section.

Survey facilities with latest technologies by using GPS Technology are best processed in HEADS Site

The instrument GPS (Global Positioning System) is based on Satellite technology. If the Survey is done in Surveyors TM Coordinates the data and Survey base Plan may be created in TM Coordinates, which are not applicable universally by any user, for example Contractor. So the Drawing & Data available in TM Coordinates are to be converted to UTM (Universal Transverse Marcator) Coordinates. Both the conversions (Drawing & Data) are possible in HEADS range of products to make KML / KMZ files which may be superimposed on Google Satellite images (Version 2010) to view the existing Land use and Merits/Demerits of each alignment options.

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It is simple in HEADS Site to transform the Surveyors coordinates into Global UTM / GPS Coordinates using in-built CAD engine, next the transformed drawing may be opened for conversion to KML/KMZ file to open in Google Earth to plan for Site Layout, Green Field alignments, Bypasses and Realignments as larger area with existing Land use are visible. Even the Original Ground Elevations along with Easting & Northing Coordinates are available from the satellite images without doing the topographic survey at the field.

Digital Terrain Model & Contouring: The area may be identified by site reconnaissance survey and using Topographic maps and satellite imageries. Elevation data may be downloaded from SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) and contours have been generated for the entire area under the study. This enables the users to produce Plan, Profile, Cross Section Drawings and BoQ of the design work without carrying out Topographical Survey at field.

Survey work with advanced instruments & Techniques are best processed in HEADS Site

It processes Survey data available from Total Station, Auto Level, GPS, Compass Survey and develops Ground Model, Digital Terrain Model (DTM) by Delauny Triangulation, Ground Contours, Ground Sections at user given primary & secondary intervals, 3D Surface with rendering, Ground Long and Cross Sections, Digital Mapping. The Digital mapping facility enables the users to prepare Survey base Plan drawings over Google Pictures using the CAD engine of HEADS Site.

The Survey reference pillars can be installed by obtaining Traverse coordinates with closing error correction by Bowditch, Transit & Close Link methods, EDM Survey, Coordinate Transformation from WGS84 to Lambert Conformal Conic Projection (Long Lat to East North) and the reverse with Spheroid Everest 1956.

For any Site preparation by Levelling & Grading, the existing ground is compared with the Proposed Levelled Ground and the Earthwork is estimated in terms of Cut & Fill.

The Triangulation is done with best possible accuracy, using spatial data, developing DTM, drawing Contour Topography, Digital Maps and establishing Area / Zone wise reference points to facilitate various construction activities in the future

Road Design in Urban and Non urban areas with Grade separated & At grade intersections, Interchanges, Service Roads, Underpasses, Flyovers, Bus bays, Truck Lay byes are done very effectively using Satellite images and Aerial photos for producing the best possible design

In Built CAD Engine For Interactive Design And Drawings

HEADS Pro/Site is the masterpiece for its various applications in road engineering projects. It enables the engineers and professionals to produce the best in their work by suiting the site condition most accurately and economically. This is done by interactive design done on Survey Base Plan drawing.

CAD system in Model/String method allows user to handle any complex site situation for developing an At Grade Intersection in best possible way.

CAD based interactive alignment design and modification for At Grade Intersection

Design of Rotary Inter section combined with Grade Separated Flyover is easy to design

MULTI SECTION HIGHWAY PROJECTS have the common requirements for sections with or without service roads on either side, with Underpasses & Flyovers, with changes in side of widening as left/right/central, resurfacing by Profile correction/overlay, new construction with full pavement structure. This type of design is done in complete process which saves the time significantly in preparation for the Detail Engineering Projects.

PAVEMENT DESIGN is done in AASHTO method for Flexible Pavement with stage construction facilities, Rigid Pavement by CRCP & JRCP, Pavement Overlay by Benkelman Beam Deflection test data, Design of Bituminous Mixes of Bituminous Concrete, Semi Dense Bituminous Concrete, Dense Bituminous Macadam & Bituminous Macadam based on Marshall Test data for Bulk Density, Stability and Flow and Blended Grading of aggregates with diagram. Layered Pavement System Analysis is available to determine the increase in the strength of pavement using Geotextiles or Fiber Glass Geogrids / Geosynthetics. All the designs are generated with detailed illustrated design calculation report with relevant references to AASHTO Tables & Charts. The facility for computation of Equivalent Standard Axles in Millions (MSA) is also available with this system.

Design Optimization For Cost Minimization

Advanced technology is available in HEADS Pro to Optimize the Vertical Profile of the proposed roadway either for the Profile correction and Overlay or for the Earthwork in Cut & Fill in case of new construction.

Design Optimization for Cost Minimization

OGL AND PROPOSED DESIGN PROFILE The Long section drawings are produced with maximum information to make the construction easier. In case of dual carriageway roads with service roads on either side the vertical profile of each carriageway and service roads can be shown with various design details. The information in Long section drawings are also in international standard and fulfills the requirements of most of the country’s standard.

Long Section Drawing with various Design Information

Detail Engineering with HEADS Pro

HEADS Pro produces Survey Base Plan by Digital Mapping from the Ground Survey Text data and by selecting drawing feature symbols from CAD Block library, the various texts obtained from the surveyors are also placed correctly in the Base Plan drawing. The drawing is made in CAD layered system and is compatible to AutoCAD and other popular CAD softwares for any further editing/drafting. Contours and DTM, with Ground sections are also produced as Reports and CAD drawings for Plan & Profile, Cross sections. This saves the time significantly in preparation for the Detail Engineering Projects.

Survey Base Plan

Construction of Low Cost Rural Roads may be for new roads or resurfacing the existing roads with various pavement layers to be designed for various Rural Commodity transport vehicles, Agricultural Tractors and must be strong enough to last long.

Cross section Drawing for new single carriageway construction

Construction Drawings By HEADS Pro

HEADS Pro produces Plan-Profile and Cross section drawings for the projects in international standard, which means that the information mentioned in the drawing fulfills all construction requirements following the standards and specifications of most of the countries in the world.

Plan & Profile Drawing

Design Long Section Drawing

The Underpasses, Fly Over with Services Roads on either side is shown in the PLAN & Long Section Drawing with various essential details required for construction.

Existing & Proposed Vertical Profile in Long Section Drawing

Highway Strengthening and Widening

In developing countries most of the projects are widening of the existing road carriageway. This needs strengthening of the existing carriageway with Profile correction followed by laying of Bituminous overlay at the top and on the other side there is construction of a new carriageway with full Pavement structure. This needs two separate designs for two carriageways in respect of Horizontal and Vertical alignment. In case the height of existing embankment is low then the surfaces of two carriageways will be at different levels. This is best done in HEADS Pro using the versatile String technique.

Split Carriageway Design for Road Widening

Site Photo of Split Carriageway stretch after Road Widening

Optimizing Vertical Profile

There are two different situations for Optimizing Vertical Profile. One is Optimization for Earthwork in Cut & Fill. This situation occurs when the road alignment is taken through virgin ground and there is significant ups and downs in the ground. In such cases it is the engineer’s requirement to design the earthwork up to the formation level with due consideration for HFL and to keep the quantum of borrow earth as minimum as possible.

Vertical Profile optimized for earthwork in Cut & Fill

The other situation occurs when the road alignment is taken over an existing road and it has Black top surface in fair to good condition. This requires strengthening of the existing surface to withstand the present and future traffic load. The common treatment is application of Profile Correction Course for an average thickness of 50 to 60 mm and followed by construction of Pavement Overlay most commonly by using Bituminous Macadam.

Vertical Profile optimized for Profile Correction Course and Bituminous Overlay

Construction Drawings For Rehabilitation Of Old Roads

Some times the existing single carriageway 2 lane road is proposed for rehabilitation after carrying out Benkelman Beam Deflection test and within the limited budgetary provisions. Here the central portion may be treated with Profile correction and a course of pavement overlay commonly by Bituminous Macadam or Dense Bituminous Macadam. In case the edges on both the sides are broken or damaged then full pavement structure for limited width may be proposed at the edges in such sections. HEADS Pro computes the quantities for Profile Correction Course (PCC), Overlay and for side layers with best possible accuracy and produces the drawings with various levels at specified distances. These drawings are most essentials for such construction.

Cross Section Drawing with Fly over and Service Roads for Highway Rehabilitation projects

HEADS Pro in Hill Road Design

Design of Roads in Hilly Terrain requires special techniques and the appropriate technology is available with HEADS Pro to design Hair Pin bends, Provision of Retaining wall on the Fill side and Gabbion wall on the cut side. Some times there is need for varying slopes on the cut side depending on the depth of the cut. HEADS Pro interface facility takes care of all these requirements and produces Plan, Long Section and Cross Section drawings following the project requirements with zero compromise.

Hill Road Alignment Design


Hill roads with hair pin bends, retaining walls, drains are designed with additional considerations to suit the existing site, construction possibilities, safety requirements, aesthetics and finally adopting the country’s design standard.

Hill Road Alignment Design

Provisions for Extra Widening following the country’s design standard is important in the design of Hill Roads which is not available in the market available softwares, so the designer must be careful in selecting the right software product to keep provisions of inside/outside/bothsides widening at curves.

Bearing Line data’s processing is also another important feature in applying a software for Hill Road design in combination with Cross Section Survey data. This must be checked for the software intended to be used for Hill road design.

Hill Road design is best done with Extra widening and Bearing Line data

For Widening of Hill Roads using Varying Slopes on Cut side depending on Depth and using Gabion Wall on Cut side and Retaining wall on Fill/Valley side is best designed.

Proposed Hill Road Cross Section for Carriageway Widening

Designing on Survey data with Bearing Line, provision of Extra widening at curves at Inside or Outside or Either side, enables the designer for optimum use of the available Right of Way.

Hill Road widening project

Tunnel Design

Tunnel Design for Railways, Roads, Hydroelectric and Mining is best done in HEADS Site

CAD based Tunnel Design is done for Horse Shoe/Semi Circular/Circular/Rectangular/Custom types of Tunnel Sections

The Boring Cut Quantities are estimated for Design Cut, As Built Cut, Over Cut and Under Cut. The “Pay Line” outside the design section is also defined to include the desired amount of overcut in the measurements. Ready to Plot and Editable CAD Drawings are created as the output.

HEADS Pro in Stream Hydrology & Synthetic Unit Hydrograph

Stream Hydrology is computed in details from Terrain Topography by transforming Transverse marcator data to Universal Tranverse marcator (UTM) data, Referring to WGS84 origin and directly downloaded from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) without Topo maps. Discharge Location at Bridge is measured from farthest point of the River for water discharge at the Bridge location. The environment is 3D CAD, fully compatible to other CAD softwares.

Synthetic Unit Hydrograph is plotted by comparing sum of discharge for 1 hour interval of Time and volume of 1 cm direct Runoff.

HEADS Pro in Cracked/Damaged Pavement Improvement


The cost of Pavement structure is important for every road project and compromising with the structure will not allow the pavement to last long. So the cost reduction is to be done without lowering its strength. Now products are available to incorporate the pavement to increase the strength and longevity at a lesser cost. This is commonly done by laying Geosynthetics layer in between the layers of Asphalt concrete and Dense Bituminous Macadam and also by laying Jute Geotextiles at the top of the Subgrade layer.

Geosynthetics are not decomposable but Jute Geotextiles are decomposable and both increase the life of pavement significantly. Jute Geotextiles are very useful when the road is to be constructed in unstable ground. It is available in plenty in India and Bangladesh and is an inexpensive material. If the ground is stable but traffic load is high then the pavement structure becomes expensive. To reduce the cost either less expensive layers or lesser thickness are to be thought of. In such case if the strength is to be maintained same as the original structure then incorporating of Geosynthetics is an effective solution.

This requires correct analysis to determine the strength of the pavement structure by using various layers of different strength and thicknesses. Every pavement option may also be studied with and without incorporating the Geosynthetics.

The strength of pavement is required by obtaining the Elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio. The various companies are producing Falling weight Deflectometer, one of them is Dynatest ( and for analysis software HEADS Pro may be used for various options.

In HEADS Pro software option is available for Analysis for Layered pavement System. It may be used for 2 or 3 or 4 layer Pavement system, where the Layers may be combined to define as a Bound (Asphalt/Bituminous) Layer, Unbound layer (Granular Base), Sub Base and Sub Grade.

The input is required for Thickness of each Layer (excluding Subgrade), Modulus of Elasticity of each Layer and Poisson’s ration of each Layer (excluding Subgrade).

Input Data without applying Geosynthetics
Let us consider 3 Layers as:

Asphalt Concrete: Thickness = 50 mm,
Wet Mix Macadam : Thickness = 200 mm,
Sub Grade : No Thickness,

Elastic Modulii:
Asphalt Concrete: Elastic Modulus = 3000 N/ Sq. mm.,
Wet Mix Macadam : Elastic Modulus = 600 N/ Sq. mm.,
Sub Grade: Elastic Modulus = 72 N/ Sq. mm.,

Poisson's Ratios:
Asphalt Concrete: Poisson's Ratio = 0.35,
Wet Mix Macadam : Poisson's Ratio = 0.35,
Sub Grade: Poisson's Ratio = 0.35,

Wheel Load = 87452 kN.
Tire Pessure = 0.892 N / Sq. mm.

HEADS Input Data:


Input Data applying Fiber Glass Geosynthetics

Thickness of Fiber Glass Geosynthetics = 3 mm.
Tensile Strength of Fiber Glass Geosynthetics = 200 kN/m. 
= (200 x 1000) / (1000 x 3) = 67 N/ Sq. mm.
Elastic Modulus = 67 N/ Sq. mm.
Poisson's Ratio = 0.45

Let us consider 3 Layers as:

Asphalt Concrete: Thickness = 50 mm,
Fiber Glass Geo Synthetics: Thickness = 3 mm,
Wet Mix Macadam : Thickness = 200 mm,

Elastic Moduli:
Asphalt Concrete: Elastic Modulus = 3000 N/ Sq. mm.,
Fiber Glass Geo Synthetics: Elastic Modulus = 67 N/ Sq. mm.,
Wet Mix Macadam : Elastic Modulus = 200 N/ Sq. mm.,

Poisson's Ratios:
Asphalt Concrete: Poisson's Ratio = 0.35,
Fiber Glass Geo Synthetics: Poisson's Ratio = 0.45,
Wet Mix Macadam : Poisson's Ratio = 0.35,

Wheel Load = 87452 kN.
Tire Pressure = 0.892 N / Sq. mm.

HEADS Input Data:



The final result is produced as Horizontal Strain, Vertical Stress and Vertical Deflection at the interface of each two Layers. The above results are improved by incorporating Geosynthetics or any other type of Reinforcement is used. The Analysis Report is generated with details of all Formulae and Calculation Steps and is highly useful for the users.

Analysis for Layered Pavement System

Analysis for Layered Pavement System…Result

Output without Geosynthetics Pavement with Geosynthetics
Horizontal Strain 6.488e-005 mm./mm. 3.604e-005 mm./mm.
Vertical Stress 0.824 N/ 0.773 N/
Vertical Deflection 0.388 mm. 0.349 mm.

Comparative study of results obtained from HEADS Pro

Laying of Geogrids are in progress

Geogrids Laid over cracked surface before laying the wearing course to strengthen the weakened asphalt course

Selection of Geogrids

A number of field tests are available to test the strength of the pavement at site after construction but it is very rare to find a facility to estimate the results before construction. So the procedure described above is expected to be highly useful to project authorities and consultants to decide on the pavement structure and the type of reinforcement to be used. This will ensure increased design life of pavement at a lesser cost.

HEADS Pro In Safety Studies For High Speed Expressways

For the design of railways at design speed 120 KPH or more by following relevant International Standard, HEADS Pro Rail is the most appropriate road design software HEADS Pro creates 3 dimensional perspective view of the terrain and the designed railway. It can convert the design output in LandXML format and supports Visualization and Drive Through by UC-win/Road.

HEADS Pro in COST ESTIMATION by Analysis of Item Rates

With In built formulas on components of Materials, Equipment and Labourer the Unit Item Rates are computed for most of the Embankment, Pavement, Culvert, Bridge and other work in worksheet.

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