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Earthwork and Select Material Calculations

This documentation is being offered as a suggested method for calculating earthwork and select material areas on cross sections. Comments about this process or other alternative methods are encouraged.

Before You Begin

Modify the cross section display to show pavement and select materials in the sub-grade level. Make sure they are trimmed properly so that the areas can be flooded. Create a new drawing to store the area fills. The name will be the project number + "xs" + MX alignment name + "Qty.dgn, such as 12345xsmcamQty.dgn. Attach the cross section file as a reference.

create region dialog boxCreating the Areas

Use QA input to set level line style and color for each material (i.e. sand, gravel, crushed gravel). Set an appropriate text size. Use the create region tool from the groups tool box to flood your areas. The suggested settings include flood, Fill Type Opaque, Keep Original, ignore interior shapes, and max gap set to .005 or smaller.

Shutting off all levels not directly needed will simplify and speed up the process of flooding areas. For select materials, only have the subgrade, design, and stations turned on. This greatly helps in shading the appropriate area. By more closely viewing the section you are working on, the flooding operation will work faster. If you are having problems flooding an area try power selecting the elements that make up its outline. You may need to go back to the cross section dgn to trim your subgrade elements properly.

place smart line dialog boxIf all else fails, use the place smartline command and check the join elements box and hit on the vertices that make up your area. To complete the closed element, tentative hit on the first point. Additional options will appear on the Place Smartline dialog box as shown at the right. Confirm that the Area option is set to Solid and Fill Type is Opaque to create the shaded area. Flooding all areas; sand, gravel, and crushed gravel (using the proper levels!) first will make it easier to come back and annotate them in one continuous operation.

Open the ATOOL MDL by hitting on Utilities > mdl applications > ATOOL and run. See the ATOOL documentation text file for more information about this program.

atool parameters dialog boxThe area tools parameters tool box allows you to create prefixes and suffixes for area annotation. I would suggest not checking any boxes except match element symbology so that the areas attributes are used when placing the text. Use the measure area and place text command; select the appropriate prefix and suffix i.e. sand/sf; then hit on the shaded area and place the text. Continue changing the prefix/suffix as appropriate to the area you are annotating. It may be easier to do all sand layers first then come back and do the next set of areas.

A set of colored sections can be printed so that you have a record copy of the areas which can be checked easily by looking to see that the colored areas are within the lines intended. The area text numbers can easily be read off this printed set while compiling into a Excel earthwork computation sheet.

Text File Format symbol Text File Format (.txt). Visit for a list of free .txt readers for a variety of operating systems.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483  |  7 Hazen Drive  |  
Concord, NH  |  03302-0483
Tel: 603.271.3734  |  Fax: 603.271.3914