Vertical Curves – In this week’s edition of Pass the PE Exam, I’m going to solve a problem that you may encounter during your Civil PE Exam, in the transportation section on vertical curves, as demanded by many of our YouTube subscribers.
A vertical curve provides a transition between two sloped roadways, allowing a vehicle to negotiate the elevation rate change at a gradual rate rather than a sharp cut. These curves are parabolic and are assigned stationing based on a horizontal axis. And during your exam, you will most likely need to answer one or more questions on this topic, which I provide an example of in the video above.
Before moving ahead, let me remind you that most successful engineers will tell you that getting their PE license was the biggest career growth driver they’ve experienced, whether it was due to a promotion, salary increase or just more exciting projects to work on – you want to get your PE license.
However, preparing for the PE exam can be a real challenge which includes solving many problems like the one I am about to show you, but through this and other videos on our YouTube Channel you will learn everything you need to know about the licensing process including PE exam preparation.
Here is the vertical curves problem below:
The best way to see this solution for this vertical curves problem will be to watch the video which you can find at the top of this post, however, here are a few key points to remember when solving horizontal curve problems:
- Always sketch out the problem (even if given a drawing) by sketching it, you can often more easily think through the solution,
- Be wary when you are given A LOT of data as the answer may not be as obvious as you think,
- Write out the variables you have and the ones you need as this step may help you select the right equation you’ll need to solve the problem.
We publish videos weekly on our Pass the PE Exam YouTube Channel. Be sure to visit our page here and click the subscribe button as you’ll get expert tips and tricks each week – to ensure your best success – that you can’t get anywhere else. Believe me, you won’t want to miss a single video.
Lastly, I encourage you to ask questions in the comments of the videos or here on this page and I’ll read and respond to them in future videos. So if there’s a specific topic you want me to cover or answer, we have you covered.
I’ll see you next week
Anthony Fasano, P.E.
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success