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Roadway Drainage Design

COURSE NO: C03-073
Roadway Drainage Design
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides a detailed description on the drainage design roadways.


Provision of sufficient drainage is an important factor in the location and geometric design of highways. Drainage facilities on any highway or street should adequately provide for the flow of water away from the surface of the pavement to properly designed channels. Inadequate drainage will eventually result in serious damage to the highway structure. In addition, traffic may be slowed by accumulated water on the pavement, and accidents may occur as a result of hydroplaning and loss of visibility from splash and spray.


Generally, when providing the drainage design for roadways, surface water and subsurface water must be taken into considerations. Surface runoff is the flow of water occurring on the ground surface when excess rainwater, stormwater, meltwater, or other sources, can no longer sufficiently rapidly infiltrate in the soil. This can occur when the soil is saturated by water to its full capacity, and the rain arrives more quickly than the soil can absorb it. After water infiltrates the soil on an up-slope portion of a hill, the water may flow laterally through the soil, and exfiltrate closer to a channel. This is called subsurface return flow or throughflow.  Surface water is divided in two parts: on-site water and off-site water, where the former is the water that is directly generated from the road and the latter is the water that is generated from outside the roadway limits, but has to be accounted for, by either bridge structures or box culverts; on-site water is generally handled by ditches for rural roadways and a system of inlets and pipes for urban roadways.


This 3 PDH online course applicable to civil and transportation engineers who are interested in learning about the principles to be considered when selecting and designing the road drainage system.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Familiarizing with surface drainage for transverse slopes, longitudinal slopes, longitudinal channels
  • Familiarizing with highway drainage major and minor structures
  • Gaining a general overview on sediment and erosion control
  • Learning about runoff calculations using the rational method and using U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Method, TR-55
  • Understanding the hydraulic considerations for rural roads and urban roads
  • Learning about the effect of inadequate drainage caused by poor pavement performance and instability slopes
  • Familiarizing with the categories of subsurface drainage systems including longitudinal drains, transverse drains, horizontal drains, drainage blankets and well systems
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "Roadway Drainage Design”, which is prepared by Najib Gerges, Ph.D., P.E.
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: