describing grading slopes for transportation projects

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION describing grading slopes for transportation projects

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    Stephanie Smoot

    I am working on a Design build narrative for some large earthwork roadways at an interchange. In particular, i would like an engineer to understand what I want.

    1. I would like to describe a overall naturalistic contouring objective so that the roadway embankments of up to 20 feet high aren’t uniformly 2:1 slopes intersecting abruptly into the flat horizontal layout.

    2. How do I describe the grading practice at toe of slope conditions where I want the profile of the slopes to transition smoothly from the vertical plane (up to 2:1 slope) to the horizontal plane rather than changing abruptly. Some call it a “seam”, but I am wondering if there is an engineering term. One thought I had was to try to describe the profile of the slope as similar to the profile of a roadway where you identify algebraic differences and make tangent curves such as ” the algebraic difference of the intersecting curves shall not exceed 33%” but i wasn’t sure if that will get me in a hole. Maybe “toe of slope shall be smoothly graded at 3:1 or less steep to prevent an abrupt visual change of grade?”

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    The simplest way would be to say that you would like the lower slope concave and the upper slope convex, or so I think this is what you want to describe.


    If you know how much room you have, you can state that the transitions from the 2:1 slope at the top and toe shall occur smoothly in no less than (for example) ten feet.

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