GIS as a Tool for Route Location and Highway Alignment

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Sameer A. Abu Eisheh- Supervisor
Dr. Nael Salman - External Examiner
Dr. Khaled Al-Sahili - Member
Dr. Osama Abaza - Member
Prof. Sameer A. Abu Eisheh
Emad Basheer Salameh Dawwas
Selecting best route location and highway alignment process is a complicated one, due to the many variables that must be taken into consideration for achieving the best results. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can easily model such variables, including topography, environment, built-up areas, and geology variables. This study took advantages of GIS capabilities that offer the ability to overlay maps, merge them, and perform spatial analysis on various layers of information in either two or three dimensions. In this study, a GIS model for route location and highway alignment was developed and used to generate alternate highway route applications. After these alternatives were preliminarily designed using CADD software (Softdesk 8.0), the model was used to analyze, evaluate, and then select the alternative with least impacts on environmental, economical, and political aspects. In this study, the GIS model was tested on an application that aims to select the best alternative of three suggested highway alignments. This selected highway is supposed to connect two major cities in the north of the West Bank (Nablus and Jenin). In this application, the advantages of the developed model was clear in the preliminary stage of alternatives generation where it was possible to avoid impacting of the different sensitive areas. In addition, a lot of information can be concluded once the user identifies a suggested route because the profile can be developed and drawn immediately. In final stages of analysis and evaluation, the model showed high capabilities in analyzing the impacts of each alternative, using buffering and spatial relations between the different features and the suggested alternatives, and then evaluating these impacts. The results of this study clearly showed the applicability and potential of using GIS as a tool in route location and highway alignment with least potential impacts.
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