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Ditch Profiling Using a Reference Alignment

Updated April 25, 2023

This article applies to:
  • RoadEng Civil
  • RoadEng Forestry
  • Softree Optimal

Download the files for the example HERE
(Note: it is a .zip file, you will need to save and extract the files first)

In this article, we set one of the horizontal alignments as a reference feature and then tie a component of the default template into this reference feature.

Start the Location Module and follow the below steps.

  • Download the attached folder and open the Example.dsnx file​​.

Two horizontal alignments are already created in the file. The Shoulder alignment displays the left shoulder of the road and the Ditch_CL demonstrates the ditch centerline on the left side of the road. We want to tie the ditch elevation in the template into the Ditch_CL alignment.


Figure 1 - Section and Plan windows

  • Set the shoulder alignment in the Project Explorer panel as a current alignment.
  • In the Corridor tab click on the Options button and then click on the Features icon.
  • Set the Reference Features dialog box as below. Make sure the CL code is selected in the Feature box and press OK


Figure 2 - Reference Features dialog box

To see the new reference feature in the Section window, Right-click on the Section window and select Section Options. Make sure the Ref. Features item is checked and click on the plus button beside that. In the Reference Features dialog box, select the Section tab and set the Reference Feature Display dialog box as below.


Figure 3 - steps to set the reference feature in the Section window

Press OK for 3 times to close all dialog boxes. Now the Section window displays the reference feature, Figure 3.


Figure 4 - Section window

To tie the existing template to the new reference feature, click on the Templates button in the Home tab and follow the below steps.

  • Select the Ditch III-Vertical Tie-left component and click on the Properties button.


Figure 5 - Template Editor window

  • In the Template Component Properties dialog box, select the DitchDepth item and at the bottom of the dialog box select the RF-2:Ditch_CL/CL-0 and press OK.


Figure 6 - Template Component Properties dialog box

  • Press OK in the Template Editor window and then Recalculate Ranges.

Now you can see the ditch is tied to the alignment!