Civil Engineering MCQ – Highway Engineering

Here’s a set of 25 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) on Highway Engineering, designed for civil engineering students preparing for exams like GATE, technical interviews, and other competitive examinations.

1. What is the primary purpose of highway engineering?

a) To design and construct buildings
b) To design and construct efficient and safe roadways
c) To manage air traffic
d) To design electrical systems

Answer:

b) To design and construct efficient and safe roadways

Explanation:

Highway engineering focuses on the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of roads and highways to ensure safe and efficient transportation of people and goods.

2. What does the term 'camber' refer to in highway engineering?

a) The curvature of the road in a horizontal plane
b) The color of the road surface
c) The curvature of the road in a vertical plane
d) The slope provided to the road surface for drainage

Answer:

d) The slope provided to the road surface for drainage

Explanation:

Camber, also known as cant or crown, is the slight rise in the middle of a road surface to allow water to drain off the surface, preventing water accumulation and potential damage.

3. What is the function of a sub-base in road construction?

a) To act as a foundation for the road surface
b) To provide a decorative layer
c) To increase the friction of the road surface
d) To act as a barrier for vegetation growth

Answer:

a) To act as a foundation for the road surface

Explanation:

The sub-base in road construction is a layer of material laid above the subgrade and beneath the base course. It provides a stable foundation for the road surface and helps distribute the load.

4. What is a 'grade line' in highway design?

a) A line indicating the boundary of the highway
b) The line that separates traffic moving in opposite directions
c) The alignment or slope given to the highway
d) A decorative line on the highway

Answer:

c) The alignment or slope given to the highway

Explanation:

The grade line in highway design refers to the longitudinal profile or slope of the road, which is critical for drainage and vehicle performance.

5. What is the main purpose of providing shoulders on highways?

a) For aesthetic purposes
b) To allow vehicles to stop safely in emergencies
c) To increase the width of the road for more lanes
d) To display advertisements

Answer:

b) To allow vehicles to stop safely in emergencies

Explanation:

Shoulders on highways are provided for safety reasons, offering a space for vehicles to stop in case of emergencies, breakdowns, or for other safety reasons without obstructing traffic.

6. In highway engineering, what is a 'superelevation'?

a) The elevation of bridges above the road
b) The banking of the road at curves for safe vehicle passage
c) The height of road signs
d) The elevation of the road above sea level

Answer:

b) The banking of the road at curves for safe vehicle passage

Explanation:

Superelevation, or banking, is the practice of raising the outer edge of a road surface at a curve. It helps counteract the centrifugal force acting on vehicles, reducing the risk of skidding and rollovers.

7. What are 'traffic islands' used for in highway design?

a) To create recreational spaces
b) To provide a rest area for drivers
c) To control the flow of traffic and enhance safety
d) For advertising purposes

Answer:

c) To control the flow of traffic and enhance safety

Explanation:

Traffic islands are raised areas in roads and intersections designed to control traffic flow, separate lanes, provide pedestrian refuges, and enhance overall road safety.

8. What is 'pavement fatigue' in highway engineering?

a) Tiredness felt by drivers on long roads
b) The weakening or deterioration of a road surface due to repeated traffic loading
c) The boredom of using the same road repeatedly
d) The visual fatigue caused by road markings

Answer:

b) The weakening or deterioration of a road surface due to repeated traffic loading

Explanation:

Pavement fatigue refers to the progressive structural weakening of a road surface caused by repeated traffic loads, often leading to cracks and other forms of distress in the pavement.

9. Why are expansion joints provided in concrete pavements?

a) To enhance the pavement's aesthetic appeal
b) To allow for thermal expansion and contraction of the pavement
c) To increase the pavement's strength
d) To prevent vehicles from speeding

Answer:

b) To allow for thermal expansion and contraction of the pavement

Explanation:

Expansion joints are provided in concrete pavements to accommodate the expansion and contraction of the pavement material due to temperature changes, preventing cracks and structural damage.

10. What is the main factor in determining the thickness of a pavement?

a) The color of the pavement material
b) The expected volume and type of traffic
c) The length of the road
d) The preference of the road designer

Answer:

b) The expected volume and type of traffic

Explanation:

The thickness of a pavement is primarily determined by the anticipated volume and type of traffic (including the weight of vehicles) that the road will bear over its lifespan. This ensures adequate strength and durability.

11. What is a 'catch basin' in highway drainage systems?

a) A tool for measuring rainfall
b) A facility for water storage
c) A structure designed to trap debris and sediment from stormwater
d) A basin for holding decorative plants

Answer:

c) A structure designed to trap debris and sediment from stormwater

Explanation:

Catch basins are key components in highway drainage systems, designed to capture and temporarily hold stormwater runoff while trapping debris and sediment, preventing them from entering the drainage system.

12. What does the term 'sight distance' refer to in highway design?

a) The distance a driver can see to appreciate the scenery
b) The maximum distance a driver can see to make safe driving decisions
c) The distance between two consecutive road signs
d) The length of a vehicle's headlights beam

Answer:

b) The maximum distance a driver can see to make safe driving decisions

Explanation:

Sight distance is a critical design criterion in highway engineering, referring to the length of roadway visible to the driver. Adequate sight distance allows for safe maneuvering, overtaking, and stopping.

13. What is the purpose of a 'guardrail' on highways?

a) To guide drivers in the right direction
b) To act as a barrier to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway
c) To display traffic rules
d) To enhance the beauty of the roadside

Answer:

b) To act as a barrier to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway

Explanation:

Guardrails are safety barriers installed along highways to prevent vehicles from veering off the road, especially in dangerous areas like steep slopes, sharp curves, or near bridges.

14. Why are 'rumble strips' used on highways?

a) To provide a musical sound for entertainment
b) To alert inattentive drivers through vibration and noise
c) To increase the road's friction
d) To mark the parking areas

Answer:

b) To alert inattentive drivers through vibration and noise

Explanation:

Rumble strips are textured or grooved patterns on the road surface that create audible vibration and noise when driven over. They are used to alert inattentive drivers, particularly to prevent drift-off-road crashes.

15. What is the 'pavement surface course'?

a) The lowest layer of the pavement structure
b) The topmost layer of the pavement, exposed to traffic
c) The middle layer of the pavement
d) A special course for learning about pavements

Answer:

b) The topmost layer of the pavement, exposed to traffic

Explanation:

The pavement surface course is the uppermost layer of the pavement structure, designed to withstand traffic wear and weather, and to provide a smooth, durable, and skid-resistant surface.

16. What is the main purpose of horizontal alignment in highway design?

a) To ensure the road is straight
b) To design the curves and turns in the road
c) To set the height of the road
d) To determine the width of the road

Answer:

b) To design the curves and turns in the road

Explanation:

Horizontal alignment in highway design involves the layout of the path of the road in a horizontal plane. It includes the design of straight paths, curves, and turns to ensure safe and efficient travel.

17. In highway engineering, what is 'subgrade'?

a) The decorative elements along the roadside
b) The native soil beneath the road structure
c) The layer of concrete under the asphalt
d) The drainage system of the highway

Answer:

b) The native soil beneath the road structure

Explanation:

The subgrade is the native soil, or the topsoil that has been compacted, that serves as a foundation for the layers of pavement structure above it. Its strength and stability are crucial for the overall performance of the road.

18. What is the function of a 'roadway culvert'?

a) To support overhead road signs
b) To provide a crossing for pedestrians
c) To channel water from one side of the road to the other
d) To serve as a tunnel for vehicles

Answer:

c) To channel water from one side of the road to the other

Explanation:

Roadway culverts are structures that allow water to pass under the road. They are essential for maintaining proper drainage and preventing water accumulation on the road surface.

19. What does the term 'bitumen' refer to in highway construction?

a) A type of tree planted along highways
b) A decorative pattern on the road surface
c) A binding material used in asphalt concrete
d) A tool used for road repair

Answer:

c) A binding material used in asphalt concrete

Explanation:

Bitumen is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum, used as a binder in road construction materials like asphalt concrete.

20. Why are 'service roads' provided alongside highways?

a) For landscaping and beautification
b) To provide access to properties and for local traffic alongside the highway
c) To be used as extra lanes during peak traffic
d) As a space for advertising billboards

Answer:

b) To provide access to properties and for local traffic alongside the highway

Explanation:

Service roads, also known as frontage roads, run parallel to a higher-speed road or highway. They provide access to properties and manage local traffic, separating it from the fast-moving traffic on the main highway.

21. What is the significance of a 'traffic rotary' or roundabout in highway engineering?

a) To serve as a parking area
b) To beautify the intersection
c) To facilitate the smooth flow of traffic at intersections
d) To display traffic signs

Answer:

c) To facilitate the smooth flow of traffic at intersections

Explanation:

A traffic rotary or roundabout is a circular intersection design that allows traffic to flow in one direction around a central island, improving safety and efficiency by reducing conflict points and the need for traffic signals.

22. What is a 'grade separation' in highway engineering?

a) Separating roads by educational grade
b) Using different materials for road layers
c) The vertical alignment of the road
d) An intersection where roads pass at different levels

Answer:

d) An intersection where roads pass at different levels

Explanation:

Grade separation refers to an intersection where two or more roads cross at different levels or elevations, such as overpasses and underpasses, to eliminate the need for traffic signals and reduce congestion.

23. How does 'pavement texture' affect road safety?

a) It is purely aesthetic and has no effect on safety
b) It influences the friction between tires and the road surface
c) It affects the color of the road
d) It determines the width of the road

Answer:

b) It influences the friction between tires and the road surface

Explanation:

Pavement texture, the microscopic and macroscopic roughness of the road surface, plays a crucial role in road safety by influencing the friction between vehicle tires and the pavement, affecting braking and skid resistance.

24. What is the purpose of 'geotextiles' in road construction?

a) To add color to the road surface
b) For decorative landscaping alongside roads
c) To enhance soil stabilization and improve pavement performance
d) To create pedestrian pathways

Answer:

c) To enhance soil stabilization and improve pavement performance

Explanation:

Geotextiles are permeable fabrics used in road construction for soil stabilization, separation, filtration, and drainage, enhancing the overall performance and durability of the pavement.

25. What factor is critical in the design of a highway drainage system?

a) The artistic design of the drainage system
b) The cost of the drainage materials
c) The anticipated amount and intensity of rainfall in the area
d) The color of the water

Answer:

c) The anticipated amount and intensity of rainfall in the area

Explanation:

In designing a highway drainage system, it is essential to consider the amount and intensity of rainfall the area receives. Effective drainage design ensures rapid removal of surface water, preventing water accumulation and potential pavement damage.

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