Vertical Curve - Offset


Offsets are vertical distances from the initial tangent to the curve, play a significant role in vertical curve design.

Vertical Curves are the second of the two important transition elements in geometric design for highways, the first being Horizontal Curves. A vertical curve provides a transition between two sloped roadways, allowing a vehicle to negotiate the elevation rate change at a gradual rate rather than a sharp cut. The design of the curve is dependent on the intended design speed for the roadway, as well as other factors including drainage, slope, acceptable rate of change, and friction. These curves are parabolic and are assigned stationing based on a horizontal axis.

Related formulas


Yvertical curve offset (m)
Aabsolute slope change (dimensionless)
xhorizontal distance from PVC along curve (m)
Lcurve Length (m)