Design an Optimum Highway Route using Remote Sensing Data and GIS-Based Least Cost Path Model, Case of Minya-Ras Ghareb and Minya-Wahat-Bawiti Highway Routes, Egypt

  • Abdallah Wahdan Department of Public Works, Faculty of Engineering, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Hala Effat Department of Environmental Studies and Land-use, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Cairo, Egypt
  • Nasser Abdallah Department of Public Works, Faculty of Engineering, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
  • Khaled Elwan Department of Environmental Studies and Land-use, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Cairo, Egypt
Keywords: GIS, MCDA, LCP, Route Selection.


The traditional method of aligning highways is a tedious, time-consuming process, and needs a lot of manual work, expensive consuming and complicated process, where numerous environmental issues need to be addressed. The problem is exacerbated where the alignment is influenced by the location of services, existing roads, and buildings. Therefore, there is a great need to adopt new technologies that save time and money in designing and assessment of highway paths. Remote Sensing and GIS make the highway alignment most appropriate avoiding vulnerable high-risk zones such as sand dunes, stream crossing, fault zones, etc….in addition to considering environmental protection constraints and cost savings. It needs less manpower, less time consuming and less cost. In this context, a survey was conducted to determine the factors that affect the process of choosing the path of roads through the previous literature and a panel of experts. Minya Ras-Gharib road in the Eastern Desert of Egypt and Minya Wahat Bawiti road in the Western Desert of Egypt as a case study. Remotely sensing techniques, Landsat 8 and digital elevation models were used to produce land use maps, sand dunes, existing roads, slopes, and flood sites. In addition, thematic maps such as rock type, faults, protectorates. Cost factors were determined and cost surface for each factor was established, standardized, weighed and aggregated based on previous literature. A pairwise comparison is used to determine the weight of factors. These weighted factors /criteria maps were combined to create the least cost surface map. Four visions were modeled: an economic vision, an environmental vision, an equal vision, and economy only vision. A comparison was made between the four-route using the DEFINITE software.The equal-weights route was the best route. A comparison was made between the equal-weight route and the existing route.The results of the comparison show that the recommended route save about 48% for the road of Minya Ras Gharib and save about 33 % for the road of Minya Wahat Bawiti compared to the existing road, in addition to saving the time, effort and cost.


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