In excavation, cut and fill is the process of constructing a railway, road or canal whereby the amount of material from cuts roughly matches the amount of fill needed to make nearby embankments, so minimizing the amount of construction labor.
Various sections of a roadway design will require bringing in earth. Other sections will require earth to be removed. Earth that is brought in is considered Fill while earth that is removed is considered Cut. Generally, designers generate drawings called Cut and Fill Diagrams, which illustrate the cut or fill present at any given site. This drawing is quite standard, being no more than a graph with site location on the X-axis and fill being the positive range of the Y-axis while cut is the negative range of the Y-axis.
Calculating Cut and Fill Volumes
There are a number of software products available that can be used in the calculation of cut and fill. A simple approach would involve defining different earthworks features in a software program and then adjusting elevations manually to calculate the optimal cut and fill. More sophisticated software is able to automatically balance cut and fill and take account for materials. For more information, see: Earthwork Estimation Software.
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