Cairo Autostorad highway

Time period :

2008 to 2020

Implementing Institution/ Organization:

-The Civil Engineering Department at the Higher Institute for Engineering and Technology, Ministry of Higher Education, New Damietta, Egypt
-The Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Minia University, Minia, Egypt​


1. Assess the climatic changes in road traffic due to excess rainfall.
2. Harvest rainfall spatially in coastal regions to solve traffic problems.
3. Increase freshwater resources in Egypt.


1. Review the previous work regarding the effect of climatic changes on road efficiency and rainfall intensity.
2. Analyze a case study for the Greater Cairo Metropolitan Area (GCMA), specifically the El Monib road intersection with the ring road.
3. Collect climate data for the current 2020 status and the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 emissions scenarios for the 2040s, 2060s, 2080s, and 2100s.
4. Use the Metrocount tool to measure the saturation flow rate, traffic volume, and road travel speed.
5. Conduct data analyses and comparisons of road speed and volume under different weather conditions.
6. Identify water ponds and develop site maps.
7. Present a method regarding rainwater harvesting.

Methodology (approach)

1. Data Collection: Climate data and traffic measurements for the Cairo Autostorad highway were collected using the Metrocount tool over the period from 2008 to 2020.

2. Rainfall Harvesting Methods:
- Surface Runoff Harvesting: Applied in urban areas where rainwater flows as surface runoff.
- Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting: Involves collecting rainwater from rooftops for storage or aquifer recharge.

3. Hydrological Analysis: The rational equation for runoff was applied to calculate stormwater quantity, considering the road's length and width, and the time of concentration (Tc) using the Kirpich formula.

4. Artificial Aquifer Recharge: Design and implementation of recharging wells to manage rainwater. The wells were designed with a specific discharge capacity and safety factor against blockage.

5. Simulation and Analysis: Rainfall and highway speed data were modeled and analyzed for current and future climate scenarios (2020, 2040s, 2060s, 2080s, and 2100s) using RCP 4.5 and 8.5 emission scenarios.

Study Results

1. Traffic Flow and Rainfall Relationship: A model was established between average rainfall depth and average measured highway speed for the period 2008-2020 during rainy months. An exponential function with a determination factor ( R^2 = 0.7076 ) was found.
2. Current Scenario (2020): The average winter rainfall depth was 45 mm, with an average highway speed of 78 km/h.
3. Future Scenarios (RCP 4.5 Emission): For the years 2040, 2060, 2080, and 2100, the projected rainfall depths were 67.8 mm, 126.4 mm, 131.2 mm, and 143.9 mm, respectively. Corresponding reductions in highway speeds were 23%, 34%, 35.3%, and 36.9%.
4. Future Scenarios (RCP 8.5 Emission): For the years 2040, 2060, 2080, and 2100, the projected rainfall depths were 68.7 mm, 128.4 mm, 143.9 mm, and 143.9 mm, respectively. Corresponding reductions in highway speeds were 23%, 34.5%, 36.9%, and 36.9%.
5. Rainwater Harvesting: The study recommended the construction of 30 cm recharging wells with a maximum recharging capacity of 25 m\(^3\)/h to clear ponding volumes within 2.5 to 3.5 hours after rainfall stops. About 40 water ponds were identified along the 12 km studied road.
6. Traffic Speed Reduction: Heavy rainfall led to significant speed reductions, ranging from 15% to 40% with an average speed loss of about 28%. Light and moderate rain had lesser impacts on traffic flow and speed.
7. Policy Implications: The study emphasized the importance of sustainable water resource management and addressed highway traffic problems related to rainfall in the context of climate change.

lessons learned

1. Impact of Heavy Rain on Traffic: Heavy rainfall significantly impacts highway traffic flow, causing substantial reductions in speed and volume. This emphasizes the need for effective rainwater management systems to mitigate traffic disruptions.

2. Effectiveness of Rainwater Harvesting: Implementing recharging wells can effectively clear ponding areas on highways, demonstrating that rainwater harvesting can be a practical solution for both water resource management and maintaining traffic efficiency during rainy periods.

3. Importance of Sustainable Infrastructure: The study underscores the importance of integrating sustainable water management practices in infrastructure planning to address climate change impacts, particularly in urban areas with high traffic density.

4. Predictive Modeling for Future Scenarios: Using climate projections, the study was able to predict future traffic disruptions due to increased rainfall, highlighting the value of predictive modeling in planning and decision-making for infrastructure resilience.

5. Policy Implications: The results of the study provide valuable insights for policymakers to develop strategies for sustainable water resource management and to address the impact of climate change on transportation systems.

These lessons highlight the necessity of adopting integrated approaches to infrastructure planning that consider both current and future climate conditions to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of urban transportation systems.


The conclusion of the case study is as follows: The study assesses the impact of climate change on highway traffic due to rainfall and proposes rainwater harvesting as a solution to both traffic disruptions and water resource management. The implementation of recharging wells along the Cairo Autostorad highway is recommended to manage rainwater, clear ponding areas, and convert runoff into a valuable groundwater resource. This approach is effective for sustainable water resource management and mitigating traffic issues caused by heavy rainfall. The study highlights the importance of considering future climate scenarios in infrastructure planning to ensure resilience and sustainability.


1. Construction of Recharging Wells: It is recommended to construct 30 cm recharging wells at the 40 identified pond locations along the highway. These wells will have a maximum recharging capacity of 25 m³/h and will clear the ponding volume within 2.5 to 3.5 hours after the rainfall stops.

2. Filter Installation: To improve the quality of the harvested rainwater, it is recommended to install filters in the recharging wells. The filters should be 45 cm thick, comprising 30 cm of gravel (15–25 mm size range) and 20 cm of fine gravel (6–12 mm size range).

3. Maintenance of Recharge Chambers: Regular operation and maintenance of the recharge chambers are essential to ensure the optimum infiltration of rainwater. The recharge wells must also be developed by surging or jetting to restore the recharge rate before the winter season.

4. Utilization of Predictive Models: The study emphasizes the use of predictive models to assess the impact of rainfall on traffic flow and to plan for future climate scenarios. Policymakers are encouraged to use such models to make informed decisions regarding sustainable water resource management and highway traffic problems.

5. Adoption of Rainwater Harvesting: The implementation of rainwater harvesting systems, like recharging wells, is recommended as an alternative freshwater source. This approach not only helps in managing water resources sustainably but also mitigates traffic issues during heavy rainfall.

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