How do I use one shapefile to split the lines into another shapefile?

I have a line shapefile of streams and another line shapefile of roads. I would like to split the streamlines where the roads intersect with the streams. These two shapefiles don't share any vertices.

  • Merge, dissolve to single part. Select ones that share segment with streams. Invert selection and delete selected. Alternatively find intersectios as points and split by points, advanced license.
    – FelixIP
    Dec 13, 2017 at 22:00
  • 2
    You could also intersect the two line shapefiles with the output set to point. Then use the point to split the desired polyline. I don't know if the basic license can do this. Dec 13, 2017 at 22:08
  • @KeaganAllan Thank you so much! That totally worked. I didn't realize that when intersecting that you could change the OutPut type. Dec 13, 2017 at 22:45
  • @j.pramuk Glad it worked Dec 13, 2017 at 22:50
  • 1
    @KeaganAllan Please put answers as an answer rather than as comments
    – Midavalo
    Dec 14, 2017 at 2:24

1 Answer 1


Take both polylines and run the intersect tool. You can change the Output Geometry to be a point. See image below:

enter image description here

This will create a point feature where there are overlaps between the two lines. Using the "Split Lines at Point" Tool you can cut the streamlines at the road crossings. You can find the split lines tool under "Data Management -> Features" The tool is only available in an Advanced License.

A work-around for that would be to use ET Geowizards (Link to site) or you could use the "Split Lines with at Points" tool in the Q-GIS SAGA toolbox. Looking through the SAGA Toolbox I do see a split line with line tool...so that may also be a solution to look into if you aren't limited to purely ESRI Software.

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