Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]

Besides the outdoor work is better for a short section of road to demonstrate the prisoners.

proper methods and instruct local buildThe highly important task of reducing ers. Up to July 1, 1909, 264 object lesthe waste of money actually raised for son roads had been built in thirty-five highway construction is being accom- States, demonstrating the proper plished through various agencies in ad methods of using crushed stone, gravel, dition to the State highway departments sand-clay, shell, earth, bituminous maalready referred to. Foremost of these terials and brick. Besides this, the enoutside agencies is the United States gineers of the bureau give special advice, Office of Public Roads. Organized in deliver technical lectures, introduce 1893 with an appropriation of $14,000 model systems of construction, mainwith offices in two attic rooms, this tenance, and administration in counties bureau has increased in usefulness until and study and report on practical methnow it occupies a four-story building of ods for a series of years. its own, which includes within its walls Beside the Government bureau there physical, chemical, petrographic, and are several national organizations, such photographic laboratories, and a machine as the American Highway League, which shop, and has at its disposal an appro- held a convention at Chicago last May. priation of $116,000. A staff of twenty- Membership in this League is limited four engineers and superintendents of to representatives of State highway deroad construction are employed to teach partments. Its purposes are to provide the art of road building to any com- a means of effective co-operation bemunity that will take the trouble to ask tween States and to study methods of for their services and provide the ma- construction and maintenance. terial and labor. A favorite feature of An organization which is expected to the bureau is the “Object Lesson Road accomplish a good deal is the American Project." This consists in assigning an Association for Highway Improvement, engineer to supervise the construction of organized at Washington last November.

[graphic]

Its Board of Directors includes James McCrea, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad; W. C. Brown, President of the New York Central; Louis Hill, President of the Great Northern; W. W. Finley, President of the Southern Railway; B. F. Yoakum, Chairman of the Frisco Lines; Alfred Noble, Past President of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Dr. E. J. James, President of the University of Illinois; Lee McClung, Treasurer of the United States; John Goodell, Editor of the Engineering Record; Robert P. Hooper, President of the American Automobile Association; U. S. Senator Lafayette Young, and L. W. Page, Director U. S. Office of Public Roads. The objects of this association are to correlate and harmonize the efforts of all organizations working for road improvement; to stimulate sentiment for road improvement; to work for equitable and uniform road legislation in all States; to promote efficient road administration in the States and the correlation of all road construction so that the important roads of each county shall connect with those of adjoining counties and the important roads of each State with those of adjoining States. The founders hope to make the association a sort of clearing

A FINE STATE ROAD IN MASSACHUSETTS. This is the sort of highway that delights automobilist and farmer alike. Other sections could well

follow New England's example,

[graphic][merged small]

house through which all road improve- Hay, for a State trunk line 1,100 ment organizations may give to each miles long, running from Bellingham other the benefit of their experience, on Puget Sound down through Seattle their ability, and all the facilities at their and the southern part of the State command.

to Spokane and back by a more northern When to all these influences are added route to Seattle, which would accommothe efforts of the railroad industrial de- date three-fourths of the people in the partments, practically all of which do State. what they can to further the movement The present unpardonable waste of for improved highways, and some of forty per cent of the money actually which even run "good roads trains” for raised for road construction is simply the enlightenment of their patrons, and due to the fact that many people do not the propaganda carried on by such or- know what a road is, and, furthermore, ganizations as the American Automobile they would not know how to build one Association, the Touring Club of Amer- even if they did know what it should ica, and the Association of Automobile look like. Witness Iowa, which now Manufacturers, it may be seen that the spends $5,000,000 a year on roads, yet outlook for better roads is distinctly scarcely has a road to her name. Indibrighter. It would be brighter yet if ana is a close second with an equal exthere were many such public spirited penditure, but a trifle more to show for citizens as Sam Hill, of the State of it. In the latter State waste is made Washington.

easy by dividing responsibility for road Mr. Hill went to Governor Hay and offered to give a year of his time wholly to further the movement for better roads. Finding his offer so heartily appreciated he not only spent the year but several thousand dollars of his good money in the cause. One of the things he did was to pay the expenses of one of the best highway engineers in England to go to Seattle to deliver an address on the subject of roads. Another thing was to pay the expenses of the city engineer of Seattle and of a professor from the University of Washington on a three months' trip to England to study road construction. His efforts are already beginning to bear fruit; for while there were seventeen appropriations for the improvement of State roads in 1909, none of which were connected and therefore were of comparatively limited use, there is now a project under consider

MILES OF THIS TYPE OF Drain OUGHT TO BE BUILT ALONG

OUR HIGHWAYS.

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small]

work among local authorities in a hope- and raises the money to pay for them less sort of maze so that no one has any does not get what it wants. Some counpower or money to do anything effect- ties in California paid for good roads, ively. Maryland, up to 1909, extended or thought they did, but the work was the same absurdity to State supervision so badly done that the good roads moveby dividing authority for construction ment received a setback. On the other between the State Geological Survey and hand there was Pike County, Alabama, the State Highway Commission.

which raised money to pay for gravel By way of contrast Wisconsin, having and macadam roads, but wisely sent to adopted the war cry, “A dollar's worth the U. S. Office of Public Roads for an of road for every dollar of tax," is engineer to build them. IIe. found sandshowing how to make money work clay roads, costing one-fifth of what miracles. In 1907 as irrh as $10,000 macadam would cost, better suited to the was appropriated for the of the State locality. In Kansas sand-clay roads Geological Survey in ex, cimental road cost from $707 to $1,183 per mile, which building and in advising local road au- seems to bring them well within the limit thorities. As there are fifteen hundred required to interest the average farmer of these local road bodies, the contract in highway improvement, according to was rather a large one. But the Sur- the opinion of the Good Roads Convenvey engineers did the best they could by tion which met at Cleveland in 1909. addressing public meetings and distrib- This does not prove that sand-clay uting pamphlets, and by establishing a roads should be built everywhere under correspondence school for road builders. all conditions. The true moral to be In order to make every dollar count they drawn from the experience of Pike managed to induce some localities to County is always and under all circumbuild roads graded to a width of twenty- stances to employ a highway engineer to four feet with a stone surface only nine direct operations. Road building is an feet wide. Everybody knew that such a art that calls for something more than narrow roadway would not answer at good intentions. all, but after they had tried them they A n interesting feature of the highway wanted no other kind. These nine-foot situation is the passing of macadam conroadways answer the purposes of light struction, for many years regarded as traffic and they cost but $1,800 to $3,500 the highest type of road. But the advent per mile, while the 14-foot stone surface, of the automobile has utterly destroyed which allows two teams to pass and the reputation of the macadam road. It which is used for heavier traffic, costs has been found by costly experience that from $3,000 to $5,000 per mile.

no ordinary water bound macadam is Every community which reaches the capable of withstanding for any length point of determining to have real roads of time the action of excessive automo

forty-two of the ri away, of the we Frag

bile traffic, and in Massachusetts actual should be signalled night and day. count shows that automobiles make up Wherever possible tracks should be forty-two per cent. of the traffic on the provided for bicyclists and paths for highways of the State. The speeding horsemen. rubber tires whirl away the rock dust, The sides of roads should be defined thus destroying the bond of the wearing by trees wherever possible. surface, then ravel out the larger frag- Binding material should be used in the ments of stone. Some sort of binder that construction of metalled (broken stone) will hold material, both fine and coarse, roadways, special attention being given together is absolutely necessary. The to determining the character of the question is so important that the Ameri- binder best suited to local conditions. can society of Civil Engineers has ap- Superficial tarting may be considered pointed a special committee to investi- as definitely accepted in practice. gate. Various combinations of tar, Emulsions of tar, oil, or hydroscopic asphalt, and crude petroleum have been salts have a real but not a lasting effitried in various localities with different ciency. Therefore, their use should be degrees of success. It is already evident limited to special cases such as race that a bituminous binder that will work courses. well under one set of conditions will not Cross and longitudinal sections of answer at all under other conditions. roads and gutters should facilitate the The difficulty is to suit the binder to the flow of trickling water and prevent inrequirements of the traffic and the cli- filtration. mate.

That maintenance is quite as imSome other points which should be portant as construction is well underpossessed by a good road according to stood in Europe where fourteen nations the concensus of opinion of the world's spend $160,000,000 annually for the foremost highway engineers, as formu- maintenance of 994,000 miles of road lated in the conclusions of the First In- which cost $5,000,000,000 to build. In ternational Road Congress, held at Paris the United States, unfortunately, the imin October, 1908, and of the second Con portance of constant care has not been gress held at Brussels in August, 1910, realized as clearly as it should have been. are as follows:

But in this particular, too, marked imThe minimum width of roadway provement is noticeable. New York, should be 19 feet 8 inches.

which leads the Nation in the magnitude The camber should be the least that and comprehensiveness of its highway will allow the proper run-off of rain improvement programme, has copied the water.

patrol system that has made the roads of Grades should be moderate, with as France so famous. The road patrolmen little difference as possible between in New York furnish their own horse, minimum and maximum.

cart, and tools and keep the highways in Curves should have as great a radius first-class condition at a cost of $75 per as possible, but not less than 164 feet. mile per year for labor and $25 per mile Curves should be connected with tan- for material. Oil is successfully used to gents by parabolic curves. Curves lay the dust, the plague due chiefly to should be slightly raised at the outside, the automobiles, at a cost of $422 per but not enough to interfere with ordinary mile of sixteen-foot roadway per year. vehicles. The view at curves should not To sum up the situation in a sentence, be obstructed.

there are so many hopeful signs of imRoad crossings should be visible and provement everywhere that it seems safe well opened out. Railroad and tramway to predict that within ten years the adcrossings at grade should be avoided if ministration of the public roads will be it is possible to do so; otherwise they established upon a satisfactory basis.

« PreviousContinue »