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D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY
COMPOSED AND PRINTED AT THE
BALTIMORE, U. 8. A.
In the summer of 1916, several State highway engineers reported to the American Highway Association that there was need of a concise explanation of the best current practice in locating, constructing and maintaining country roads, not combined with information about city pavements. It was found by these engineers that the information in many excellent engineering treatises proved confusing to rural road officials because they did not have sufficient technical knowledge to draw a line between what was applicable to country highways and what was restricted to urban conditions. Inquiry showed that such an outline of road-building would be welcomed by the road officials of other States, and the preparation of this book was accordingly begun.
Highway engineers in all parts of the country generously contributed material and advice. Special attention was paid to ascertaining reasons for unusual methods, in order to avoid the publication of anything useful only in restricted localities and possibly leading to trouble if tried generally. The purpose was to furnish information of a national value rather than an expression of the views of a few individuals, who inevitably have personal preferences and prejudices. As each section was finished it was submitted for criticism to engineers or chemists with special knowledge of the subjects discussed, and most of the chapters formed by combining these revised sections were sent out to other engineers for further criticism. Some of the chapters were revised a number of times before they were finally approved. As a consequence, although my name appears as the author on the title page, the book is rather the product of the coöperation of over fifty of the leading American highway engineers and the patient and intelligent handling of the details of the work by Miss Isabelle Stockett, at the time chief clerk of the American Highway Association.
This book appeared originally as Part II of the 1917 Good Roads Year Book. Its wide circulation, the many references to it in technical journals, and its use as a textbook by engineering colleges, indicating that the volume had won a distinct position in technical literature, led the Directors of the American Highway Association to assign the copyright to the D. Van Nostrand Company, when the Association was dissolved a few days ago. By this action the results of the coöperative labors of so many specialists will remain available to the public.
Added to the text as it appeared in the Good Roads Year Book is a chapter on the reasons for improving roads. This is part of a "good roads manual” for public officials, not technically educated, which had considerable circulation in manuscript form among road commissioners applying to the American Highway Association for such information. It is printed here as a concise justification of the expenditure of public funds for road improvements, a subject which highway engineers must frequently discuss at public meetings.
JOHN M. GOODELL. Upper Montclair, N. J., March, 1918.