Road - INTRODUCTION
TYPES OF ROADS
Highways
Urban Streets
Rural Roads
ROADWAY ENGINEERING
Roadbed
Base Course
Wearing Course
Bituminous Pavement
Concrete Pavement
ROAD PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION
HISTORY OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION


AUTOMOBILE
AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
TRUCK


HISTORY OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION






Workers Carefully Place | Route Rome to Greece | Early 1900s, Roads United States | Highway System in the 1950


Roads originated for economic reasons, related to the need to move food and other goods from one point to another. Early transportation focused on moving food from a hunt or a harvest to the places where people lived. Trails evolved from prehistoric animal paths, and early humans carried or dragged their loads along these paths. As humans learned to domesticate animals, they transferred their loads to pack animals, such as horses, mules, camels, llamas, elephants, and dogs.
Workers carefully place

Workers carefully place cobblestones in a Viennese plaza. The stones are cut to create a specific pattern when secured in place. Many of the world's major cities were once paved with cobblestones, but asphalt and concrete started replacing cobblestone in the late 19th century.

The discovery and use of the wheel was undoubtedly a driving force in building and improving roads. Crude roads were in use in Mesopotamia in about 3000 bc. Italy was connected to Denmark by a roadway as early as 2000 bc. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

During the period from 1900 to 300 bc, four trade routes, known as amber roads, ran across central and eastern Europe. Amber was an important ingredient in primitive and medieval medicine and was also used for statuary and jewelry. One of the first preplanned roads was the Persian Royal Road, built by Darius I in 500 bc in what is now Iran. The Royal Road was about 2,400 km (about 1,500 mi) long and stretched throughout ancient Persia. The road was constructed for royal use, and it allowed Darius to keep informed, to convey orders, and to transport goods needed by the royal court. The road followed the shortest and most efficient route. It bypassed some of the largest towns—in part, for the sake of following the shortest route, but also because large towns had the potential to rebel. An uprising in a town near the road could have threatened the security of the route or prevented troops from being dispatched. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

The Chinese Silk Road, established around 100 bc, was a series of land routes connecting ancient Rome and China. Caravans of traders traveled the Silk Road, exchanging goods and ideas. The road extended about 6000 km (about 4000 mi).

The ancient Romans built an extensive and durable system of roads to serve their needs. The Roman road-building era began in 312 bc. The roads provided economic and military access from Rome to distant parts of its far-flung empire. The first road constructed was the Appian Way, which led from Rome to Brundisium (now Brindisi), a port in what is now southern Italy. The Appian Way was the main route to Greece, and it ran over 560 km (350 mi). A second road, from Rome to Naples, provided the first stage of the route used by troops headed to Africa. Roman advances in road-building techniques included preparation of foundation soils and base courses, brick paving, and, most importantly, provision for adequate drainage. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)
route from Rome to Greece

The cobbled Appian Way was constructed more than 2200 years ago as the primary route from Rome to Greece. Although these large lava blocks may not be the original material, the route itself has remained unchanged and in use since it was first paved.

After the fall of Rome in the 5th century ad, and throughout the Middle Ages, there was little government-planned road building in Europe. Regional rulers maintained local roads, but road conditions varied widely. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

In the western hemisphere, road building evidently reached a high state of development in the 15th and 16th centuries under the Aztecs in Mexico, the Maya in Central America, and the Incas in South America. The Spanish conquistadors, in turn, constructed a series of caminos reales (royal roads) during the 16th and 17th centuries. These were the first American highways, and they stretched from Veracruz, Mexico, northward to San Francisco, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and eastward to Saint Augustine, Florida.

In the middle of the 17th century, the French government instituted a system of enforced local labor on the roads. About 24,000 km (about 15,000 mi) of main roads were built by this method. At about the same time, the English Parliament began granting franchises to private companies for the maintenance of public roads, allowing the companies to charge tolls for the use of the roads. These toll roads were called turnpikes, named for the turning of a pole, or pike, to permit entry of a vehicle after the driver paid the toll. Over 1,000 turnpike companies maintained 32,000 km (20,000 mi) of roads in England in the 1830s. After this time, increased competition from railroads began to make the turnpike systems less profitable for the operators. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)
HISTORY ROAD Asia and Europe

Beginning in about 100 bc, a network of overland trade routes developed to carry goods between Asia and Europe. The earliest, most direct, and most heavily used route came to be known as the Silk Road, for the precious Chinese cloth that was traded abundantly on it. The routes varied over the centuries as political and environmental conditions changed. After the discovery of a sea route from Europe to Asia in the late 15th century, the land routes were gradually abandoned in favor of ocean-borne trade.

Important advances in road-building technology came in the 18th century. Pierre Trésaguet in France and Thomas Telford and John Loudon McAdam in Scotland introduced improved methods for creating roads made of stone. McAdam’s method stressed the need to keep the subsoil dry by including adequate drainage and waterproof covering. The term macadam originally referred to McAdam’s road-surface design, in which crushed or broken stone was mechanically locked together by rolling a large weight over the surface. Macadam was later used to describe other types of bound surfacing, including water-bound macadam, in which the crushed stone is cemented together with an application of water. In penetration macadam, bituminous material sprayed on the compacted rock binds the rock together. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

In the American colonies and in the settlements of Canada, primitive roads following Native American and animal trails connected trading posts and forts. Fur trappers in Canada also blazed many trails inland. The inland posts, located away from direct waterways, depended on these roads to obtain supplies from larger communities. Seacoast communities were also linked for protection and communication. The first colonial road of importance in the United States was the Boston Post Road, connecting Boston, Massachusetts, with New York City. This road evolved gradually—it began as a rough path and then became a defined roadway paved first with wooden logs and then with flat wooden planks. Many other roads grew to connect cities along the coast. Inland trails were generally much more primitive. The Wilderness Road, blazed by Daniel Boone in 1775, was a crude pathway charted through the Cumberland Gap in Tennessee and Kentucky that became an important route across the Allegheny Mountains. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

Financing of roads in North America has switched between private ventures and government control. In the late 1700s, turnpikes were introduced in the United States as profit-making ventures. Early U.S. turnpikes were local government projects, but later turnpikes were privately operated business undertakings. Many turnpikes failed to make a profit, and most returned to county control by 1850. Federal financing of road construction began in 1806 when the U.S. Congress authorized construction of the National Road, also called the Cumberland Road. It stretched west from Cumberland, Maryland, and eventually reached Vandalia, Illinois. The National Road helped expand trade and settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains.
HISTORY Roads United States

Extending from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the 1,255-km (780-mi) Santa Fe Trail was one of the longest routes in the United States before railroads traversed the country. Opened in 1821, it was used by up to 5,000 wagons a year until 1880, when a railroad reached Santa Fe. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

At the time of the National Road, road quality was poor and construction proceeded slowly. Improvements in materials came with the introduction of asphalt paving in 1870, but the biggest motivation for road improvement came with the popularity of the automobile at the start of the 20th century. A government survey of public roads done in 1904 showed that about 3 million km (about 2 million mi) of all roads in the United States were unpaved. Only 248,000 km (154,000 mi) of these roads were surfaced. Automobile use increased the wear and tear on these roads, and efforts increased nationwide to improve road conditions. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

Local governments administered most roads at the time. State governments soon formed highway agencies to take over and organize improvement efforts. In 1912 the federal government began funding one-third of the cost of roads on which mail was carried. The Federal Road Act of 1916 provided even more federal participation in state road improvements.

World War I (1914-1918) temporarily halted highway construction, but the rapidly expanding use of the automobile, along with increased truck traffic, brought on a growing demand for even better roads. In 1919 a tax was added to gasoline to help provide federal financing. By 1930 the principal population centers of the United States were connected by a system of all-weather, two-lane roads. However, much of the road construction was not adequate for the growing volume of traffic, especially truck traffic with its increasingly heavy loads and high speeds. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)
Early 1900s, Roads United States

In the early 1900s, roads in the United States were mostly unpaved dirt paths that often became impassable after heavy rains. The rapid growth of automobile ownership at the time prompted several state agencies, and eventually the federal government, to improve road conditions. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

The early ideas for a network of federal interstate highways in the United States took form in the 1930s, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs helped pay for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a toll road that opened in 1940. Roosevelt envisioned three east-west and three north-south transcontinental toll highways, but debate over whether the roads should be free or toll delayed the establishment of a national system. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

By the end of World War II (1939-1945), many roads were congested and deteriorating. After the war, modern highway construction resumed nationwide with the construction of numerous four-lane and six-lane roadways with limited access. Many of these roadways were built as toll roads, patterned after the Pennsylvania Turnpike. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

The passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was perhaps the most significant event in U.S. road-building history. This act authorized and funded the construction of almost 70,000 km (more than 43,000 mi) of interstate highways. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a big supporter of the program, believed that government spending on public works and defense was the way to prevent another depression. Eisenhower had personally experienced a transcontinental trip by car and truck while in the U.S. Army in 1919. The slow, 62-day crossing made a lasting impression on the young officer. Another positive influence on Eisenhower’s desire to improve road systems was the efficient German network of superhighways called autobahns that he encountered during World War II. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)
highway system in the 1950

The United States federal government provides funding for roads, rail lines, dams, and other projects that encourage economic growth for the country as a whole. This highway construction project in Florida was part of a massive expansion of the country's interstate highway system in the 1950s. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

Construction of the interstates began in the 1950s and continued through the 1990s. In 1991 the U.S. Congress named the interstate highway system the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Private, commercial, and government vehicles use the interstate highways. This network of roads saves the United States billions of dollars each year in time and transportation costs. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

In the 1950s and 1960s, Canada also began major roadway construction to serve the rise in vehicle ownership that occurred after the end of World War II. Work began on construction of what became known as the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway, serving southern Ontario. The Trans-Canada Highway stretches across Canada, linking St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Atlantic coast with Victoria, British Columbia, on the Pacific coast, with ferries plying parts of the route. The highway was formally opened in 1962. It passes through every provincial capital and also through several other major cities in the southern part of Canada. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

Civil engineers continue to research ways of designing and building the most efficient and cost-effective roads. New types of road surfacing make roads more durable and easier to construct. Computers play a large role in helping engineers experiment with different road designs and in anticipating how factors like population growth affect road and highway transportation. (HISTORY ROAD, Workers Carefully Place, Route Rome to Greece, Early 1900s, Roads United States, Highway System in the 1950, CARS)

HISTORY ROAD | Workers Carefully Place | Route Rome to Greece | Early 1900s, Roads United States | Highway System in the 1950 | CARS