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the use of heavy, strong plows, with eight to ten yokes of oxen, or as many horses. The road bed is back-furrowed up, so that the side gutters are from two to four feet in depth; the road-bed made is usually forty feet at base, and about thirty feet on the top, the natural soil covered with gravel twelve to fifteen inches in depth. Such roads become hard and dry, and equal to the best roads in the eastern States. Thus constructed they cost about $6,000 per mile. There are about sixteen miles of such roads in this county, and it is proposed to construct other similar loads soon."
The report from Utah Territory states, that “there are in Salt Lake County thirty-two miles of gravel road, and about eight miles of macadamized. The average cost of the former is $3,500 per mile; of the latter about $3,800 per mile."
Report from Marshall County, Iowa, states that one mile of graded and graveled road in that county costs $10,000, and yet the average cost of road repairs in the county is only $3 per mile. Report from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, states that there are twenty miles of turnpike in that county, twelve miles of which are graveled, and cost $1,000 per mile; and eight miles macadamized, costing $2,000 per mile.
The report from Baltimore County, Maryland, states that that county has one hundred and forty miles of macadamized road, which cost $5,000 per mile for construction, and $100 per mile annually for repairs. The metal of the roads is principally of very hard trap rock, expensive to break by the hand process, by which it was all prepared. The quantity originally applied was not more than ten cubic feet per linear foot of road, or about two thousand perches of twenty-five cubic feet per perch per mile.
Washington County, Maryland, has about one hundred miles of Macadam road, which cost $2,100 per mile. This metal is of limestone rock, which is obtainable on the line of all the roads, and may be broken at about one-half the cost of the trap rock. The repair of these roads is said to cost about $50 per mile per annum.
William Bacon, of Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, says: “We have a system of taxation for making and repairing roads that is tolerated by a law of the State, and is as old as the roads. It requires towns to raise annually such an amount of money as may be deemed necessary to keep the roads in repair for the year, to divide the towns into districts, and appoint a highway surveyor to eacli district, whose duty it is to see that the money apportioned to his district is seasonably and properly expended. This system is generally adopted in agricultural districts, and is popular, as it gives to any one the privilege of paying his tax in money or working it out with teams, at a price stipulated by the town. The system is good where the people are all interested in good roads, but there are many who are never ready to work or pay; and, if they pretend to work, it is more of a holiday affair than a matter of public benefit." This is the general experience of all observers of the working of this and similar systems. Mr. B. adds: “We had formerly many turnpike roads in this county, but the introduction of railroads, which now traverse more than half of the towns in the State, las set them aside entirely, and all have become county roads."
This is the case in many other districts, even where railroads are not so numerous as in Massachusetts. The most favorable location for a turnpike is frequently selected by the railroad engineer, nearly parallel with the railroad or contiguous to it; hence much of the heavy transportation is by rail, and the collateral turnpike is little used. With the increase of railroads in all parts of the country, the effect on nearly parallo
turnpike roads will be as above described; hence, when locating a new turnpike road, it will be well to consider the probabilities of the construction of a railroad at an early day in the same direction or route. If probable that the railroad will be constructed at no distant day, and yet the necessity is great for a hard road for immediate use, the width of the hard bed of such road might be made as narrow as would answer, thus redacing the cost of the road, and correspondingly reducing the sum sacrificed by the loss of traffic which may leave the turnpike for the railway. While the foregoing is undoubtedly true, as regards turnpikes running in the same direction and near the railroads, it is equally true that these same railroads will cause an increased demand for improved lateral roads, by which products may reach the iron way. As the railroads usually thread the valleys and mountain passes, and cannot be worked profitably in the direction of the heavy mountain slopes, the products of the hill country and of the vales between it and the railroads, together with return supplies, must be transported on wagon roads, at least until a great improvement is effected in the traction of the locomotive. As these roads will be permanent, and are frequently required to overcome heavy grades, skillful engineering, thorough construction, and repairs are demanded.
The reports from nearly all the States in which plank roads" have been tested, under a great variety of circumstances, concur in condemning them on account of the great cost of coustruction, as well as for their lack of durability. From careful investigation we find that they have generally become unfit for use in from five to eight years, even where the material used was of a good quality. One plank road only is mentioned on which repair with the same material is continued. For their average cost see statement. The agents of decomposition, heat and moisture, being everywhere active, timber of the same kind and quality is found, when used in plank roads, to be most durable in climates and positions unfavorable to a perpetual supply of these elements. The writer was familiar with a plank road in Madison County, New York, about twenty years since. This road was mainly in an elevated moun. tain region having a northern aspect, and was covered with snow on an average fully four months of the year, and yet the remains of the material used, it being hemlock three inches in thickness, were all removed in eight years. The same material used in the Carolinas or in Florida would probably have become worthless in four years. A slight covering of earth on the planks is found to hasten decay, though it prevents wear. Yellow pipe and cypress logs, used in the southern States in 16 corduroy" or causeway roads, where the logs are constantly covered with water from never-failing springs, and with a covering of earth of twelve to eighteen inches, and shaded by a tall, dense forest, have been known to remain sound for thirty years.
The causeway of logs has been a common mode of primitive roadmaking in low marshy regions, and is still common in the southern States, even on mail routes. The logs should have a good covering of earth, and depressions occasioned by irregular decay should be repaired as they occur. The durability of causeway logs is much greater when covered with ten to twelve inches of compact clay well rounded oti, and if it is obtainable, with gravel on the clay, than where they are entirely covered with gravel; the latter being porous, rain falling on the road. bed penetrates directly to the logs, and draws the warm air after it, thus rapidly promoting decay, while the clay covering will shed off the water before it reaches the logs. The log causeway system of road. making in regions where the soil is wet, timber abundant on the spot, only costing the cutting, and drainage among the green roots too expensive, must necessarily continue in use many years to come. From the statements elicited, it appears that a very large proportion of the roads of all the States, even in the older ones, are little more than a belt of natural surface, just wide enough to admit of vehicles passing when they meet; suficiently cleared of trees, rocks, and stumps to be passable with the worst marshes causewayed. Many of the unfordable streams are still crossed by flat-boat ferries of the most primitive character; more shallow ones are forded, and a tree felled across the stream for foot travelers is the only bridge seen on streams many miles in length. The primitive bridges, for vehicles on such streams, are usually made by placing three or more round logs from bank to bank, without abutments, and covering them with flattened poles. As civilization advances, or these primeval structures become unsafe, their places are usually supplied with hewed or sawed timbers and flooring, with “King's post truss" on either side, using pins and wedges instead of the rods, or bolts and nuts used in more modern structures. Unless suitable stones are at hand, and more convenient than timber, logs are flattened and pinned one upon another, and used for abutments. These are in turn supplanted by more scientific wooden structures, such as the “Burr," " Howe,” • Improved Howe,” and other forms of trussed wooden bridges; or perhaps by iron bridges constructed upon some one of the many plans now in vogue-those known as the Bollman and Fink being con. sidered the best in use in this country for railroad purposes.
With each successive improvement in the construction of bridges in all districts, where other characteristics of civilization, such as the clearing up of forests, &c., have made collateral and corresponding progress, it has been found necessary constantly or periodically to increase the span and height, from the water at ebb, of all bridges to be built. This necessity arises from the more sudden escape of rain-fall from the surface of cleared and swarded land, than from that of the forest with its accumulated mulch of ages, maintained by a net-work of undergrowth, through which water is greatly impeded in its flow to the stream, and a much larger proportion of it is absorbed by the earth than when flowing on a surface of smooth turf. Another effect of the sudden rising of streams from the rapid escape of water into them during excessive rainfall, is a waste of the fertility of steep tillage lands, which shed water directly into the streams. Where interval lands to any considerable extent border on the streams, this waste is intercepted, and the fertile washings of the higher lands are deposited on the meadows, by which the fertility is augmented by each successive flood, often forming valuable muck deposits which enterprising farmers return to the hilly lands. thereby restoring their lost fertility. Where the interval land is zarrow, the effect of the excessive, increasing floods is to sweep these washings into the creeks and rivers. The effects of floods in dissipating the fertility of rolling, cleared lands bordering streams may be prevented, in a good degree, by keeping them in grass as large a portion of the time as is practicable; and, when they are laid down to grass, by constructing numerous surface water furrows in succession from the summit to the base of slopes, giving them good capacity and very gentle fall; thus the washing of the soil will, in a great degree, be prevented, a larger amount of water will be absorbed, and that escaping to the streams will be a longer time in reaching them, and the destructive effects of inundation lessened materially.
The proportion of area of the cleared lands of the middle and the eastern States, which would be greately benefited by the precautionary
system of surface gutters above recommended, is very large, and the annual waste of fertility and the damage from loss of fences, bridges, buildings, and even of human life, are so great as to warrant a notice in this connection, apart from its direct pertinency to the general subject in land. We have been frequently called to relocate roads that hare been entirely destroyed by floods in collateral streams, many of which roads had been repeatedly destroyed in places, and as often rebuilt. Au ordinary legree of sagacity and common sense should have suggestel the folly of locating such roads originally so low as to be subject to such casualties, and certainly the repeated ocular evidence of the error committed by the pioneer road surveyor (for such he must lie called, as there was no engineering in the case) should have deterred the commissioner of highways from reconstructing such roads on the same sites. Many cases et injudicious road construction and waste of public money could be cited, were it necessary, to establish the fact that reform and retrenchment, greater skill and wiser legislation, are needed for the more economical and cflicient management of the public roads throughout the country. .
As the existing road laws in all the States are generally " unsatisfactory," a recital of many of them in this article is unnecessary. Oscar 1. Strong, of Pocahontas County, Iowa, reports the following road laws in that State: 66 The board of supervisors has the general supervision of roads in the county, with power to establish or change them as provided by law. The town trustees levy a road tax each year of not less than one mill nor more than three on the dollar of the taxable property in each roal district. A road supervisor is elected in each district, who has the supervision of the roads in his district, and it is his duty to keep these roads in as good repair as he can with the funds at his disposal; it is also his duty to require each able-bodied man between twenty-one and fifty years of age to perform two days' labor on the roads, between April and August of cach year. The operation of the law does not give satisfaction. The average amount of work dono on our roads does not exceed six dollars per mile per annum. The best road in the courty is made of saw-dust."
E. M. Mackemery, of Leavenworth County, Kansas, reports as follows: 66 All the principal roads in the county are under the supervision and care of a scientific engineer, who is the adviser of the board of county commissioners. The roads are graded, and worked on an estabiishel system, and all thoroughly and substantially bridged with blue limestone of superior quality. In no State in the Union is there a greater pride, or a more intelligent appreciation of the value, comfort, and pecuniary profit arising from a well-devised system in, and a thorough improvement of, all classes of roads. An experience of twenty-nine years in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri has established the conviction that more gratuitous labor is performed on the roads of Kansas than in any other western State. At a cost of a little less than $250,000 the county has bridged every stream on the principal roads leading from Leavenworth City. The city of Leavenworth has also, at a large expenditure, built all stone bridges, even beyond the city limits, to facilitate trade with the interior. After roads are opened, the annual amount expended per mile does not exceed $250.
Arthur Parks, of San Bernardino County, California, states that cerery male citizeu in the county, Indians excepted, is taxed one day's work or two dollars per annum, besides which there is a small direct tax. The law is generally enforced, but is not satisfactory, as it is not suthcient to keep ouc-fourth of the roads in order. Private subscriptions of one hundred dollars cach are not rare for mending our ways. The citizens of this county fully indorse the leading paragraph of your circular; and, realizing its correctness, we are determined to take hold with a will, and have good highways."
There is great similarity in the systems of taxation for road purposes, it being generally a "poll tax” in labor, varying in the different States from one day to five per annum; and in some portions of the country a money tax, varying from one mill to two cents on the one hundred dol. lars; and in others a tax for bridge purposes alone, as high as four cents on the one hundred dollars of taxable property. Owing to the abundance and excellence of material in some regions, and the scarcity and inferiority of it in others, there is a difference of at least tenfold in the cost of construction and maintenance of good roads. Good ones are the exceptions in all the States. Those of eastern New York and of New England have generally a surface superior to those of almost any other portion of the country, but the grades are rarely reduced to what they should be. To the steepness of the grades in the line of the axis of the roads in those regions, and to the care in surface drainage, their dryness and smoothness of surface are mainly attributable, as it causes them to shed water rapidly.
The proper mode of construction of a road adapted to a large amount of heavy traffic, at all seasons of the year, depends greatly on local circumstances. The perfection and the durability of a road must, of course, depend on the material used in its construction, all other circumstances being equal. We shall treat the subject in the order in which the earthy and the mineral materials, in the various parts of the country, possess their respective superiority for use in the construction of county roads : First, the macadamized or broken stone road ; second, the gravel, or proper admixture of natural pebbles of various sizes with a proper quantity of clay and sand, or loam ; third, rotten rock, of various character; fourth, rotten rock, artificially mixed with clay ; fiftn, loam, in a natural state; sixth, artificial loam, made by mixing clay and sand; seventh, clay; eighth, sand.
THE MACADAJIZED OR BROKEN STONE ROAD. For the sake of brevity in treating class No. 1, we shall designate the rock to be used by the terms hard and soft. The mode of preparing the foundation of a Macadam road should be modified according to the character of the soil of which it is to be made. It may, however, be premised that one essential condition to be secured in the use of every character of material is that of dryness. This secured, almost every variety of soil will form a suitable substructure for a macadamized road. It would be difficult to furnish specifications for the great variety of cases that may be presented, but we shall endeavor to give such general instructions as will meet all probable cases intelligibly, and will commence with the most difficult circumstances likely to be presented, viz., an extensive plain, level, or nearly so, with a tenacious clay soil.
To effect drainage under such circumstances there are but two modes known to the writer: First, by surface drainage, by the use of open ditches, or gutters, excavated on both sides of the road in the manner described. If practicable, the fall should be made both ways, from a point as nearly central as may be, and each gutter be extended to a poiat of discharge lower than the plane. The advantage of draining both ways is, that with ditches of the same depth at their discharge end, the fall will be donbled. In case the distance is great, and the labor of