GATE 2022: Highway Development and Planning

Highway Development and Planning

Modes of Transport

  • Highways—Most flexible system (house to house connection)
  • Railway—Energy consumption less than highways
  • Waterways—Economical but slow
  • Airways—Costliest of all

Historic Development

  1. Mesopotamia 3500 BC: Invention of wheel and necessity of hard surface for wheeled vehicles to move, paved the way for road building.
  2. Roman roads—312 BC:
  • Pioneers in road construction,
  • 580 km (approximately),
  • No cross-slope or gradient.

  1. Pierre tresaguet (1716–1796) in France:
  • Father of modern highway engineering
  • Thickness of road can be only 30 cm
  • Cross-slope of 1 in 45 on top wearing course for surface drainage.
  • Shoulders also with cross-slope to drain surface water to side drain.

Metcalf method (1717–1810) in England—similar to tresaguet:

  • Followed recommendations of Robert Phillips.
  • 290 km of road in northern region of England.
  • His work was not recorded as he was blind.

Thomas Telford (1757–1834):

  • Founder of Institution of Civil Engineers at London.
  • Provided cross–slope from foundation itself by varying thickness of foundation stones.
  • Provided cross-drains at intervals of about 90 m.
  • No kerb stones are used.

John McAdams’ (1756–1836):

  • Gave scientific method of road construction.
  • Realised not to provide strong foundation at sub- grade as wheel load of traffic gets dispersed and intensity decreases at lower layers.
  • Sub-grade is compacted and cross-slope of 1 in 36 is provided from sub-grade itself.
  • Improvement of strength of top layers.

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