History of highway engineering

Our understanding of ancient roadways is aided by the history of highway engineering. Rome built a vast network of roads that extended in all directions to aid in military operations.

Highway engineering history

Our understanding of ancient roadways is aided by the history of highway engineering. Rome built a vast network of roads that extended in all directions to aid in military operations. They are regarded as trailblazers in the field of road building as a result. We shall examine ancient highways, Roman roads, British roads, French roads, etc. in detail in this section.

1 Historic Highways

Walking was the primary means of transportation. These routes used by humans would have been created with certain goals in mind, such as accessing food sources, camping areas, streams with clean water, etc. Using animals to move both people and goods was the next important kind of transportation. Track systems developed because these heavy animals needed greater clearances both horizontally and vertically than a walking person would. The evolution of animal-drawn vehicles began with the introduction of the wheel in Mesopotamian civilization. At that point, it became essential that the road surface support heavier weights. Consequently, harder-surfaced roadways developed. The new routes tended to take the sunny, drier side of a walkway in order to supply sufficient strength to support the wheels. Footpaths have developed as a result of them. Following the development of the wheel, animal-drawn automobiles were grew, and the requirement for hard surface roads surfaced. Such rough roadways have been found in the remnants of several ancient civilizations that date back to 3500 BC. An authentic account of the first roads dates back to the Assyrian monarchy, which built them circa 1900 BC.

Two roads in Rome

The Romans are credited with building the first significant network of highways, which extended from Rome in various directions. They offered travel times throughout Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa, and they were an incredible accomplishment. The Romans understood that providing adequate drainage, high-quality materials, and skilled workmanship were essential components of well-built roads. Some of their roads still stand today because they were built so well. Roman roads were always built with a solid created subgrade that is, if needed, reinforced with wooden piles. Longitudinal drains lined both sides of the roads. Building the agger was the following stage. Using materials dug up during the building of the side drain, an elevated formation measuring up to one meter in height and fifteen meters in width was created. After that, a sand-leveling course was placed on top of it. An important factor in the pavement's ability to regulate moisture was the agger. On top of the agger, the pavement structure differed significantly. A surface course of huge, 250 mm thick hexagonal flag stones was provided in case of excessive traffic. A typical Roman road intersection The primary characteristics of Roman roads were their uniform construction, regardless of slope, and the use of large foundation stones at the base. To create mortar, they combined lime and volcanic puzzolana, and then they put gravel into the mortar to create concrete. Concrete was thus a significant invention for Roman road building.

Three avenues françaises

The next significant advancement in road building took place under Napoleon's rule. Tresaguet made the major contributions in 1764, and this is a typical cross section of the road. He created a less expensive building technique than the ostentatious and regionally unsatisfactory return to ancient Roman customs. The pavement was constructed from 200 mm-long, more compacted quarry stone blocks with at least one flat side that were set atop a compact arrangement.

Then, to create a level surface, smaller fragments of broken stone were crushed into the voids left by the bigger stones. Ultimately, a layer of shattered stone measuring 25 mm was used to create the running layer. To maintain levelness with the surrounding rural area, the entire construction was positioned within a trench. Significant drainage issues were caused by this, but they were resolved by cambering the surface, adding deep side ditches, and making the surface as impervious as possible.

He placed a high value on drainage. Additionally, he stated that in order to keep the roads functional at all times, coordinated maintenance must be done continuously rather than on an as-needed basis. In order to accomplish this, he separated the roadways connecting the settlements into segments long enough for local maintenance personnel to completely cover.

Four roads in Britain

Road construction was also deemed important by the British government. The first way of building roads that can be termed scientific was introduced by British engineer John Macadam. An essential component of the Macadam recipe was stone size. via direct observation on numerous highways.

He discovered that instead of a costly pavement built on giant stone blocks, 250 mm layers of carefully compacted shattered angular stone would offer the same strength and rigidity as well as a superior running surface. Thus, he presented a cost-effective technique for building roads.

The course was made strong and stiff by the mechanical interlock between the individual stone slabs. However, the sharp interlocking faces were worn down by the interparticle friction, which also partially eliminated the course's efficiency. To create a well-graded mix, high-quality interstitial finer material was added to counteract this impact. These mixtures also shown to be easier to compact and less porous.

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