1927-01-01

The Design and Construction of Highway Systems 270051

AN impetus to more scientific highway-construction was given by the World War, and, while it is necessary to limit the weight and size of motor-vehicles to safeguard the existing investment in highways, these limitations are being made as liberal as conditions permit. It is necessary for highway engineers to obtain a clear understanding of the interrelation of the highway and the vehicle. The author explains briefly the effects each has on the other and discusses these in connection with the problems of road location, grades, safety of users, cross-section of concrete slabs, the design of non-rigid road-surfaces, classes of highway and their cost to the public, and the economics of highway improvement and transportation.
It is believed to be possible, the author states, to show that, under certain conditions, road improvement creates wealth, either in the form of lowered transportation costs or as improved social and educational conditions, or both. Charts are given for the estimation of the approximate reduction in transportation costs and for balancing these against cost of road improvement and maintenance.
Highway engineers can reduce the cost of operating motor-vehicles by improving the highways, and automotive engineers can reduce the cost by further improvement of the vehicles.
The discussion deals with the kind of tremendously expensive highway improvements being made in New Jersey to carry the dense traffic and its economic aspect; the possibility of driving motor-vehicles by propeller and distributing the tractive effort through four wheels to reduce the burden and wear on the road surface; governing vehicles to operate at uniform assigned speeds on designated highways to reduce accidents; the best possible type of road construction for a heavily traveled trunk-line; and whether automobiles should come before good roads or the good roads before the vehicles.

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