« AnteriorContinuar »
ther, but during the whole of the winter months. The materials should be quarried, carted, and broken by contract. When brought to the road, they should be packed in depots, or laid up on the wastes, in regular shaped heaps, so as not to interfere with the side channels of the road.
3dly. When the materials are stone they should be broken, as before described, to a size of a cubical form, not exceeding two inches and a half in their largest dimensions.
When gravel is used, the persons who dig it should be required to pass it through sieves before it is carted, so that no gravel pebble less than one quarter of an inch in diameter should be carried from the pits to the road; and when there it should be again sifted by the labourers, so as to separate the pebbles that are less than three quarters of an inch in diameter from the rest; all the pebbles exceeding one inch in diameter should be broken.
4thly. The materials, after they have been properly prepared, should be laid on in small quantities at a time.
In those places where the surface of the road has become much worn, a coating of two inches and a half of materials should be laid on; that is to say, a coating only a single stone in thickness, when stones are used; and when gravel is used, a coating not exceeding one inch in thickness should be laid on. If more materials are necessary, they should be laid on in successive coatings after the first coatings are worked in. After a coating has been laid on, the edges of it should be covered with the scrapings of the road to the breadth of eighteen inches. This will contribute very much to relieve the horses when drawing carriages over it, and to its being quickly consolidated.
The work of repairing roads by laying on new coatings of materials ought to be done between the months of October and April, and when the surface is wet. By laying on the materials at this season of the year in thin coatings, they are soon worked into the surface, without being crushed into powder, and without producing any great distress to horses drawing carriages over them.
Care should be taken to lay on small quantities of material, even so little as a shovelfull, on the appearance of a rut or hollow. The practice, which is in some places followed, of picking up and loosening the surface before laying on a new coating of materials, destroys a great quantity of the old ones, is attended with a heavy expense, and is productive of no good whatever. However hard the surface of a road may be, when a coating is laid upon it, this coating keeps the surface damp, and softens it, so as to let the new stones fasten themselves into it.
5thly. When the funds will admit of it, a road should be divided into districts of four miles each; and a foreman, with three labourers, should be appointed for each district. The foreman and one or more of the labourers should be daily on the road, taking care that the surface and side channels are kept clean, and making good any defect as soon as it appears.
The foreman should work with the men: he should take care that the orders of the surveyor are attended to, and be able to measure road work. When the men are not wanted on the road, they should be employed by task work in getting and preparing materials.
A regular plan should be arranged, and strictly adhered to, for keeping the water channels and drains always open and free from dirt.
In the month of October in each year, every water channel and drain should undergo a general repair, and be cleared of all deposited earth and weeds.
At the same time all ruts and hollows should be carefully filled with materials, and all weak parts of the surface coated with materials; that is to say, the road should be put in every respect into a complete state of repair, so as to preserve it from being broken up during the approaching winter.*
Nothing is more important to be attended to, in order to preserve a road in good order, than the continual scraping of it. This work should be done after every heavy fall of rain, so as never to
* M. Berthault Ducraux, Ingenieur des Ponts et Chaussees, in his Treatise " De l'Entretien des Routes," implies, from the expression of " all ruts" here made use of, that the principal roads of England are cut into ruts. As the rule here recommended to be followed applies to all roads, and as there are many, but not of any general use, still rutted, the expression is a correct one, although none of the principal roads have ruts on them. The statement of M. Navier, in his work on roads, on this point, which is quoted by M. Berthault Ducraux, is quite correct.
allow the mud to be more than half an inch thick. Throughout the winter every road, where the traffic is great, should be scraped once at least a week. By doing this the surface becomes dry in the intervals between showers; ruts are not formed, and the workmen, while scraping, discover the parts of the surface which require materials to be laid on in order to prevent hollows and holes from being made.
The great expense necessary to be incurred in scraping, when the materials consist of gravel or stones of inferior quality, points out the expediency of taking pains to procure the hardest stones. Instances are not wanting of roads which never require to be scraped, but they occur only where materials such as the pebbles of Warwickshire and Staffordshire and other similar hard substances are used, and where the road has a perfect exposure to the sun and wind.*
The road-men should scrape from the centre to the sides; the mud should not be scraped into or allowed to semain in the channels, as is too frequently the case, but should be put into small heaps, about one foot from the side channels, so as not to stop the running of water in them.
These heaps should always be removed the moment the mud is sufficiently dry to admit of its being put into carts or barrows.
The scrapings should never be laid in heaps on the wastes or footpaths, but should be spread
* For a description of a new scraping machine, see p. 259.
evenly over the hollow parts of the wastes, till they are brought to a regular surface, and afterwards they should be carted at once off the road to some convenient place till they can be otherwise disposed of. To do this effectually, when the materials are weak, large dep6ts should be provided on the sides of the roads, about four times the size of the depots which have been proposed for holding materials.
Constant attention on the part of a road surveyor is necessary to keeping hedges clipped, and the branches of trees in the fences lopped. The hedges should be cut so as to be as low as they can be kept without making the fence unfit for confining cattle within them. The value of a full exposure to the sun and wind in contributing to the preservation of roads is shown by the superior condition at all times of roads crossing uninclosed land.
The trustees of a turnpike road should require their surveyor to lay before them, at the commencement of every year, an estimate of the work he proposes to execute in the ensuing year. In this estimate every particular should be specified; namely, the quantity of materials to be provided, the prices to be paid for them, the labour to be employed, &c., &c. The surveyor should be required to make up an account at the end of every month of the money received and paid by him; and he should also make up an annual account showing the particulars of the year's expenditure, the quantity of materials bought and carried to the road, the sums paid for day labour, for task work, and for cartage, &c.