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The cost of repairs is very variable, according to the amount of work that is required to be done. All new construction is done by contract. Chemical tests are made on all asphalt purchased; the approval of the materials for stone pavements depends on their giving satisfactory wear. Pavements laid on a gravel foundation or sand foundation have a life of about twenty years under average traffic. The others have been too recently used to have given the authorities time to make any estimate of their probable duration. Sewers and water mains are laid in all the streets, as well as lines for gas and electricity. The sewers are always placed beneath the roadways. In the ancient city the same practice is followed with the subsurface lines for water, gas and electricity. In the newer quarters where the pavement of the roadway has a foundation of concrete, these latter forms of construction are beneath the sidewalk on either side of the street. No pipe galleries of any sort have been built. The street surface within the cartracks is maintained by the city at the expense of the tramway company.

The organization in charge of street construction is directed by an engineer in chief, who has a principal assistant and an organization of engineers, inspectors, etc., comprising about 230 men. It has control of street cleaning, supervision of the tramway surface and of the operation of the mains for water supply, gas and electricity, which are controlled by private companies.

Some of the unit prices for materials employed are as follows:

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Following is the minimum wage scale required by the city administration of constractors engaged on city work:

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Considering the class of pavement employed, the streets of this city are in remarkably good condition.


One of the oldest towns of Belgium and also a most important manufacturing center is the city of Liege situated on the Meuse River in the heart of a coal and iron mining district, in direct rail and canal communication with both Antwerp and the principal German and French business centers. It has a population of about 174,000 and manufactures much heavy machinery. The town itself and surrounding country occupy a hilly region, having considerable grades in many places. There is a total length of city streets of 133.56 miles divided under different classes of surfaces as follows:





Square Yards

The annual amount of paving done is 11,960 square yards of new work and 17,940 square yards of repairs; a total annual expense of about $38,600.

The unit prices for the different classes of pavement surfaces, both new work and repairs, are:

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New pavements are laid by contract and repairs to old work by the city organization. Materials at present employed have proved very satisfactory under long usage, and no specific tests are thought necessary. The granite pavements have an estimated life of twenty years; asphalt of about fifteen years. Approximately 2800 openings are made in the streets in the course of a year, having an aggregate length of 9.3 miles. Subsurface construction of pipes, sewers, conduits, etc., is in general under the roadways. No pipe galleries are employed. The area in and about the rails of the tramway is paved with the same material as is employed outside, and it is maintained at the expense of the operating company.

The department in charge of highway work is organized under a chief engineer having an organization for the construction of the necessary city work, as well as for the supervision of contracts, divided into a technical bureau and one of administration, which directs the preliminary surveys, plans, preparation of contracts and specifications, keeping of records, correspondence, etc. For the organization of construction work the city is divided into eight districts with a chief inspector in charge of each, who has charge of all ordinary affairs in his district, those of greater importance being handled directly by the chief of the service. This chief inspector has under his orders all city construction work and supervises the contract work in his district. The highway department also has charge of the construction, maintenance and cleaning of sewers.

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Another among the older cities of Belgium, and of considerable local importance at present, is Ghent, with a population of 165,000, on one of the main lines of rail communication between England and the Continent. It presents a good example of the ancient irregular street layout still in existence under modern conditions and is typical of the minor European cities which carry on a large business under street conditions that have not been materially altered for many years. In addition to numerous railroad lines, it has canal communication with the low countries of Belgium and Holland and the interior of France, and has, like a number of other towns of the same size in this vicinity, a great extent of modern manufacturing. It has a total length of city streets of 133.56 miles almost entirely paved with stone, both roadways and footways. Recently the authorities have decided to repave the most frequented public streets in the central portion of the city with mastic asphalt on the sidewalks and compressed asphalt in the roadways.

The present area of streets is divided as follows:

Stone block...

Mastic asphalt.
Compressed asphalt.

Square Yards



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Stone pavement repairs in a street having a double-track narrow gauge tramway.

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