roman road

History of Road Development | Roman Road | Tresaguet Construction | Metcalf Construction | Telford Construction | Macadam Construction

The history of road development can be studied under the following headings:


  History of Road Development  


  1. Early Development  


History of Road Development


The oldest mode of travel was on the footpath.

Animals were widely used to transport men & materials.

Later the invention of wheels resulted in the development of vehicles run with the help of animals.

This type of vehicle became the most popular mode of transportation for a very long period.


  2. Roman Roads  



~These roads are developed by the Roman Civilization among which some are still in existence.

~ Roman roads were built with stone blocks of considerable thickness.

The main features of the Roman road are:

~ They were built straight ( with minimal slope or without slope).

~ They were built after soft soil is removed and a hard status was reached.

~ The total thickness of the construction was as high as 0.75 m to 1.2 m.


  3. Tresaguet Construction  

~ After the fall of the Roman Empire, their technique of road construction didn’t gain popularity in other countries.

~ Pierre Trezeguet (1716 – 1796 AD) developed several methods of road construction which were considered to be quite advantageous and meritorious.

~ The main feature of his proposal was that the thickness of construction needs to be only 30 cm.

~ Side drainage was also provided on these roads.


  4. Metcalf Construction  

~ John Metcalf (1717-1810 AD) was engaged in road construction in England during the period when Trezeguet was working in France.

~ He followed the recommendations made by Robert Phillips.

~ Metcalf was responsible for the construction of 290 km of road in northern England.


  5. Telford Construction  

~ Thomas Telford (1751 – 1834 AD), the founder of the institution of civil engineers in London began road construction in the early 19th century.

~ He believed in using a heavy foundation above the soil subgrade to keep the road foundation formed and also insisted on providing a definite cross slope for the top surface of the pavement by varying the thickness of the foundation on stones.

~ He proposed to provide cross drains at an interval of almost 90m which were usually laid below the foundation level.



  6. Macadam Construction   

~ There are different stages of road development. But among all of them, Macadam road is the most successful type of road. Some detailed features about macadam road are:


~ John Macadam (1756 -1836 AD) ; the surveyor-general of the road in England put forward an entirely new method of road construction.

~ The macadam method is the first method based on scientific thinking.

~ It realized that the stresses due to wheel load get decrease at the lower layers & so it is not necessary to provide large layer pavement.

~ The importance of subgrade drainage and compaction was recognized. So the subgrade was compacted and was prepared with across slope (1 in 36 ).

Read More: Macadam Road, Types of Macadam Road


  Types of Macadam Road  

There are four types of Macadam roads and they are:


a. Water Bound Macadam

In this type, broken stones are bounded with the help of stone dust and water during the construction process.


b.Traffic Bound Macadam

Broken stones or gravels are generally used as a wearing. Multi-layers of stones and gravels are provided in this type.


c.Bituminous Macadam

Bitumen is used as a binding material to bind stone chips and also to bind base and sub-base courses.


d. Cement Macadam

Cement macadam is quite similar to bitumen macadam. Cement is used as a binding material instead of bitumen.


Read More: Prismatic Compass


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