Roads are essential for the economic and social well-being of our country; 89 per cent of all our freight is moved by road and we spend £6 billion a year on construction and maintenance. The need for reliable durable roads was realised in Britain during the Industrial Revolution and two men were instrumental in their provision, John Macadam and Thomas Telford. Telford’s construction consisted of layers of hand pitched stone, decreasing in size towards the surface. Macadam’s construction was thinner because he allowed for grading of stone in the respective layers, which increased interlock and thereby proved stronger at less cost. Both men realised the need for a foundation or capping layer and both realised the importance of drainage to maintain the strength of the road. With the advent of the motor car, dust proved to be a problem and tar was spread on the surface of the road to bind it together.
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- Road Pavements
BSc, CEng MICE, MIStructE Dene R. Warren
- Macmillan Education UK
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