HIGHWAY DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING
History of highway engineering
Road transport is one of the most common mode of transport. Roads in the form of trackways, human
pathways etc. were used even from the pre-historic times. Since then many experiments were going on to
make the riding safe and comfort. Thus road construction became an inseparable part of many civilizations
and empires. In this chapter we will see the di erent generations of road and their characteristic features.
Also we will discuss about the highway planning in India.
The history of highway enginnering gives us an idea about the roads of ancient times. Roads in Rome were
constructed in a large scale and it radiated in many directions helping them in military operations. Thus they
are considered to be pioneers in road construction. In this section we will see in detail about Ancient roads,
Roman roads, British roads, French roads etc.
The rst mode of transport was by foot. These human pathways would have been developed for speci c
purposes leading to camp sites, food, streams for drinking water etc. The next major mode of transport was
the use of animals for transporting both men and materials. Since these loaded animals required more
horizontal and vertical clearances than the walking man, track ways emerged. The invention of wheel in
Mesopotamian civilization led to the development of animal drawn vehicles. Then it became necessary that
the road surface should be capable of carrying greater loads. Thus roads with harder surfaces emerged. To
provide adequate strength to carry the wheels, the new ways tended to follow the sunny drier side of a path.
These have led to the development of foot-paths. After the invention of wheel, animal drawn vehicles were
developed and the need for hard surface road emerged. Traces of such hard roads were obtained from
various ancient civilization dated as old as 3500 BC. The earliest authentic record of road was found from
Assyrian empire constructed about 1900 BC.
The earliest large scale road construction is attributed to Romans who constructed an extensive system of roads
radiating in many directions from Rome. They were a remarkable achievement and provided travel times across
Sloping Wearing Surface 5cm thick
Shoulder Slope 1:20
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