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and are, in reality, capable of being traced and described with less difficulty than would be expected. Where a considerable tract of country is to be surveyed, the best index to its elevations and depressions is its streams and rivers; these indicate every change of inclination, and, to the experienced eye, with considerable precision. It will also be observed, that each river has its system of valleys; and except in a few instances, where the draining is effected by the outburst of an open stratum, a district, whose bounding ridge is easily traced, is drained by its river and system of valleys.

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Having formed a tolerable idea of the best direction for the road, the next step must be to make a more particular survey, with a view to fix nearly the precise line. We would recommend the principal engineer to have this done by rectangular lines, as infinitely superior to surveying by triangles, in giving him an exact knowledge of the surface of the country. Perhaps, with the assistance of a diagram, we shall be able to render the advantage of this method obvious.

"Let A B be a portion of the intended line, and C D the breadth of the country to be included in the survey. At any suitable distances choose stations, a, a, a, their distances apart depending on the changes of level, and let the principal line A B, and also the cross lines b b, b b, &c., be accurately levelled, and then drawn, as shown in the figure, on the plan of the line of road. If the distance b b is required to be considerable, perhaps



an additional line in the principal direction may be necessary. The etched lines show the form of the surface at the lines A B, b b, b b, &c., on the plan; and


the latter being sections at right angles to A B, there is no difficulty in seeing the extent of cutting, or of embankment, that may be avoided by varying the position of the principal line. In fact, a plan of this kind, to a person familiar with sections, is better than a model of the country."

The most advantageous direction for a line, either of roadway or railroad, intended to connect two places, is evidently that of a right line, both horizontally and vertically if one extremity of the line is more elevated than another, the straight line connecting them will be an inclined plane, having one uniform rate of inclination; but if a uniform slope cannot be obtained in the direct line, it is necessary to deviate therefrom to obtain, as nearly as the circumstances of the country will admit, such an inclined plane, or at least to obtain continued progressive rises, avoiding as much as pos

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sible the introduction of useless ascents, that is, ascending where we must descend again, and vice versa. When a line of road is encumbered with numerous and extensive useless ascents, the wasteful expenditure of power in the conveyance of goods is very great, as the number of feet actually ascended is increased many times more than is necessary, if each height, when once gained, were not lost again.

Sir Henry Parnell, in his valuable treatise on Roads, gives the following instances of this kind of roadmaking:-"As one instance, amongst others, of the serious injury which the public sustain by this system of roadmaking, the road between London and Barnet may be mentioned, on which the total number of perpendicular feet that a horse must now ascend is upwards of 1300, although Barnet is only 500 feet higher than London; and in going from Barnet to London, a horse must ascend 800 feet, although London is 500 feet lower than Barnet."

Another instance of this defect in road-engineering is observable in the line of the old road across the island of Anglesea, on which a horse was obliged to ascend and descend 1283 perpendicular feet more than was found necessary by Mr. Telford, when he laid out the present new line, as shown by the annexed Table :

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In choosing the best direction for a line of roadway, the rate of inclination which can be obtained, with a moderate outlay in cuttings and embankments, is a consideration of greater importance than the mere maintaining of a direct line. For though the measured length of a circuitous route may be considerably greater than the length of a direct line, yet if the inclinations in the former case are much more favorable than those in the latter, it must be evident that more may be gained in speed, with the same expenditure of power, than is lost by the increase of distance. Thus, if two roads rise, one at the rate of 1 in 15, and the other at the rate of 1 in 35, the same expenditure of power will move a weight through 15 feet of the one and 35 feet of the other, at the same rate.

Upon the subject of the maintenance of turnpike roads, we shall annex an abstract of the General Rules for Constructing and Repairing Roads, laid down by the late Mr. Telford, and which is so fully treated upon in the important work of Sir H. Parnell on Roads.


The roadway should be 30 feet broad; the centre should be 6 inches higher than the level of the sides, where the junction of the surface, with the sloping edge of the foothpaths, or other defining bounds of the roadway, form the side channels; at 4 feet from the centre (on each side) the surface should be half an inch lower; at 9 feet, it should be two inches lower; and at 15 feet, its extreme edge, it should be 6 inches lower; this will give the form of a flat ellipse, which is well adapted for carrying off the water to the side channels, without making the cross section of the road too round, and allow the sun and wind to have a greater effect in evaporation, and keeping the road dry. In giving the surface one uniform curvature from side to side, the surveyor should use such a level as is described at page 111.

The footpaths should be 6 feet broad, and have an inclined surface of 1 inch in a yard towards the road; its surface should not be lower than the level of the centre of the road, and the edge should be sloped down (and covered with green sod) to meet the roadway, and form the side channel to carry off the water from the surface.


All open main drains should be cut on the field side of the road fences, and should lead to the natural wat

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