Road Chatter - the Cornell Local Roads Program monthly e-newsletter

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A View from the Road—October 2016

David Orr PE, Director, CLRP

Why do we pave roads?

We have been cleaning out old files and have found a few nuggets including some 4 inch glass slides that we think are about 100 years old. We have some evidence that the slides may have been played at one of the Good Roads Week highway conferences held here at Cornell in 1915 or 1916! These Good Roads Weeks were the precursor to the Highway School which started in 1938.

The US Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering prepared the following graphic to show how a draft horse can pull a much larger load on a well maintained hard surfaced highway than on a sand or gravel surface. While our horses are now internal, it still takes less energy to move a load on a smooth road than a rough one, on a hard surface versus a soft one. It also takes less energy to move goods on a flat slope than up a steep one.

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