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Cost of Maintenance Broken-Stone Roads

mile, road, square, cents, data and labor

COST OF MAINTENANCE BROKEN-STONE ROADS. The cost of maintenance varies greatly with the quality and cost of the stone used, the amount of travel per unit of width, the climatic conditions, the cost of labor, the length of time considered, and the state in which the road is maintained; and consequently any general data are liable to be misleading when applied to a particular case.

There are almost no valuable data concerning the cost of maintaining American broken-stone roads. The Reports of the Massachusetts Highway Commission for 1900 and for 1901 give definite information concerning the expenditures for repairs on state-aid road; but these data, although frequently quoted, are without general significance, since all of the roads are compara tively new, being from 1 to 5 years old, and the expense for the different ages is not separated, and since the roads are in widely separated sections varying from to 5 miles in length, and further since a considerable part of the expenditure for maintenance was for the purchase of sufficient repair stone to last for several years. "The cost of maintenance, which was about equally distributed over the roadway and the roadside, consisted of cutting brush and weeds, cleaning waterways and gutters to permit a free flow of water, trimming down the shoulders, cutting small waterways through them, and filling washouts." The roads are maintained by the continuous repair system; and as soon as the length of any one section will justify, the road is to be put under the care of a man constantly in attendance.* Michigan Boulevard, Chicago, a 50-foot granite macadam driveway from which heavy traffic teams are excluded but which has a very large travel, costs for maintenance per annum as follows: t This is a city street under the control of the South Park Commis sioners, and is continuously maintained in a first-class condition.

Driveways in the South Side Parks, Chicago, 40 feet wide, with a crushed limestone surface, cost as follows per year for main tenance: t In the Boston Parks, the annual cost of repairs of a telford crushed-stone road was $189.00 per mile, of which $129.00 was for stone screenings, $49.00 for teaming, and $20.00 for labor. The sprinkling cost $721.00 per mile, of which the water cost $187.00 (16 cents per 1,000 gallons), and the teaming $533.00.4 In France, elaborate and carefully analyzed accounts are kept of the cost of maintaining the public highways; but owing to differences in the climatic conditions and the prices of labor, and also owing to variations in the character of the road metal, such data are valuable only for the particular locality.

There are 321,803 miles of stone roads in France, which is equivalent to 1 mile of road for each 0.66 square mile of area or 1.52 miles of road per square mile, and to 1 mile of road for each 119 inhabitants. The average cost of maintenance per mile is about $223.00 per square mile of area, and about $1.39 per inhabitant. Table 26, gives a summary of the annual expenditures for material and labor for the roadway proper. To obtain the total cost of maintenance, add about 45 per cent to the results in Table 22 to cover expenditures for water courses, sidewalks, plant ing of trees, and general administration.

In the Department of Havre, France, the average annual cost of sweeping, removing mud, watering, and maintaining all works is as follows: for departmental roads in the cities 3.0 cents per square yard, and in the country 1.8 cents, and for communal roads 1.1 cents per square yard.*