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Tearing up Pavements

pipes, pavement, surface and sufficient

TEARING UP PAVEMENTS. The most serious cause of the destruction of pavements is the frequency with which they are torn up for the introduction or repair of underground pipes, conduits, etc. No pavement has been introduced, and probably none ever will be, which is not seriously injured by being torn up. The only remedy for the frequent disturbance of pavements is the construction of a subway in which to place pipes, wires, etc.; but it is doubtful if any such remedy would be lasting. for the streets are continually being put to new uses. Formerly it was thought sufficient to provide for water and gas pipes and sewers; while now conduits are required for telegraph, telephone, and electric light wires, and street-car tracks are constructed on the surface, above the surface, and below the surface. and in some cities space is required for pneumatic tubes, and pipes for distributing heat, compressed air, cold and hot water, etc.

The only thing that can be clone is to reduce the opening of the pavements absolutely to a minimum, and then to take the utmost care to see that as little damage as possible is done in making the opening and that the pavement is restored in the best way possi ble. It is stated that in 1896 in New York City a quarter of a mile of trench was opened for each mile of pavement, and in addition there was an opening for each 35 linear feet of street. The year

stated was about an average for those immediately before and after.

The amount of money spent in digging up the streets is a con siderable item, not counting the interference with travel and busi ness; but the expense, being distributed among various interests, is not usually sufficient to cause any one company to re-construct its system. It is probable that the interests of the public are fre quently sacrificed to the interests of the private companies using the streets—usually without paying for the privilege.

Under the best municipal administrations of Europe neither corporations nor individuals are permitted to disturb the pave ments. All removals and restorations are done by the city's own employees, upon the deposit, by the parties who require the streets to be opened, of a sufficient sum to cover the expense of each piece of paving done, at a fixed price per yard according to the kind of pavement. Moreover, interference with the pavements is of rare occurrence, for the companies having pipes underground are re quired thoroughly to examine and reinstate their mains and ser vices concurrently with the paving of a street, due notice of the execution of which is given by the city.