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Maintenance of Brick Pavements

pavement, quality, material and wear


The maintenance necessary for a brick pavement consists in keeping it clean and carefully watching it, especially during the first year or two years, to see that no breaks occur due to the use of defective bricks in the surface or to insufficient support from the founda tion at any point. When any unevenness from either of these causes appears, it should be at once rectified before the pavement becomes irregularly worn in con sequence.

While, as already stated, the utmost care should always be taken to use only material of a uniform quality in the surface of the pavement, still under the closest inspection some inferior material may be used, which will only be shown when wear comes on the pavement, and unless then removed at once it will cause the evenness of the surface to be impaired about it. Irregular support from the foundation will be less likely to occur in good construction, but its effect will be similar to defective material, the sinking of in dividual bricks producing uneven wear. Weak spots in the foundation may sometimes be caused, where con crete foundation is not employed, by surface-water which is permitted to pass through the joints, saturat ing the sand or gravel beneath and causing it to move under concentrated loads. For this reason the joints should be observed during the early wear of the pave ment in order to remedy any case where they may not have been properly filled.

Where a brick pavement has been constructed of good material and kept in good surface during the early period of use, it may then reasonably be expected to wear out without any considerable expense for small repairs. The length of time the pavement may be expected to wear depends upon the quality of the materials and the method of construction. For the heavier traffic of many of the smaller cities, and streets of moderate traffic in the larger cities, brick has shown an endurance which indicates it to be a satis factory and economical material.

In contracting for the construction of brick pave ments, many cities require the contractor to guarantee the pavement for a term of years, making all necessary repairs during the period of guaranty. This is intended as an assurance of the quality of the work. A guaranty of the pavement for one year may often be of use in discovering any serious defects in construction, and will not add materially to the cost, but the engineer in charge of the work has means of accurately judging its 'quality and, where a long period of maintenance is required, it is doubtful whether the in quality is sufficient to warrant the increase in price necessitated by the guaranty.