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To Keep Good Roads

To Keep Good Roads image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Several weeks ago we discussed the condition oL our roads, and found they were not what they might be, and we promised to continue the discussion with reference to the systeras of and repairing them. It is known that in most of our townships the farmers along the roads " work out " their road taxes. They take ploughs, wagons and scrapers and pile up the comrnou dirt from the sides into a heap in the middle of the road. Tuis thny leawc worse than it formerly was, and no iruprovement is visible. Even if it is hired done, the road-master usually is notselected for his knowledge of the inaking of roada. Undoubtedly the best way is where road taxes are paid in cash. Then there is responsibility and watohfulness over expenditures. The State Legislature has seen and recognized tliis benefit, and has amended the highway laws to allow townships to adopt the cash road tax system. Seveial townships have availed tliemselves of this and have issued bonds, running from ten to fifteen years at 5 per cent of their assessed valuation. With this, smooth and hard gravel and macadam roads have been constructed,even at a less actual expenditure than by the old way. After these good roads are once obtained, the qucstion will come up as to the manner of preserving them. When it is brouglit to the attention of our intelligent citizens, it at once becomes evident that not even the hardest and smoothest carriage-way would remain even and iirm witli the continuous cutting of the narrow two-inch tires, now more commonlv in use. With the clrawing of heavy loads over the roads af ter a rain, they become cut up and ruiiied by ruts. So after a time we must come to the four-inch rim for wagon wheels, which acts upon the roads as a roller, evening it instead of harrowing it ; packing it in place of cutting it up. They draw no harder, but on the contrary, easler in soft parth or firountl, as that resistance is not encountered which is occasioned in sinking. Itis also evident they will last longer than the narrow-rinmied wheel which is continually getting tliinner and sharper. As these broad-tired wheels are coming into use some toll-keepers, recognizing their usefulness, in packing the roads, charge them less toll than the ordinary wagon. There is a manufactory in this state uiaking these four-inch tires, and some wagons fitted with them are upon our streets, to the improveinent of the track and to the saving of time, enery and consequent expense on the part of the owner. As the result of these facts, it is evident our roads can be made and repaired by a better method, and that after being put in good condition they can be kept so for a longer time by attention to natural laws.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News