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Plan Adopted In New Jersey

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The plan of building new roads under the recent enactment in New Jersey is described in an interview published in The New York Times. He saysi In consequenco of the ruinous effect of tho continued rains of the past year upon the roada and highwaya about New York, extraordinary interest haa been manifested by property owners of the suburban counties in the system of road making inaugurated by Mr. Chauncey B. Itipley in Union county, N. J. Roads that havo been considered of tho first class, and tliat have cost enough to make a solid and durable highway, have boen so sof tened by the wet weather that they have succumbed to the strain of ordinary teaniing, and are cut to pieces and seamed with dangeroua ruta. "Itespecting work on country roada," said Mr. Iiipley, "the work in Union county is progressing slowly, but, accordIng to contract, rigidly in all cases. Many questions have been asked. me about the provisions of the contracta under which we are working, mostly by letters, which I am still receiving ttoia many sections of country suburban to New York. I should be glad to answer them, once for all. Our public roada are generally laid out 66 feet wide. Of this width one-fifth, or about 13 f eet, on each side is allowed and used for sidewalks and shade trees. The country roads are macadamized only 16 feet in width or 8 feet on eauh side of the center line, which the surveyor first defines, and which, when found, controls all other lines in the progress of the work. "The first among the essentíais of a first class road is drainage. The contract, specificationa and drawings all próvido for suoh a grade as shall carry off all water from the surface of the road and that which percolates through the stono. Before any stone is laid the roadbed is perfectly graded, with reference to shedding water toward the side as well as carrying it off lengthwise. The center of the roadbed is higher, and the slope to each side is regular. A shoulder is lef t on each margin of the 16-foot bed, sothat tho foundation stones cannot spread. Tho roadbed ia made sinooth and rolled before any stones are placed on it. "After its preparation is complo.tcd a layer of blocks of 8tone about 13 inches long by 6 or 8 inches on the sides is laid, cnoh stone by hand. Each stone stands an inch or so away from other stones. The stones of the first layer are pretty uniform in size, and of trap rock, and crack or split easily when struck with a sumo Ummor, whio.h is used on the top of each stone till all are broken into, say, half a dozen pieces. The broken piecfis fall down wedge shape, spreading so as to fill the vacant spaces left between tho blocks, as originally laid, and form a niass of wedged stones that will stand in the position they are left by the hammer forever, we may almost say. After this the roller is applied, and the stones are packed by rolling. Then a layer of larger stones is placed upon this foundation, say stones of the size of 2 to 2J inches on a side. This layer is then rolled, and a finer grade is used on top, till stone dust and gravel complete the evenness of tho surface. The roller now in use on the Union county roads is a steam roller, and has a pressure of twelve tona." "What do such roada cost, and how is is the money raised?" "The cost is about $10,000 a mile, I judgo by observation and imperfect reporta. It is not far from that sum, I can safely say. It seems a great daal to one not acquainted with road making. It is not. We have few good roada in our county that have not cost at least that aruount of money per mile. And they wear out in a few years. The money under our county act ia raised by bonds, running twenty years at 4J per cent. interest. The interest on theso bonds Í8 all that the present generation will have to pay, as a rule. It is very light, too, when spread over a county. A taxpayer owning a house and lot worth $5,000, and having $5,000 more out at interest, told me the other day his yearly tax would not be more than a dollar or two greater on account of these roads. Although at first a croaker and opposed to them, hc is now in favor of the roads." "But when the bonds fall due, what then?" "When the bonds fall due Union county will contain three times tho number of inhabitants it haa at present, and the taxablo property will be three times as great. This we are safe in assuming, and more, ju lging the future by the past two decades. I have fresa evidencea every day of tho increasing interest in improving carriage roads in Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Westchester counties in New York. The earth is so full of wateT from the excessive rainy season we are passing through that the old style of gravel roads has been put to a severer test than ever before in the memory of this generation. Thia accounts in somo degree for tho increased interest and makes better roads a greatér necessity."


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Ann Arbor Courier