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A. CONSTRUCTION OF THE STATE ROAds.
Only the state roads of Bohemia and the Tyrol are throughout or with but few exceptions constructed in the manner of regular highways (Chausséen), that is to say provided with a stone foundation.
In the other provinces, as Moravia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Silesia, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Galicia, Bukowina, nearly all the state roads are constructed after the manner of country roads, that is without any stone foundation and built exclusively of ballast (broken stone).
In Lower Austria, for instance, only two-tenths of the state roads are built upon a stone foundation.
These state roads in the above provinces have as a rule originated from the old parish roads and ways, which in some cases have only been corrected and widened.
a. TRANSVERSE SECTION OF THE STATE ROADS.
For the constructing of new state roads it is prescribed that the maximum breadth (even in the vicinity of large towns) should be 9.5 metres. Only the largest state roads, leading from the city of Vienna, have the exceptional breadth of 11.4 metres.
The normal transverse sections of the newly built state roads, which are all provided with a stone foundation, are shown in figures 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the annexed drawing.
As will be seen from the following drawings the width of the roadway varies, according to the importance of the road, from 6.3 to 8 metres, and the width of the banquette, on both sides, or in narrow valleys or ravines only on the valley side, from 0 to 1.6 metres.
The foundation pavement is from 24 to 32 centimetres, and the second ballast (of broken stones or gravel) placed thereon from 16 to 24 centimetres high. The convexity of the road surface is 1 in 50 to 1 in 30. The road ditch has an average depth of from 30 to 63 centimetres and a bottom width of from 30 to 63 centimetres. In the normal transverse section of the state roads for Moravia the foundation bed appears provided with exceptionally high bordering stones, which have the object of holding together the ballast.
The section of the state roads for Bohemia is essentially the same as that for Lower Austria, with the only difference that it has a width of roadway of 7.5 metres, a stone foundation of 37 centimetres, and a second ballast or covering of broken stones or gravel of 15 centimetres. The
five state roads leading from Vienna are in its immediate vicinity
Closely connected with the width of the roads are the regulations of the road police, according to which, for instance in Lower Austria, Bohemia, Styria, and Carniola, the load of a wagon must not exceed 3 metres in breadth, while in Carinthia this maximum is fixed at 2.2 metres.
Where there is a steep r ise or fall of ground along the banks of the road a sufficient number of safety posts or bars must be provided. In the beginning of winter temporary roads must be marked out with poles or branches of at least 2 metres height upon such roads as are regularly rendered impassible by snowdrifts, and teams are obliged to use these temporary roads,
B. THE MAINTENANCE OF THE STATE ROADS.
During the last century experiments have been made with the letting of the maintenance of the state roads to private parties, which experiments have, however, proved unsatisfactory. Then the Government took in hand the work of maintaining the state roads, and has adhered to this system up to the present day, with a short interruption in the years 1858-1861, during which time the keeping of the roads was again contracted for by way of experiment, which again gave but unsatisfactory results.
For the immediate carrying out of the work necessary for keeping in repair the state roads, road-keepers are employed by the Government, the number of which, according to the statement of 1872, was 3,625; consequently there was on an average one keeper for every 4.14 kilometres of state roads. Lately the number of road-keepers in Lower Austria and Salzburg has been reduced.
In larger districts road masters or inspectors are employed for conducting and superintending the work on the roads. The number of these inspectors in the year 1875 was 413, so that on an average there were 36.52 kilometres of road for every inspector to attend to.
a. METHOD OF MAINTAINING THE ROADS.
The maintenance of the Austrian state roads is carried on after the system of the so-called re-covering. After numerous experiments with other systems of keeping the roads, which have always failed, the above method has ever proved the best. According to this method the smaller defects of the road are continually repaired by the regular roadkeepers, by removing the dust and mud from the ruts and hollows and filling them with gravel. It is then as a rule left to the passing wagons to pack these stones and roll them in. After certain longer periods of time, when the ballast of the roadbed has been thoroughly worn out, certain lengths of the road are again completely covered with ballast up to their normal height. This work is as much as possible carried out in wet weather, as a rule in the fall and spring of the year.
The rolling of the new layers of ballast, as formerly practiced, is now omitted. Experiments which have been made with rolling and with the so called patching system in the years 1856-1858, 1861-1864 and 1868 have neither financially nor technically given any satisfactory results. The reason for this may to a great extent be found in the circumstance that the most of the roads are not constructed in the manner of regular highways and were not provided with sufficiently thick layers of ballast,
b. CONSUMPTION OF BALLAST IN MAINTAINING THE ROADS, AND PROPORTION OF
Although the traffic upon the roads has not decreased since the building and development of the railways, but on the contrary has increased, the consumption of ballast (broken stones and gravel) upon the state roads has, since the year 1856, decreased continually. The average quantity of ballast per year and kilometre of state road amounted, in 1850-1856, to 93.3 cubic metres; in 1857-1864 to 70.7 cubic metres; and in 1865-1 872 to 62.4 cubic metres.
From the proceeds of the tolls collected upon the state roads, an average traffic of 200 vehicles per day may be calculated. From this there results as the specific consumption of ballast, i. e., per kilometre of road, per year, and with a daily traffic of 100 vehicles, a quantity of 31.2 cubic metres of ballast, taking the average of the 7 years' period of 1865 to 1872. This quantity must be considered as very small in comparison with the ana logous requirements of other well-conducted countries.
In Lower Austria alone 180 cubic metres of ballast were used on an average per year and kilometre of state roads in the years 1850 to 1875; the maximum consumption was 285 cubic metres in the year 1853, and the minimum 130 cubic metres in the year 1863.
The average traffic on the roads of Lower Austria, however, is 800 vehicles per day. The average specific consumption of ballast therefore was 23.5 cubic metres.
In Bohemia, where excellent material for ballast is at disposition, the consumption of ballast, with an average traffic of 150 vehicles per day, amounted per kilometre and year, in the average of the years 1850-1875, only to 48 cubic metres, and in the year 1875 only to 40.4 cubic metres; consequently the specific consumption of ballast was 32 and 27 cubic metres, respectively.
0. THE CLEARING AWAY OF THE SNOW.
According to the regulations of the law, mentioned before (of Jan. 2, 1877), those communities (or estates), the territory of which is intersected by a state road,or which are not any further than 8 kilometres from such road, are obliged to cause the removal of the snow in so far as it is necessary for keeping up the traffic on such roads.
The Government, however, has the right to deviate from this rule and to cause the removal of the snow in any other manner.
The parties obliged to do this work receive a remuneration from the state road fund.
In those parts of roads, however, which are situated within a town, village, etc., as far as they form a passage through such town, etc., the respective town, etc., has to attend to without any remuneration.
C. THE PASSAGE ROADS.
Of the costs of construction and maintenance of such parts of state roads as lead through towns, villages, etc., the state only pays the same amount as is required for the construction and maintenance of the continuation of the same roads outside of such towns, villages, etc. Therefore the removal of the mud scraped from such parts of roads and taken from the ditches thereof has to be attended to by the state road keepers.
When such parts of state roads forming a passage through towns, villages, etc., are paved throughout, the respective communities have to attend to the keeping of such roads. For this they receive a remuneration from the state road fund, but only in such proportion as if the road were a common highway (not paved).
D. IMPORTANT REGULATIONS OF THE ROAD POLICE.
All wagons built for a load of more than 24 tons must have wheels with rims of at least 11 centimetres width (Styria and Carinthia), and if they are built for more than 4 tons (in Styria), or more than 33 tons (in Carinthia) the rims of the wheels must be at least 16 centimetres wide.
In Lower Austria a width of wheel rim of 11.5 centimetres is prescribed for loaded wagons drawn by two or three horses, and in Bohemia the same for wagons drawn by two horses.
In going down hill the wheels must only be locked by means of brakes or drags (skid shoes), the latter of a minimum width of 18.4. The employment of chains for locking the wheels is not permitted.
If the road leads through woods, a clearance of at least 4 metres on either side of the ditch must be made.
The driving across the ditches, where there is no bridge or special crossing provided, or the driving on the blanquettes (borders) is forbidden, as well as the grazing of cattle on the latter.
E. COST OF CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF STATE ROADS.
During the period from 1828 to 1877 an average amount of 891,409 florins per year has been expended for the building and the more important reconstruction of state roads. The maximum costs, in the year 1874, amounted to 2,091,260 florins, and the minimum, in the year 1865, to 418,157 florins (since 1860). The maintenance of the gravel or broken-stone road surface, including the costs and transport of the stones, and the wages for workmen, etc., cost per kilometre of state road: