AN ENGINEERING PROBLEM
, RIVAL OPINIONS.
The great engineering problem of road making occupied a considerable portion of the time of the Engineers' Conference last evening says Friday's "Sun."
The question has a considerable " interest to all municipal bodies, as well as the Government, contractors, and indeed all users of 1. )!s. The matter came up for .•■•■ ,■•' -"ion last evening on a paper read by Mr A. W. Newton
on "A Cheap and Simple Method of Metalling Roads." All delegates complimented Mr Newton on the hardihood and courage he had displayed in bringing such a thorny question forward. It was subsequently decided, on the suggestion of Mr L. Birks, that thej council of the society should take into consideration the question of bringing the nia-tter up ateach conference, Mi , Birks saying that the question of roadmaking was, after all, the fundamental question for all of them.
The first commentator at the evening session was Mr W. J. O'Donnell, who said that a short time ago he had required some
crushed stone, and as his crusher was out of gear he had employed a number of men to break stone. He had been assured that he had the best stone-breakers in the country, but what was his surprise to find that the work had cost him 13/2 per yard. This was enough for him. He had then gone to the river bed, taken the shingle from there, used the natural blinding, namely sand cut from cross-sections An the river, and had produced therefrom at less than 4/- per yard some of the best roads in the
country. Mr Jickell contributed his experiences in the matter of securing effective jaws for stone crushers. He had discovered that quite the best and most payable course in the long run was to send to England and buy there the very best manganese jaws procurable, irrespective of cost. These would effectively crush the very hardest stone on the face of the earth. The stone used on the roads in his county was collected from the Manawatu River. For blinding he would never use any material that was softer than the stone itself, whether it was sand, clay, or soil, and he was convinced of that after 30 years' experience. Plenty of water should be used, and they should roll, and roll, and re-roll, until a road was formed that would show no impression from the heaviest of traffic. It was no use trying to make a road fit for carrying heavy traffic unless-the foundation was well put down, and the
material thoroughly consolidated. Regarding motor waggons, the tyres, generally speaking, were of insufficient width. He possessed one, the rear wheels of which were 16in in tyre width, with a diameter of 4ft 6in, while the front wheels had a tyre width of 12in and a diameter of 3ft 6in. The machine was driven by steam, and the result secured had been the most satisfactory possible.
Mr Rounthwaite said that he, too, desired to express his abhorrence of the practice of some engineers in using clay for blinding.
Mr Couston said that in his county some years ago, they had been able to purchase stone and have it delivered at less than 4/per yard. They now had an excellent up-to-date stone crushingplant, and the work was costing them from 7/- to 8/- per yard. The reason was the increased cost of labour and the restrictions placed upon them by the Government, in the matter of employing non-expert labour in quarries. The great problem today was to produce a road that would stand the tremendous strain of motor traffic. He knew a road that ten years ago was one of the very best in New Zealand, but now, owing entirely to motor traffic, it was one of the worst.
Mr Newton replied to the points raised; and was accorded a hearty vote of thanks, accompanied by a round of applause.
Permanent link to this item
MAKING ROADS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3546, 16 May 1916