Lessons Learned From Terrible Highway Engineering Designs

The summer season is the best time for the construction of roads. When people see those stoppages because of a certain roadwork, in some cases people will get angry but most people will be happy to see that a particular problem in the road has already been fixed or solved. Sometimes, people will ask: Is there a perfect highway engineering design ever built? It is very hard to find one but for people to understand what must be done in road constructions, this article lists down terrible highway engineering designs and the lessons learned.

Lesson No. 1: To Construct More Roads, Do Not Bulldoze Houses.

Today, if people hear about bulldozing homes just to give way for a road construction, they may think that it is inconceivable or may seem outdated. The metropolises are always prone to congestion but you may believe it or not, there are still highway designers or traffic engineers who think that the solution to this problem is the construction of more urban expressways. However, this solution is not always a good one.

After the WWII, highway projects were massive that reshaped the urban landscape in huge sections. For instance, in New York, about over 5,000 families disappeared, this translates to a whole neighborhood being forced to move because of a project. It was the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressways that spans 8.3 miles. The master builder thought that it was a vital link to connect urban expressways without taking into consideration that a densely populated area in the Bronx were forced to vacate. In the 1960s, when Bronx was divided, the neighborhood of the south was cut off from the commerce and normal traffic flow and gradually they quickly faded.

Throughout the US, similar projects were constructed despite so many community protests. The highway revolts were in the height during the 1960s to 1970s and through these revolts, the expansion of urban expressways ended. After the Expressway built in Cross-Bronx, you will never see any construction of inner-city freeways.

Lesson 2: Geology Matters

Before the construction of roads, highway engineers must study the type of soil or ground. This is true especially in Louisiana, they have rumbling and rough roads because the roads were built on a soft turf. People said that even if it is dark and they do not see any signs, they know they are in Louisiana because of the bumpy road. According to an expert, travellers will feel the waves because loose soil sinks or shifts especially if you are driving a vehicle that has a long wheelbase. It gets very bumpy every 50 feet.

These are two of the best examples of the terrible highway engineering designs and the lessons learned. With these examples, authorities are more aware of the essential things that must be considered when designing and constructing highways.

© Pittsburgh Highway Engineers, 2002-2017.
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