The world’s first roads were built around 4000 BC and roadway design has evolved quite a bit in the millennia since. The Romans were one of the first people to construct modern-looking roads, paved with stones and reaching from Europe into North Africa. Despite the basic construction method, these roads were sturdy, as the Appian Way in Rome was built 2,300 years ago and is still there today. The Arabs later built roads covered with tar, and from there, road construction techniques grew into today’s widespread convention of concrete roads. Civil engineer services take care of our modern roads in every step, from their planning to their construction to their long-term maintenance.
The biggest civil engineering companies in the world know that the planning phase of roadway design is an extremely important part. Roads are primarily designed for use by vehicles and pedestrians but have to be catered to the needs of the community. In certain areas of urban development, engineers may also have to consider accommodating a lane for bikers and wider crosswalks for an increased number of pedestrians. In more rural settings, the design of the road may be focused on accommodating large trucks and trailers and less on the needs of pedestrians.
Before laying down the materials used for the roadway, construction workers need to remove geographic obstacles. Earth and rock are either dug out or removed by explosions and then sediments and erosion are controlled to avoid damaging effects. Roadway engineers may also have to consider stream crossings and the side slopes from the roadway to the soil. Workers construct any needed embankments, tunnels, and bridges, and then lay the pavement material. When building a roadway, workers also need to construct drainage systems so that they can carry wastewater to waterways, streams, rivers, or the sea.
An engineer’s job isn’t finished once the road is constructed. Civil engineering management companies exist to oversee the long-term maintenance of roadways. As almost one-third of all highway fatalities occur in relation to sub-par road conditions, ineffective road designs, or roadside hazards, those management companies have an important job of improving roadways as soon as they need it. Cities in the United States are seeing ever-increasing traffic and vehicular loads, ensuring that the risk of poor roads to the safety of drivers isn’t going away.
Roadway design is a major responsibility of civil engineers that lasts as long as the road does. As roads are what connects a country’s towns and cities, civil engineers are truly imperative to the function of a society.