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ROADS AND RAILWAYS

When were the first roads built?

Archaeologists have found remnants of early roads in Ur, Iraq, and Glastonbury, Scotland, dating back to 4000 B.C.E.

Do all roads really lead to Rome?

Not any more. During the time of the Roman Empire, the Romans built a massive road network to ensure easy travel in all weather conditions between Rome and the furthest reaches of the Empire. The Romans made their roads as straight as possible and paved large sections of them by precisely piecing together cut rock to make a flat surface. Along the 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) of Roman roads, markers were placed every Roman mile (just short of a modern mile) so as to indicate either the distance to Rome or to the city where the road originated. After the fall of Rome, the maintenance of the Roman road system was severely neglected, and during the Middle Ages the roads became overused and dilapidated. Though the Romans built these roads over 2,000 years ago, some segments are still in use today.

What is a turnpike?

A turnpike is a toll road. In the late eighteenth century, private companies in the United States and in the United Kingdom built roads and charged users to pass. Beginning in the 1840s, turnpikes had to compete for traffic, and thus profits, with the railroads. The name turnpike is still common on toll highways in the eastern United States, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

What road in the United States was known as the National Road?

The Cumberland Road, also known as the National Road, was the first federally funded road in the United States. Though construction began in 1811, the Cumberland Road was not completed until 1852. Stretching 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois, the road was built to allow settlers to traverse the Appalachian Mountains and settle in the West. With the advent of the

How are interstate highways numbered?

One- and two-digit interstate highways are numbered according to their direction. Highways that run in an east-west direction are even numbered, while highways that run in a north-south direction are odd numbered. The lowest numbers are in the south and west, while higher numbers are in the north and east. For example, Interstate 10 is an east-west highway that runs from Santa Monica, California, to Jacksonville, Florida; thus, it has a even, low number. Interstate 95 is a north-south highway that runs from Houlton, Maine, to Miami, Florida; thus, it has an odd, high number. Three-digit interstate highways are short spur routes connected to a two-digit interstate.

automobile, the road was paved, and in 1926 became part of U.S. Route 40, which stretches across the continent.

What do the Cumberland Road and Cumberland Gap have to do with each other?

Absolutely nothing. The Cumberland Road is more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) from the Cumberland Gap. The Cumberland Gap, which lies near the border of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, is a pass through the Appalachian Mountains at the Cumberland Plateau. The name "Cumberland" was extremely popular in Colonial America, originating in the name of the British Duke of Cumberland.

What is the difference between a highway and a freeway?

The term highway can be used for any road, but most often describes a paved road connecting distant towns. Freeways are multi-lane highways that use on- and off-ramps, rather than intersections, in order to limit the number of entrance and exit points along the route, hence keeping traffic along the freeway fairly steady.

 
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