Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/546

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
530
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

a wooden-block pavement had been in constant use for over ten years, without repair of any kind. The only piece of wood pavement of this class which has been laid in this country, to the writer's knowledge, is on Twentieth Street, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, in the Borough of Manhattan, where, in 1896, the Australian "kari" wood was laid. The work was done with the greatest care, and the resulting pavement has proved quite satisfactory. When Fifth Avenue was lately repaved the use of this material was considered, but, on account of the popular prejudice against all wood pavements and the delay which would be involved in obtaining the blocks, the idea was abandoned.

When wood pavements are spoken of in most of our cities, the taxpayer pictures to himself the round cedar block so generally

PSM V56 D0546 Beverly road and 15th street brooklyn march 1899.png
Looking North from Beverly Road and East Fifteenth Street, Brooklyn, in March 1899.

in use in Western cities. These arc used on account of their cheapness. They are usually laid on one or two courses of plank. The blocks are round, from four to eight inches in diameter and six inches in depth, are set as closely as possible to each other, and the joints are filled with gravel, after which they are usually poured full of pitch. Such a pavement, when new, is quite agreeable to ride over. It soon, however, becomes uneven; the defective blocks quickly decay; the surface not being impervious to water, the wet foundation under a pavement with so little rigidity becomes soft, and the mud or slime works its way up between the blocks, and the process of decomposition is expedited. We hear sometimes of the floating pavements of Chicago. These are such cedar-block pavements which are said to rise with the floods of water filling the roadways after heavy rainfalls, and from specimens of the pave-