By Carrie Shaffer & Peytan Gullickson


The roads were narrow trails, barely wide enough for a single wagon. Trails often plunged through muddy swamps. Tree stumps stuck up through the road and often broke the wagon's axles. The nation needed better roads.


After a wagon driver has paid a toll the pike keeper turned the pole aside to let the wagon pass. As a result, these toll roads were called turnpikes. Probably the best road in the United States was the Lancaster turnpike. The road was set on a bed of gravel, water drained off quickly.
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Corduroy Roads

In swampy areas roads were made with logs. These roads were known as corduroy roads because the line of logs looked like corduroy cloth. These roads kept wagons from sinking in the mud, but they made a very noisy and bumpy ride.

The National Road

States set aside money to improve roads or build new ones. The National Road was to run from Cumberland, Maryland , to Wheeling, in western Virginia. Work on the National Road began in 1811, but they were not finished until 1818 do to the war of 1812. As each new section of road was built, settlers easily used it to drive their wagons west.
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Today's Roads

Road surface or pavement (American English) is the durable surface material laid down on an area intended to sustain vehicular or foot traffic, such as a road or walkway. In the past, gravel road surfaces, cobblestone and granite setts were extensively used, but these surfaces have mostly been replaced by asphalt or concrete laid on a compacted base course. Road surfaces are frequently marked to guide traffic. Today, permeable paving methods are beginning to be used for low-impact roadways and walkways.
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1953 - Pennsylvania Turnpike Tunnels- improved video