By: Ariana Grabowicz and Austin Brown
Development of Roads
Private companies began building gravel and stone roads. The way they payed for these roads was by collecting tolls from travelers. These roads were the first turnpikes of the United States. Probably the best road in the United States was the Lancaster Turnpike, which was built in the 1970's by a private company. It connected Philadelphia, PA to Lancaster, PA. It was a gravel road which water drained off of quickly, and there were flat stones on top allowing a smooth ride.
Another type of road that was more primitive had been known Corduroy roads. These roads were located in swampy areas and were made of logs. They were called corduroy roads due to the lines of logs looking like corduroy cloths. Although the logs kept the wagon from sinking, the logs made a bumpy and uncomfortable ride.
The National Road
In the early 1800's some states set aside money to improve roads and/or build new ones. In 1806 the Congress approved funds to build a national road for the first time. The road would run from Cumberland, MD to Wheeling, VA. The work began in 1811, but do to the War of 1812 it was not completed until 1818. Eventually the road was added onto and stretched the whole way to Illinois. As each new section of road was built, settlers eagerly used it to drive their wagons further west.