The road: The multifunctional structural element in agricultural areas

Paper by HELD from ISCR 5th 1986 Aachen Germany

Farm roads in interdependence with higher-ranking roads form int~grated traffic networks for the benefit of the rural and urban population. With -tbe many and vari~d duties that such roads perform they func tian more particularly as aids to agricultural and forestry development projects, with effects extending even into the ecological sphere, and form the fundamental standard of assessment for the infrastructure as a whole. Other potentially important functions of the farm roads network, though involving problems, are: tourism and recreation, availability in the event of disasters and for national defence, relieving the higher-ranking roads of some of their traffic. Side by side with conventional highway engineering, the construction of farm roads has independently reached an optimum level of development. There are three main variants of such roads built in concrete: (I) the traditional time-tested concrete road; (2) the concrete track for vehicular traffic, which is designed to fit aesthetically into the landscape and represents a kind of ecologically oriented "renaissance"; (3) the concrete block paving on a firm subgrade. Scientifically based testing procedures ensure consistently high and steadily improving quality. Promoters of such road development schemes are: municipal authorities, water supply and land development associations, landholdings reallotment and consolidation authorities and forest administration authorities. The aim is to build road alignments that meet economic requirements and harmonize with tbe environment. Financing: the cost is met from promoters' own resources and from subsidies (Federal government, State government, municipalities, EEC). The latter are derived mainly from the relevant principal source of overall tax revenue (town). Subsidy rate: 30 to 80%. Narrow-minded departmental attitudes jealously guarding their own spheres of authority occasionally hinder or prevent the implementation of schemes. Selection criteria: parameters for determining the width and thickness of pavements are traffic frequency and traffic load. Irregular or periodical alternation of traffic flows must be considered, as exemplified by agricultural traffic. Formerly traffic movement was solely between the farmhouse (sleeping, living) and the fields (work) ;nowadays there is increasing traffic from the fields to the place of marketing (consumer, dairy factory, sugar factory, agricultural trading centre) . Future trend: maintenance and repairs based on costbenefit considerations; assessment according to economic and private commercial criteria.

Back to Resources