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Road Construction in New Germany

Nature volume 134, pages 247248 (18 August 1934) | Download Citation



IF we leave the United States out of account, it is at first sight curious that countries overburdened with financial liabilities take the leading part in promoting road construction. During a period of great prosperity, the United States built a gigantic network of highways. Yet when unemployment increased, further energetic steps were taken to increase the road work being done. During the former period, maximum use was made of machinery, but now the tendency is to employ manual labour as much as possible. In Roads and Road Construction of April, there is an interesting paper by Prof. K. Kriiger, of the Technical High School, Charlottenburg, describing the latest German autobahn (superhighway) scheme. At the motor exhibition in March at Berlin, Herr Hitler urged the encouragement of motor-vehicle traffic as this would provide work for hundreds of thousands of men. The autobahn project has been fostered, and the construction of powerful high-speed vehiclesalmost semi-aircraft is being encouraged. It is intended that the highspeed traffic should be collected on the autobahn. The ordinary roads not built for the present dense heavy and rapid traffic would be saved from the necessity of constant repairs and efforts would be made to improve them. The super highway will enable the motorist to speed up to at least 90 miles per hour. A lorry driver will be able to travel between two distant cities twice a week instead of making only one return trip. The deterioration of the lorry and the general transport costs will be considerably reduced. The new roadways will open up many new picturesque places which will attract foreign visitors. According to the law of June 27, 1933, the German State railways have been authorised to create a subsidiary company to build and manage an efficient network of super highways as a monopoly.

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