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In 2020 some Coach4aday posts will feature lessons learned by completing, planning, and experiencing 30 day challenges. The challenges include physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
As winter approaches a combination of freezing temps, salted pavement, and precipitation brings potholes to the ROADS and streets. Bumpy ROADS will always bring out complaints.
Sometimes we just cannot fathom the progress we have made with ROAD construction in our country. Many of the roadways in the United States were once dirt but the reality is most of the year they were mud.
In the middle of the 19th century there came a movement to build wooden ROADS. These highways were called Plank ROADS and became a great short term improvement in transportation.
A plank highway was built on log foundations. It was somewhat similar to a railroad. The logs were the rails and thick plank boards were laid on top of those logs.
These planks-boards-were laid over the roadway on log foundations in various lengths, but most were eight feet long. Corporations were created called Turnpike Companies that built the Plank ROADS. They set up toll booths and used that revenue to pay for construction. Here is a list of all 84 North Carolina Turnpike Companies
Here is a YouTube Video of a Plank ROAD built in 1915 in California.
North Carolina got into the wooden highway business a lot earlier than California. In October of 1854 the Fayetteville and Western Plank ROAD was completed. Stretching nearly 150 miles west to Forsyth County, it was the longest plank road in the state. I found a journal article on Fayetteville and Western but did not download the entire document.
“Scholars suggest that plank roads were doomed from the start. First, they competed with railroads, a faster mode of transportation. Also, the timing of plank road construction was bad; in 1856 the North Carolina Railroad connected the mountains with the coast. Second, travelers cheated road companies by avoiding tolls. Third, the economic panics of the 1850s discouraged many investors. Fourth, plank roads required continual and costly maintenance. And fifth, the circumstances of the Civil War damaged or destroyed many plank roads.”
I for one am happy that the Plank ROAD is not how we travel today.