|dashboard view on Michigan highway in springtime sun; click full aption|
Once a route is chosen, then widening the path requires (compulsory) property purchase and preparing the construction side by clearing all structures and vegetation. Decisions about the road bed have been researched, raw materials need to be sourced according to quality, distance, and contractor's bid price. Accounting and accountability for quality samples need inspectors and lab workers, too. Stone of various dimension, possibly recycled (old road surfaces crushed; glass, rubber) materials, steel reinforcing rods, teams of road graders, cement mixing and pouring into forms, curing, all take specifications established by experiences with other roads and with lab experiments. Blue prints encode so much knowledge, wisdom and experiences coded in visual form: angles for ramps and for road bends, rate of slope up or down, choice of paint schemes to indicate safe passing spots (for 2-way secondary roads) as well as unsafe points, signage size and verbiage least prone to ambiguity, color rules (signs for information, for commercial or cultural interest, emergency, construction ahead, electronic road conditions or traffic information. And so from concept to construction to all-weather usage by the traveling and commercial public comes together. Maintenance includes salting, plowing, recovery of wrecks, repair of minor road surface damage as well as period bridge replacement, repainting, and mowing during the growing season.
There is the driver education, monitoring/enforcement of traffic safety codes, licensing and fees, sales and repair and routine maintenance of vehicles for business, emergency health or public safety or road service, private use, or recreation. There is car insurance (or its absence of one's coverage). All together so many things come together to make the modern wonder of personal transportation in all weather.