The Grand River Times, August, 1851

Plank Roads.

   PLANK ROADS—The following sensible remarks in relation to the general utility of Plank roads, we copy from an article published in an Ohio paper some time since. There is no doubt but the attention of people in this section has been diverted from the subject by Railroad projects which were considered of more importance and which we hope to see carried out, yet we would turn attention at this time more particularly to the subject of Plank roads because we know they can be built.

   Plank roads are emphatically the people’s roads because, affording as they do to every person the best facilities for the travel and transportation, they cannot be converted into monopolies for the injury of one potion of community by another. Here is the article spoken of, and we doubt not it will meet the view of our readers: [Port Huron Commercial.

   "Every improvement that facilitates locomotion, is popular. It accords with the character and spirit of the age.

   Railroads are of great importance. But like many of the good things of this world, they are expensive. They require a large amount of capital for their construction, and are beyond the reach of limited localities.

   But we have a very excellent substitute in Plank roads, a comparatively modern improvement, whose virtues the good people of Yankeedom have been quite slow to discover. Our Canadian neighbors have been quite in advance of us. In both provinces Plank roads have been in use for an number of years, and they work like a charm. Their excellence cannot be appreciated by those who have not tried them. They are cheap and durable and being available to every one are not liable to the objections which many honest men urge against "Railroad monopolies." In a wooden country, no other description of made road should be thought of. Ordinary turnpikes, nine times out of ten, are impositions. They are seldom known to be turnpikes except by their gates, and their chief excellence is consists of the facility with which they extract sixpences and shillings from the pockets of those who use them. McAdamized roads are good but expensive. Besides, in some parts of the country the scarcity of material renders their construction impossible ; and when built, they can only be maintained at a heavy expense.

   But Plank roads may be built cheap, and be maintained at a very trifling cost. Experience has shown, that, by being properly constructed originally, and properly attended to, they will last for ten or twelve years.

   Good avenues to markets are essential to individuals and general prosperity. We must have Plank roads in every direction. They can be built. They are the best auxiliaries to good farms. Every new facility to reach a market at all seasons and in all weather, puts money in the pockets of those who produce marketable commodities. With the best harbor on the lakes, easy of access, Plank road in any direction, will always pay a good dividend."

   The last paragraph though written for another locality, applies with equal force to this place.


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