The main purpose of this book is to meet a pronounced need for a textbook on planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of roads and traffic in the traditional developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Most of these countries, which do not include the former Eastern Bloc countries, are situated in the tropics, where the natural conditions are different from related conditions in temperate regions. Also, the institutional issues and the financial problems confronting countries in the ‘South’ are usually different from the state of affairs in the ‘North’.
However, most existing textbooks on highway engineering are geographically biased and based on experience from industrialized countries with temperate climates, or they deal with specific problems, for instance, soil stabilization or road building in the tropics. The aim of this book is to give a comprehensive account of the wide range of both technical and non-technical problems that may confront road engineers working in the Third World without giving a detailed coverage of methods and techniques.
The names of the writers of the different chapters appear in the list of contributors, in the table of contents and under the headings of the chapters. I am indebted to them all for their contributions. My thanks also go to Wendy Taylor who helped with the preparation of Chapter 24; to Poul Harboe and Per Kirkemann who wrote background material for Chapter 25; to Arne Poulsen and Robin MacDonald who scrutinized various chapters; to Dr. Richard Robinson who assisted with manuscript review, and to Sanne Knudsen who did the proofreading. Many of the illustrations have been reproduced from other publications. The sources are quoted below the illustrations and at the end of each chapter.
The cover was designed by Ove Broo Sørensen. The preparation of the book has been financed partly by the COWI-fund and the Danish International Development Assistance (Danida). This help is gratefully acknowledged. A frequent justification for construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of highways in developing countries is that improved transport facilities are promoting road development. This is most explicitly demonstrated in the great number of cases where road works are financed by grants from national or international aid agencies or by loans from the World Bank or one of the regional development banks.
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