Rural Roads

Chapter 14: Rural Roads

Other Internet and Print Resources

NOTE: Listing of a resource does not constitute USAID endorsement or certificationResources and References Click to jump to the desired section.

  • Best Management Practices-General
  • Planning Issues and Special Applications
  • Basic Engineering Considerations for Low-Volume Roads
  • Culvert Use, Installation, and Sizing
  • Bridge Location and Design Factors
  • Slope Stabilization and Stability of Cuts and Fill
  • Roadway Materials
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention

NOTE. Almost all references here are taken from:

Keller, G., and James Sherar. Forthcoming. Low-Volume Roads Engineering: Best Management Practices and Field Guide. Washington, DC: USAID, USDA, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. This report is expected to be published in 2003. Draft digital copy available at [DRAFT]The guide also has an extended bibliography for readers in need of more depth or detail regarding specific issues and applications. In addition to the topics listed below, the extended bibliography offers references for hydrology for drainage crossing design; tools for hydraulic and road design including Manning’s Formula, riprap, filters, and the use of geosynthetics; general considerations for drainage of low-volume roads; fords and low-water crossings; physical, vegetative and biotechnical methods of erosion control; and stabilization of gullies. The extended bibliography can be found at
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Best Management Practices-General

  • Environmental Protection Agency (2005). National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Forestry. EPA Contract No. 68-c7-0014, Work Assignment #2-20. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water by Tetra Tech, Fairfax, Virginia.


A comprehensive guide to measures for reducing water pollution from roads and logging activities.


  • Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (1987). Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont.
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (1995). Wisconsin’s Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality: Field Manual for Loggers, Landowners and Land Managers. Publication No. FR093.
  • World Bank, Transport Division of the Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice-Presidency and Transportation, Water & Urban Development Department. Washington, D.C.;_over.htm


Links to tools and literature covering many dimensions of road construction, including planning, financing, institutional management, safety, construction and maintenance, environment, and tolls, among others.


  • World Bank (1997). Roads and the Environment: A Handbook. World Bank Technical Report TWU 13, and update WB Technical Paper No. 376. World Bank, Washington, D.C. (Part II details specific environmental, social, and other impacts). Online:


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Planning Issues and Special Applications


  • Dykstra, D. and R. Heinrich (1996). FAO Model Code of Forest Harvesting Practice. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
  • Keller, G., G. Bauer and M. Aldana (1995). Minimum Impact Rural Roads (Caminos Rurales Con Impactos Minimos). Training manual written in Spanish for the USDA Forest Service International Programs, USAID, and Programa de Caminos Rurales, Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Manual is currently being rewritten in English.)
  • Oregon Department of Forestry (2000). Forest Roads Manual. Forest Engineering Coordinator, State Forests Program, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Salem, OR (503-945-7371).


This manual provides basic information about logging road design, construction and maintenance.


  • Tanzania National Parks, et al. (2001) TANAPA Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Road Improvements in Tanzania National Parks. Four volumes, including Environmental Management Guidelines for Road Improvements. September. Available at [10MB download]


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Basic Engineering Considerations for Low-Volume Roads


  • Australian Road Research Board Limited (1993). Unsealed Roads Manual: Guidelines to Good Practice. Vermont, South Victoria, Australia. Available to order at;=view&id;=328&Itemid;=294


A useful manual for gravel road design and maintenance, particularly in semi-arid regions.


  • Casaday, E. and B. Merrill (2001). Field Techniques for Forest and Range Road Removal. Eureka, California. California State Parks, North Coast Redwoods District. 63p.


A useful field guide to road closure and obliteration, with great photos and figures.

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Culvert Use, Installation, and Sizing


  • Normann, J.M., R.J. Houghtalen and W.J. Johnston (1985) (Reprinted 1998). Hydraulic Design of Highway Culverts. Hydraulic Design Series No. 5. Tech. Rep. No. FHWA-IP-86-15 HDS 5. September. McLean, VA: Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Implementation. 265 p.


Includes a comprehensive design for both conventional culverts and culverts with inlet improvements.

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Bridge Location and Design Factors


  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (2002). Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges (17th Edition). ISBN Number: 1-56051-171-0 Available for purchase at:


Covers the design of wood, steel, and concrete bridges, as well as structural plate structures.

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Slope Stabilization and Stability of Cuts and Fill


  • Mohney, J. (1994). Retaining Wall Design Guide. 2d ed. Tech. Rep. No. EM-7170-14. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Engineering Staff. Also, Pub. No. FHWA-FLP-94-006. September. Washington, D.C.: Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Lands Highway Program. 537 p.


Covers the analysis and design of a wide variety of retaining walls.

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Roadway Materials


  • ARRB Transport Research Ltd. (1996). Road Dust Control Techniques: Evaluation of Chemical Dust Suppressants’ Performance. Spec. Rep. 54. Victoria, Australia. Available to order from


Covers the products available, how they work, selecting the product, and the product’s environmental impacts.

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HIV/AIDS Prevention


  • HEARD – Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division, University of Natal, Durban, RSA.


Provides toolkits, presentations, publications, links, statistics and more.


  • Rau, B. 2002. Workplace HIV/AIDS Programs: An Action Guide for Managers. Family Health International. 85 p.