Story: Roads

Road construction (2nd of 3)

Road construction

For many years picks, shovels and muscle were the main tools for road works. Roads were often built up with rock that lay close to hand. If a bluff had to be blasted for the road to pass, the rubble was used in the road works. Road workers of this era smoked tobacco in clay pipes and wore bowyangs – string tied around their knees to keep their trousers clear of the mud.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, James McAllister Collection (PAColl-3054)
Reference: 1/2-021078; C
Photograph by James McAllister

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Roads - Building roads', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2022)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 11 Mar 2010, updated 1 Mar 2016