Coming from the Italian cunetta, the term gutter is used to refer to the ditch that is created on the sides of a road or path to receive rainwater. By collecting the water and directing it to a place where it does not cause problems, these channels prevent the circulation route from being flooded.

It is important to understand that the ditches must be located on the sides of the land communication routes to partially counteract the impact they generate on the environment. These works include highways, roads, railways and highways (also called highways ), as well as bridges and tunnels that serve to connect them to each other.

The origins of the gutters are found in the fortifications of antiquity, where they were created in ditches as a method of drainage. Over time, the ditches began to be built on different types of roads.

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By presenting a lower level than the rest of the road, rainwater accumulates in the gutter. In addition, due to its design, the gutter allows directing said water to a safe place. If there were no gutters, the streets would be flooded since the water could not run off.

Although land communication routes are built with the aim of facilitating the movement of inhabitants from one point to another, mainly to carry out their work activities and contribute to the economic growth of cities, these potential benefits have an initial price., which is precisely the environmental impact, and that is why gutters must be created, among other elements that aim to partially recover the existing balance before the works.

It can be said that the gutter is the angle formed by the difference in level between the sidewalk and the road. This difference causes the rainwater to accumulate there, and not on the road used by vehicles to circulate.

The gutter must remain clean so that it can fulfill its function. If garbage accumulates in the gutter, the water cannot run off. Another possibility is that the waste ends up being carried away by the water and clogging the drains. Public road maintenance works are very expensive but must be carried out with absolute priority and uninterrupted frequency; when these obligations are not met, the problems accumulate exponentially and the state of the city declines considerably.

It is curious that certain animal species take advantage of the gutters to disperse, although this proves the great power of adaptation that living beings possess. The big-headed pond turtle from the Pantanal is an example of such a phenomenon, since it is common to see it in the gutters when they fill with water, especially in the larger ones.

On the other hand, the structure that is used to complement the asphalt pavement is called gutter cord ; it is the part of it that is immediately next to the lateral curbs (these can also be called gutter curbs ). Likewise, this name can be applied to the strips that cross the intersections. The gutter curb is usually developed with a piece of concrete ( concrete ) that is molded into the desired shape.

The curb can be very necessary to improve the conditions of a city. For example, it can represent a solution to secure drains, definitively establish levels and lines, build sidewalks to provide a greater and permanent degree of consolidation to the pre-existing urbanization, with a considerably lower cost than a complete pavement work. For these reasons, the curb can be an ideal option in areas farthest from urban centers.