The history of bulk gravel being used as a ubiquitous material in construction of virtually all scales goes back for thousands of years. As long as people have been building things, gravel and other materials that are known as “aggregates” have been a part of the process. Even in modern society, the benefits and relatively low cost of using bulk gravel in numerous applications make them a key element of building.
For one thing, few materials will provide the same incredible combination of stability and fluid permeability. In other words, bulk gravel has tremendous load bearing capabilities, but will allow things like rainfall to seep through the gaps between the small stones very readily.
For situations where allowing standing water can lead to issues, this is a crucial consideration, and it’s one reason why bulk gravel is such a common choice as a foundation for railroad tracks. Submerged tracks can quickly become a serious safety issue for locomotives, and having a base for the tracks that isn’t completely solid helps to prevent this from occurring.
The tendency of bulk gravel to shift in order to conform to variances in terrain is another aspect that proves quite useful. For example, since bulk gravel is used as a base agent for making asphalt, it means that the ground beneath the road in question doesn’t need to be as perfectly flat and smooth as the finished road will be.
A reasonably thick layer of the asphalt mix can be laid onto the ground, where it will conform to small crevices and differences in the firmness of the soil.