No Sense of Humor: The Final Chapter: For Now

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Chances are, after packed, you may need one more load of dirt to get 12 inches packed. So do that now i. Make sure you have at least 6 inches of packed dirt over any culvert. Step 8. Inspect the driveway and get issues resolved before paying. There shouldn't be a lot of dirt to move, just smooth it out to remove car tracks from packing and add a crown. You may also be able to do this by hand with a rake, but will take a while, and will make you very sore, but is an option when you have a lot of time and no money. Call the quary so you know how much stone you need, and how much it will cost.

Then when you call the driver to schedule, tell him how much stone you need and how much the quarry charges, and negotiate a delivery fee. If he charges you by the truckload for the stone not weight you are getting ripped off. Ask to see the quary scale ticket for each load he delivers so you know the driver got a full load and is not pocketing some of your stone money. Always pay truck drivers in cash if you can, after each truckload, and give them a tip on top of their fee and they will go out of their way for you and save you lots of labor. The amount of work required, will depend on how good your driver is at tailgate spreading stone.

If he dumps it in big piles, you may need to rent that bobcat again. Park on the street just in case he dumps it all in one bug pile, so you can still get out to rent that bobcat. Step 9. Drive on it for several months and then check it. Look at it closely and when it has a very, very flat surface with no stones sticking up almost like pavement. Every stone should be down tight so you can't wiggle them. You should not hear any stones moving as you drive on it. The stones should be packed tight. Then you are ready for the next step. After the first few dozen trips up and back in your vehicle to pack it a little, rain won't harm it anymore so don't worry too much if it takes you several months, and several rain storms to get it packed real tight.

But remember, never dump stone of any size in mud, or it will sink. Step Rake smooth again but don't disturb and of the packed 2 inch stone. Now your driveway is smooth and won't vibrate loose the fillings in your teeth when you drive on it. By the end of the year, most of this top layer will disappear down into the cracks between your stone, so you will see the top surface of your 2 inch stone again, but it will remain smooth driving and you are done with your driveway, never to have to work on your driveway again, so you can put all your time and energy into other projects. After a few years, when you tell your neighbors you no longer have to maintain your driveway anymore, they will hire you to fix their's!

Funny you should say this - the second guy I hired to put in my french-drain was suppose to continue the ditch and rock all the way, but stopped at the drain part. It was a big job and he was out here for many hours, maybe he bid the job wrong, but I couldn't get him back out by then he was to busy with other jobs. LOL - yes, my daughter and I went out during a downpour and dug a trench starting at the end of the french-drain rock a bit up slope to end right at the bad area that has standing water.

The next day we dug a fish-pound to hold even more water, but it only helps a little. From here we are at our front gate and the main road, so no where to go - at least not this winter. The french-drain end was flooding better section of road, but past that it went right into the cow tent very bad so I had to move it further down the driveway no options. You've got that right So I have some earthworks in my near future for sure. That's where you all are helping me loads. And I'm going to use this information to help with redesigning the cows common areas.

I already kind of used your idea of building up - for my hay storage tent. I had an area just above where the water is standing on my driveway now, up toward the house. This area has a large oak tree near the road and always became swampy at the back near the hill. So I had a dump truck load of washed 2" rock dumped there, sloping up from my road, about 3' deep and meeting the hillside. This is where the last 20' of french drain was buried. On this I put my pallets and car canopy.

It has worked out great, so high and dry - a perfect hay barn, easy to load just off the driveway. I cannot widen my driveway in at least one of the bad areas - the one where the cow walks is hemmed-in by large trees and pole fencing. All my my oak-park the center of my loop driveway is gently slopping and has no problems.

Even my road on the up-hill side is higher while my road on the down-hill side is lower - so the rain is moving without causing any issues to the roads. The area the cow walks through is a bit lower than the part where the fencing is - so bringing it up higher in that section sounds like the answer. Hans Quistorff. The error I see here in the PNW is people filling potholes with gravel and no fines. To repair a pothole ad stones and gravel to the level of the road then take sand and clay from the side of the road, so that you maintain the crown, and tamp it inaround the stone and gravel until all of the water is driven out of the hole.

The glacial till subsoil here makes great roads if it is elevated and crowned. Bogs and clay flood plains are another matter. One advantage is that except for August the road stays damp enough that it is not dusty. One of my memories of the Allagash Wilderness in Maine was driving a logging road where they kept dumping dirt in a bog and the weight of the log trucks pushed it down and it came up on the sides making a hill on each side of the road higher than our car. A maintenance trick is to take an old bed frame and weight it with some logs.

I will have to look into these U channels - I also drive on our main road like you say, one tire on the crown and one on the side keeping out of the normal ruts. But the driveway road on my place is flat, and most of it is working great even though I'm sure it could use some rock in places. That reminds me, does anyone have suggestions for keeping new loose rock from getting moved off road. I imagine applying it when the ground is soft and then compacting it would help, walking on a loose rock is so annoying. Here are the pictures I promised - I hope they help. It hasn't been raining today, but it was last night.

Water is flowing in my hand-dug ditch, but the entire low-area is not flooded just a puddle or two - so that's a big improvement. However, when lots of rain is coming down the entire area up to the berm of my ditch is flooded in 2" of water. The animal areas across the driveway are very mucky this year. I put them there because it did have rock and was very solid and nice one year ago In the last picture, all that muck used to be my looped driveway, but it's a steady down-hill until it flattens out just before connecting with that other bit of road in the first pictures.

I have much more road, a large parking area and road to my pump house, but these are the only places that are in need of help - so I guess it's not to bad Jami, thank you for the photos. It helps a lot. It appears from your photos, that if you look 12 inches to the right and left of your driveway, that the ground level is about the same height as your driveway, give or take a few inches. That is why your driveway is always soggy and mushy. If you raise your driveway 12 inches and put knitted 2 inch stone on top, like I described above, you will not get any more potholes, or soggy driveway.

If this results in a wider driveway, then move your fence. Even if you put blacktop or concrete at the level it is now, it will sink and crack. It must be raised high enough that the additional mass will dissipate the load so enough to no longer sink when your subsoil gets soaked. Also, I can't tell how all the water running down the hill and into your ditch and french drain, gets off your property. You need to provide a place for that water to go so it doesn't swamp your driveway in a storm.

If you want to improve the puddle area that is low without doing a major renovation you can use the method I outlined Hans Quistorff wrote: The error I see here in the PNW is people filling potholes with gravel and no fines. You may be able to use some of your rocky slope as a base in the puddles and then the fines the side of the road that is higher than necessary.

My driveway across a one foot flood plain which is clay was established years ago as a CCC work project with a ditch on both sides. It had to be widened to bring the hose in so they cleared the vegetation on the field side and added subsoil to move the ditch over 5 feet. That made a grassy slop to one side just like yours.

The road is even better now because the drainage from the floodplain is farther from the main road bed. There were a few ruts and low spots from the construction traffic but also a pile of drain stone left over so I was able to repair using the method outlined above. What my raw milk dairy does for the path to the milking parlor is put down a strip of the canvas that is used to carry the paper as it dries in the paper mill but that scrap may not be available in your area.

Check with carpet layers for replaced carpet it will work well over a path of arborist chips. When it gets covered with cow pies turn it over and the rain will filter that down and eventually your cow path will be a compost pile. It is more work to maintain a path for them than a road for vehicles. During dry weather walk them where you want a ditch. When the wet weather comes the pat will fill with water. I have seen many hillsides rutted by the water fallowing the cow path.

Permis principle: Observe, use or avoid to get the most benefit with the least extra input. If it were my cow walk, I would start with a parallel trench about 4 inches deep, just uphill from it, which from the photo looks to be between the walk and the tree, but I'm not sure one end heading as downhill as you can make it, crossing over the cow walk at the lowest point and extending beyond it.

If it requires starting higher than the tree and ending up lower than the walk, that may be how it needs to go, but no more than a 6 inch difference from beginning of trench to end of trench so that the high end of the trench catches that water that is on your cow walk. The trench takes precedence, and it might reroute the cow walk in a place or two, but Mother Nature isn't going to necessarily agree with where you want your pathway.

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Dig it so that you can see the water moving as quickly as possible. Dig it when it's sloppy like that so you see the results as you dig. Then wait 30 mins or so and see if the walk doesn't dry out, and that the water stays in the trench, moving along it. It will take some gravel there, which doesn't hurt in any case, since it helps keep mud from getting on shoes and being tracked onto patios, decks, garages, etc.

Add to it as the vehicles press it down. Eventually it will stop sinking. If more than 4 feet of the driveway is lower and goes under water, a second trench parallel to the driveway, about a foot away, between the driveway and the French drain, will catch that water and send it in the same direction as the French drain. And, yeah, definitely extend that French drain beyond there, even if it has to pass back over the driveway to a lower spot. If you put it there when it's dry, vehicles will shoot it off to the side, and it can even roll out from underfoot.

So even though this wet time of year doesn't make it easy, it get the gravel pressed well into place and it will show you which sections sink the most and need more gravel. Cristo, Filling potholes only works if you have the right type of soil or bedrock. Where I live, we have clay 13 feet deep. I have tried it all. I can put rocks and pack with rock dust, even filled holes with concrete. Everything sinks. Lots of people told me to dig ditches along my driveway, but since the ground is flat, they eventually fill up and flood the drive anyway or close enough that is soaks through to soften my driveway.

Ditches are great if you can slop them enough that the water rushes out and keeps them from filling with sediment, but around here it is very flat, and the county pays a fortune every other year to dig them out again along all the roadways. Instead, I took that money I was going to spend for digging ditches and spent it on fill to raise my driveway, and lay knitted stone so I have zero maintenance for a few decades. I just shake my head every other year I see the county come through and re-dig the ditches again. And the black top roads are sinking and cracking, and get flooded when the ditches fill up with rainwater.

Brett, yeah, I know what you mean. I have an 8-foot clay base and when saturated even the 2" stuff sinks at first. I imagine your fill was not clay? And how thick was your fill? Did you put fabric under it? How long ago did you put in your fill and how it is holding up? My rock driveway does need occasional additions, but fewer now than 20 years ago.

Jamie and I may be in similar situations in that there is little or no summer rain, so the trenches and seeping water only happens in about a 4- or 5-month period. A two-foot puddle isn't exactly as big an issue, compared to a whole roadway or driveway that is sitting on saturated clay. Here's what I did on the flat part that was saturated with seepage, even a week after rain:.

Sorry, Brett, I reread your post, you did it 6 years ago and raised it 12". Cristo, My fill dirt was mostly sand, which is terrible because it never gets real hard. Ever tried driving on the beach? I think clay fill or rregular soil would be better, but it really doesn't matter, because the method I am suggesting the fill doesn't do much besides raise your roadbed, and help dissipate the pressur. Think about if you were to build a road over a bog. You can just put down dirt and drive on it because you would sink in the bog.

So you could build a bridge, with concrete piers and footings, but those piers would sink into the bog unless you had HUGE footings. That is what I am doing. The fill dirt simply acts as a footing to dissipate the weight of your vehicle. But what keeps my vehicle from sinking into the sand base? See details above in my first post the 11th posting to this thread. So the ground under my driveway can get soft from long time standing water seeping through my subsoil, and when it rains, through my sand.

But my vehicle never sinks because its weight is spread over such a large footprint by the time it reaches the subsoil, the psi load is very very small. You can think of my 12 inch thick driveway as floating on the mud, although that isn't technically correct. I did not put a fabrick anywhere. Once the stone knitted very, very, very important , then I spread 2 inches of crusher run. See details above. I put it in at least 6 years ago, maybe 10, can't remember exactely, and it is as good as the day it was installed. I would never cut a ditch across my driveway or it would defeat the knitted stone and would start sinking again.

All my stones are very tightly packed and cannot move. Not much else matters. Here's another analogy that might help you understand what I mean. Have you ever seen those old Roman roads? The stone masons cut those large 12 inch stones to fit together very tightly. That is what I did with my 4 inches of 2-inch stone. If you put it down when your base fill dirt sand in my case is packed and dry, the stones will roll around a bit and after months of driving on them, and a few rains, the stones will settle with their flat side up, very tightly packed, just like a Roman road except with smaller stone and a LOT less work.

Since the stones are so tightly packed, there is a lot of friction between each stone and its surrounding neighbors, that the friction keeps it from sinking when my car runs over it. It is acting like a fabric, but is just packed stone. Brett, yeah, I learned to drive a stick shift on the beach, you let some of the air out of the tires! Just don't take your eyes off those rogue waves while your brain is trying to get the hang of where the clutch point is!

Bad for the paint job and the engine compartment! Eventually the rock in the photo did stop sinking, so it packed together in some fashion, and it's stable. But there are no open trenches on it. The photo just shows the layout of what worked as far as drainage coming from a seep uphill from that foot section. The perforated pipe is below the surface, and the ends are covered with screen that rodents can't chew through. But however many hundreds of kinds of clays there are would all react differently, so I guess the better we understand what soil we have, the more we know how to anticipate what it does.

I'm no soils engineer, but I am not sure about just any fill on just any native soil. I imagine there are many combinations that wouldn't be as successful as yours. Here follows the condensed form of a lifetime of road building experience in developing countries: 2. You need to know what kind of subsoil is underneath your proposed road bed.

Cars Falling Off Cliffs and Bridges

If you have sticky clay, or slippery clay, or expanding clay, or an old pond or lake then you are going to have problems. You can dump rocks for years on these soils and the stones will just keep sinking. The sand will stabilize Jello-like clay subsoils. In any area with unstable subsoil always spread SAND first.

If you have really deep clay you might have to use 2 or even 3 feet of sand. Beware of hillsides next to roads. Hillsides collect vast amounts of water that can wash out your road. Translation: You need good ditches alongside your road. Swales should be not less than 8 feet wide and 2 feet deep lined with at least 6 inches of rip-rap. This may seem big but is necessary to carry the volume of storm runoff. Install culverts any place water cuts across the road bed. This is necessary to prevent road washouts.

The best time to inspect roads is during the rainy season or any time you get a big rain storm. Drive or walk the road and flag areas that need attention. To build "rough" roads you need to use any convenient source of local stone. You also need 4 essential pieces of heavy equipment: A dump truck, a front-end loader, a grader, and a roller. A gas powered back pack blower or hand held is far better than a rake! Two traditional methods which work but may not agree with you are: 1 tar the surface.

I believe you could get a local construction company to do this as spraying hot tar may not be a chore you want to do 2 If your driveway is already compacted and drains well this is my preferred solution: Crusher run or Crushed stone: this is generally limestone or dolomite that has been crushed and graded by screens to certain size classes. Here is my math, Kevinsky.

Square footage divided by 81 gives you the yardage necessary to cover at 4" depth; sq. I could have fried my brain, just want to make sure I am telling people the correct math. If I wanted 2" depth I divide by 2 and I get. I've used sq. This isn't matching what you are saying and by golly I am worried Crushed gravels with minus compacted are the only way to go in my opinion. Never had a problem even on slopes losing gravel. All my gravels were edged with pt 2X4 and a gas powered blower kept all in check. Merve Turnbuckle Merve Turnbuckle 55 2 2 bronze badges.

Try using a gravel stabiliser! I used one on my driveway, which was also on a slope. It was very inexpensive, but I'd check prices for yourself. Harry Harry 31 1 1 bronze badge. Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. Sign up using Facebook. Sign up using Email and Password. Post as a guest Name. Email Required, but never shown. Featured on Meta. Custom Filters release announcement. Alone or combined with other factors, water can be disastrous. The subgrade of the road is what it is built on, the soils. If this foundation is poor, the road's life will be significantly reduced.

Ifthe subgrade is water saturated, the condition will be worse. Most maintained dirt and gravel roads are quite old. Current maintenance crews were not involved in the construction. If poor quality materials were used or the workmanship was substandard, maintenance crews inherit numerous headaches with the road. And even when materials and workmanship are up to standards, the road may not have been built to handle today's heavier traffic loads. Traffic volumes and weights have both increased substantially in the last 20 years.

The combination of water and increased traffic loads is potentially disastrous for our roads. That is why maintenance practices are so important. Poor maintenance equals poor roads. If there are drainage problems, however, even the best maintenance is doomed unless drainage problems are taken care of first. The environment and climate also affect road conditions. The environment, as defined here, refers to vegetation, soil, sand, rocks, drainage conditions, and the overall stability of the area. Climate dictates the local weather conditions. Weather includes rain, freeze-thaw cycles, and hot sun that can dry out soils and road materials.

Looking at all these factors affecting roads, we should ask ourselves "What can we control? The same factors that affect the road affect the environment. Water feeds vegetation and streams and creates habitats, but also causes erosion, flooding, and sedimentation. Our roads certainly affect the environment along with our maintenance practices. Poor road structure and material quality, increased traffic levels, and proximity to waterways lead to erosion, sediment and dust pollution problems.

Again, we should ask, "What can we control? Road conditions are deeply intertwined with the surrounding environment. Concentrated water flows accelerate erosion, overloading natural systems. Excess sediment clogs our streams.

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Dust becomes sediment in our streams, generates complaints from residents and harms plants, animals, people and equipment. Chemical contamination complicates the picture even more because oils, nutrients, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic substances bind to dust and sediment and go along for the ride to pollute our streams and waterways. Dirt and gravel roads are a major potential source of these pollutants. Many roads have unstable surfaces and bases.

Roads act like dams, concentrating flows that accelerate erosion of road materials and roadsides. Both unstable surfaces and accelerated erosion then lead to sediment and dust. The close proximity of roads and streams thus establishes the connection. Because road systems are situated close to streams within the natural environment, they affect the natural systems as they are in turn affected by the natural processes that take place there.

The two systems - roads and the environment - are interrelated. Thus, in order to fix road problems, we must understand some things regarding each system to find a solution beneficial to both our roads and the environment. John Muir, who has been called the father of our National Park system, summed it up in this statement: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

Even though the goal of road maintenance personnel is to maintain good roads, accepted maintenance practices do not always adequately address the road's relationship to the environment. Why do we do what we do? Because we've always done it that way? There are many things that we do that may not be the best way for the environment or the road.

In fact, many existing practices cause damaging sediment pollution, impacting both the road and the environment. Vegetation management is a major example where many existing practices become counterproductive. Traditional "daylighting" exposes bare soil, disrupts ecological succession and eliminates soil-stabilizing roots, all of which increase erosion and sedimentation, damaging both the road and the environment. In addition, excessive sunlight can dry the roadbed, leading to excessive dust generation.

Maybe we should consider leaving existing root structures undisturbed, thinning canopy cover to allow moderate sunlight, and avoid clearing banks just because they are there. Using nature's patterns and forces can result in better roads, less erosion and sediment pollution and lower maintenance costs. Bank cutting and undercutting results in extensive sediment runoff, blocked ditches, and increased cyclical maintenance. On the other hand, refraining from cutting the toe of slopes, using headwalls to reduce pipe inlet and bank erosion, and using diversion or intercepting swales preserve both road quality and the environment.

Conveying road and ditch runoff to the nearest stream using the most direct route possible has long been an established practice. Any type or amount of sediment being carried by that runoff is also dumped directly into the stream. But directing culvert and ditch outlets turnouts, bleeders into a vegetative filtering area will help filter out the sediment, allow water infiltration and groundwater recharge, and protect the stream ecology.

Road aggregate quality directly impacts both the survival of the road and the environment. Using a good road material that remains in place and prolongs road life will also benefit the total environment. Undersizing and oversizing water channels, bank armoring, and flow redirection can disrupt stream energy, increasing maintenance costs and causing environmental harm.

Understanding stream flows and the natural forces can help to establish better practices to again protect both the road and the environment. Clearly, many traditional practices are counterproductive. They should be replaced with more productive measures that incorporate our knowledge of roads and natural systems.

The result will be better roads, less sediment pollution, and lower maintenance costs. The goal of road maintenance personnel has always been good roads through proper maintenance at the lowest cost. We want to keep this goal, but expand our vision. We need to take a different look at our roads and see the total environment in which our roads are contained.

This environment affects the life of our roads just as the road affects the environment. If our goal within this project is to protect the environment through reduction of erosion, sediment and dust pollution, then let's combine our goals. Let's use additional and improved maintenance techniques and practices that benefit both the roads and the environment.

Any effective road maintenance program needs to consider and address safety. A safe transportation system is essential and remains part of our overall goal. Maintaining our roads and environment, however, need not come at the expense of safety. In fact, roads maintained in an environmentally friendly way have more structural strength, suffer less deterioration, and have fewer defects, and, thereby, are also safer. The goals of low-cost, environmentally sensitive maintenance and improved road safety can be combined seamlessly. The mission, as stated, is to address the pollution problem of erosion, sediment and dust stemming from our dirt and gravel roads and affecting our streams.

To meet this mission, the manual centers on an important philosophy or rationale. To municipal road maintenance personnel, the road has been "sacred. We need to initiate a change in this thinking. We can no longer afford to think only about the road. In addition, we need to make the connection that both good roads and a good environment are important to the welfare of local governments and their residents.

Only when this thinking changes can it be converted into action. In presenting "environmentally sensitive practices," this manual will illustrate to the users how easy these practices are to use and how useful and beneficial they become in prolonging the life of the road and protecting the environment. To accomplish this, however, the practices need to be simple, practical, and easy to incorporate into a routine road maintenance program.

The manual will give the users a "tool box" full of environmentally sensitive maintenance 'tools' or practices, recognizing that no one tool or practice can fit every situation or site or solve all their problems. Because every road and every site along that road is different, we need a toolbox from which we can select the appropriate tool or tools to help solve whatever situation we encounter.

To meet the mission and put "punch" into our philosophy, we set our objectives as follows: 1. Enable the user to recognize the connection between road maintenance and the environment and the importance of good roads and a good environment for good government. Enable the user to recognize sources of erosion, sediment and dust pollution associated with roads and the importance of preventing these pollution sources. Enable the user to recognize that standards cannot fit every situation and that sound decisions require proper knowledge of basic principles and practices.

Most standards, although often dictated as requirements, should be presented as only guidelines that need to be adjusted or revised to fit each particular site or problem area in the field. To know, however, what "tool" to use or what adjustment is needed, one needs to recognize basic principles and practices not only related to road maintenance but also to the natural systems that influence these roads, leading to our 4th objective.

Arm the user with knowledge on basic principles of nature and natural systems as applied to road maintenance and a healthy environment and on basic road maintenance materials and techniques. The user needs to know the basics of nature and the natural forces, and how they can be applied to help establish good roads and protect the environment.

In addition, to make sure we are "on the same road"; we want to cover the road basics of good materials and techniques. Arm the user with knowledge on environmentally sensitive maintenance practices and the effective use of these practices in road maintenance. To accomplish this comprehensive list of objectives, the manual contains 7 chapters.

Chapter 1 - Introduction: Chapter 1 is simply an introduction to the manual. The mission and scope of the manual is introduced, followed by a discussion on the importance of dirt and gravel roads. We then start to make the connection between roads and the environment and discuss the shortcomings of traditional road maintenance practices.

The chapter then shows the value of combining the goals of good roads and a good environment. The manual philosophy is then discussed, followed by the objectives and this description of contents. To close, the need for essential programs is covered, with an appendix to describe the Pennsylvania program as a case study. Chapter 2 - Geology and Soils: This chapter discusses geologic time and relentless natural forces, looking at geological regions, topography, weather, rocks and soils.

The chapter demonstrates how geology and natural forces give us what we have to work with and the conditions under which we have to work. Geology dictates the aggregates available for road materials and the soils available to support the natural vegetation. Chapter 3 - Water, Erosion, Drainage and Road Basics: This chapter starts with basic principles of erosion and how roads cause accelerated erosion and increased sediment and the importance of preventing this pollution, showing the connection between roads and the environment.

This module hits hard on the importance of good drainage, discussing the characteristics and effects of water on roads. Discussion then turns to road materials, what's being used and what we need to be concerned with. We then review basic road maintenance techniques for dirt and gravel roads - basic grading operations, road crown, etc.

Chapter 4 - Basics of Natural Systems: This chapter sets the basics on the natural side, presenting guiding principles by defining ecology and discussing three distinct ecosystems: the streams, wetlands, and forests or uplands. We stress the important benefits of these areas and set the stage to discuss, in a later module, how we can use these systems to help in road maintenance. This is unfamiliar area to most road maintenance personnel.

The user should read this chapter with an eye to relating roads and road maintenance to natural systems. Chapter 5 - Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Practices: Having set the basics for both roads and the natural systems, this chapter presents the environmentally sensitive maintenance practices, with emphasis on road profiles, ditches, culverts, and bridges. Simple, straightforward, easy to implement practices are presented - some of which may already be familiar, or some that may be just tweaking something already in use.

Others may be new, but still simple and easy to implement. Chapter 6 - Roadsides and Streams: This chapter discusses the value of roadside vegetation management and the important factors affecting bank stability. The chapter then builds on this discussion to show how we can use the forests and natural systems to help reduce road maintenance, introducing more environmentally sensitive maintenance practices. We review common practices and the associated problems that can be detrimental in the long term for both roads and the environment, followed by alternative methods to improve or enhance the existing conditions e.

This leads to more environmentally sensitive maintenance practices for vegetation management and bank stabilization, ending with an introduction to a variety of bioengineering techniques for stream banks. Chapter 7 - Additional Maintenance Techniques: Chapter 7 continues to add tools to the toolbox, discussing three specific areas: dust control, road stabilization full-depth reclamation , and the world of geosynthetics. The geosynthetics section emphasizes geotextile separation fabrics along with other geosynthetics used in actual road projects including a drainage pipe project case study, demonstrating the variety of functions and uses that geosynthetics play in road maintenance.

No change in our environment will occur without a change in thinking. Roads do not exist in isolation. They are an integral part of the environment.

Falling Out of Place

A change to the road changes the environment. An environmental shift has consequences for the road. Until those performing maintenance on our roads understand this relationship, both the roads and the environment will continue to suffer. The way to change thinking is through training and technical assistance, coupled with funding. The message must be clear, simple, and easy to administer.

It must be targeted at local and regional road maintenance managers. As a case study, Appendix 1 presents Pennsylvania's Program as a successful model and resource for other states in meeting this mission. Appendix lisa description of the program development and implementation, with a discussion of the essential criteria for a successful program. In developing an understanding of the problem, the program team, spearheaded by the State Conservation Commission, developed a philosophy that simplifies administration, holds the stream sacred, and strives for better roads and reduced maintenance.

This exemplifies a major change in "thinking and doing" for road maintenance personnel, where traditionally the road had priority. The program leads them to consider both the road and the environment as important and how natural systems can help with overall road maintenance. Pennsylvania has over , total miles , km of public roads, including both paved and unpaved. Local municipal governments own and maintain two thirds of that total mileage. Of that total mileage, nearly 20, miles 32, km are unpaved dirt and gravel roads.

Local municipal governments own and maintain the majority of dirt and gravel roads with over 17, miles 27, km. Dirt and gravel road mileage continues to decline as development and traffic volumes increase and more and more roads become paved, but dirt and gravel roads will remain a significant part of Pennsylvania road mileage into the future.

Gravel road - Wikipedia

Pennsylvania's dirt and gravel roads play an important role for the commonwealth. They provide vital direct access for over 3. They also provide vital access to Pennsylvania's industry, namely our top industries of agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism. In fact, tourism is projected to become our state's number one industry, a position that has been held by agriculture. To emphasize, Pennsylvania's dirt and gravel roads have always played an important role, are still playing that role, and will remain playing that role into the future.

The results and publicity of that meeting held in Pleasant Gap, PA, sowed the seeds of the program. Lead by Trout Unlimited, various individuals, organizations and agencies became active in addressing this problem on a statewide basis. The Task Force set out to! They began by conducting field surveys of roads and streams to identify actual conditions in the affected watersheds. Using volunteers no funding was available , they zeroed in on protected watersheds identified as Exceptional Value and High Quality.

Just surveying these areas was a huge undertaking Figure Al A great number of volunteers were needed, and Trout Unlimited, with its 55 PA chapters, provided most of the manpower.

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A simplified manual card system was developed to record actual field conditions. The volunteers received onsite training to help ensure consistent results. These surveys identified actual "trouble spots" of sediment pollution into streams throughout the commonwealth. These pollution trouble spots became the initial worksites and, when viewed plotted on a map Figure Al-2 , substantiated the problem. With the problem substantiated, the Task Force needed to look at a solution.

Who was maintaining these dirt and gravel roads? Why were the problems of erosion and sediment occurring? What did they need to do to correct the problems? Municipal governments owned the roads, so the Task Force looked to existing road maintenance. They found that even though the goal was to maintain good roads, existing accepted maintenance practices did not always adequately address environmental concerns.

To solve the existing and continually occurring pollution problems required maintenance managers to change their thinking to see the road as part of the environment. This change in thinking had to lead to changes in procedures. Improved maintenance techniques that were good for both the roads and the environment had to be used. To initiate this change, the task force recognized two major needs - training and money.

Legislation was necessary to meet these needs. Section took effect July 1, The legislation stated that the identified "trouble spots" would be the top priority, recognizing the significance of the volunteer work that substantiated the problem and led to the legislation. The legislation also required grant recipients to receive training as a prerequisite to applying for grant funds. They allocate the money to the County Conservation Districts who are responsible for administering the program at the local level. This board provides recommendations back to the County Conservation District for formal approval.

Grant recipients are the local municipalities or state agencies that own and maintain dirt and gravel roads. Two major points emphasized through the program legislation are simplicity and local control. The program organization meets these points with a requirement of a one- page grant application form and with the charge given to the County Conservation Districts to implement the program. What better way to keep it simple and have the program handled at the local level?

The program's major goal is to reduce the pollution due to erosion, sedimentation, and dust associated with dirt and gravel roads in the commonwealth. To meet this goal, a strong program basis to protect the dirt and gravel roads was formulated. Several decisions were made by the program initiators and agreed upon through the legislation. First, the program supports maintaining dirt and gravel roads as dirt and gravel.

The program will not fund paving these roads. Second, to minimize road maintenance and stretch limited resources, cost effective maintenance practices that are not only good for prolonging road life but also for protecting the environment are essential. This program goal and basis led to the required training with its own rationale and objectives.

The Pennsylvania State University, through the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute and the Environmental Resources Research Institute, were originally charged with development and delivery of the training associated with the Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program. This Center now administers the education, training and technical assistance aspects of the program. The major purpose of the training was simple - to meet the requirements of the legislation which required anyone who applies for program funding to attend a training course as a prerequisite.

The course was simply titled, following the legislation, "Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance for Dirt and Gravel Roads. To meet the main program goal, objectives similar to the ones outlined above in Section 1. The training gives them a "tool box" full of environmentally sensitive maintenance "tools" or practices, recognizing that not one tool or practice can fit every situation or site or solve all their problems.

These practices are mostly simple, practical, cost effective techniques that can be easily implemented. Municipal road crews with available equipment resources can perform most of the practices, incorporating them into their normal routine road maintenance program. Not all practices will apply to any one municipality's roads, but having a full toolbox from which to choose the best tool or tools to address the problem or concern encountered tends toward a more successful solution.

Many of these practices can be used in combination and will apply to most dirt and gravel roads in general The training is a two-day course and consists of classroom training only. The possibilities of field trips to nearby roads were discussed, but weather and the logistics of coordinating transportation to the site does not lend to the feasibility.

The time factor also comes to play an important deterrent. Trainers also use various samples of products, particularly geosynthetic products. Training evaluation sheets are distributed at each session. Results have been overwhelmingly favorable on all aspects of the training. Acceptance by municipal road personnel of the many practices presented has been greater than expected. This is a testament to the dedication and concern of local municipal government road personnel.

A new inventory and assessment of PA's dirt and gravel roads were completed with the establishment of the new Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads. County Conservation Districts worked with the local governments to verify unpaved roads via municipal and county maps. All identified roads then received field assessments by the County Conservation Districts for pollution problems affecting streams.

This new assessment identified over 11, new sites across the commonwealth which then became eligible for program funding Figure Al The program has been and continues to be a success. Projects undertaken and completed with program funds have been evaluated. A computerized GIS system is used for project tracking and central reporting with minimal paperwork.

The following page is the Program Report reflecting a summary of the program data showing projects completed by the close of The summary gives a breakdown of program funding, completed project costs and major work items, and a training summary of sessions and attendees. It should be interesting to note the amount of in-kind contributions, which are the materials and services donated to the projects by the local government grantees.

This factor again speaks to the acceptance and success of the program. The training is constantly under review and changes as more program work projects are completed. The program uses new experiences to develop new practices and test new materials. Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Practices have been accepted and are being put to use, many of which apply to paved roads as well as unpaved gravel roads. This acceptance, as mentioned before, attests to the dedication and desire to do things better on the part of municipal road personnel.

It is best put by one long-time Township Roadmaster who stated: "I wish I would have known these things 30 years ago! Geology, therefore, with its history, processes, and materials, Geology sets the stage becomes important in the operation and maintenance of our roads. Geology helps explain the physical setting in which roads are situated as well as the local road materials that are available for use in road building, for example, why limestone may be a prime road aggregate in one area and granite the prime material in another area.

As solid rock breaks down into smaller particles from geological processes, natural forces, and weather, often mixing with decomposing plant and animal matter, it forms soil. Soils are also important in the operation and maintenance of our roads. As the type of soils varies from area to area due to the varying geology of the area, the influence on our road system will vary in different aspects. Roads are typically built directly on top of soils covering the underlying bedrock. The type of soil over which roads are built will influence the design, construction, and maintenance of the overlying portion of the road.

In addition, the stability of roadside banks, both upslope and downslope, and the road drainage network are dependent upon the inherent behavior of the soils and vegetation that covers them. The vegetation is also directly dependent on the soil's characteristics as to its type and growth. In this module, our goal is to focus on geology, soils, and the natural forces that shape the surface of our land and give us the rocks, soils, and vegetation that make up the environment in which our roads exists and, therefore, influence many aspects of design, operation, and maintenance of our total road system.

In other words, geology gives us what we have to work with. This complex history has included processes that have drastically changed the characteristics of our planet. Different regions of the United States have very different geologic histories and consequently vary greatly in road conditions, materials, and construction and maintenance methods. Geologists have divided the United States into different physiographic provinces. These provinces are areas of different geologic history based on the way the different types of rocks and landscapes were formed. The significance of physiographic provinces will be discussed in Section 2.

It is important to note that many of the geological processes that shape the earth occur at an extremely slow rate. Because our frame of reference only covers an average of a to year life span, it is often extremely difficult to notice or even comprehend the changes that take place over thousands, millions, or even billions of years.

This is geologic time.

The gradual erosion of the Alleghanian Mountains, a grand mountain range that Pennsylvania Ridge and Valley Province once stood 2 Va miles high over the ridge and valley province of Pennsylvania Photo 2- 02 , is a good example of an erosion process that occurs over geologic time. The erosion of this mountain range, which continues today, is not likely to be noticed without careful observation and measurement over several decades. On the other hand, some geologic events happen relatively quickly.

Volcanoes in Hawaii, the explosion of Mount St. Helens Photo , or major landslides are geologic events that drastically change the landscape over a sufficiently short period of time, and humans are able to perceive the changes. To provide background information that will assist in understanding some of the geological processes discussed later in this I 2 - 03 Mount St. Elements are the basic building blocks with which everything is formed.

There are approximately different known elements, including things such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, iron, potassium, nitrogen, gold, silver, and uranium. While we can see many of these elements with the naked eye, they are made up of tiny, individual particles called atoms. For example, a gold ring is an element. It is, however, made up of many minute gold atoms. The atom, in turn, is made up of smaller particles. Although the names of these sub-atomic particles are not important for this discussion, it is important to note that these particles influence the way atoms interact with each other.

When different elements are joined together through a chemical reaction, they form a separate and distinctly different compound composed of two or more elements. This type of bonding is referred to as chemical bonding. The joining of different elements in various proportions and combinations has produced an almost infinite number of compounds. For instance, compounds like our deicing rock salt, which is chemically referred to as sodium chloride, is formed via chemical bonds between sodium and chlorine atoms.

The term "molecule" may be familiar to many, and it simply refers to the smallest unit of a compound that can exist. For example, a water molecule is made up of two parts of hydrogen and one part oxygen, H2O. A bucket of water contains millions of water molecules. In a geological setting, particles of different compounds may be physically bound together. When this physical bonding occurs, the identities of the original compounds are retained in the new bound material. Sandstone is an example of physical bonding, and you can see the individual grains of sand that are cemented together to form the rock.

The third type of bond, electrical bonding, occurs when particles of one kind "stick" to the surface of another kind of particle. The static electricity that causes pet hair to stick to clothes is an example of electrical bonds. With electrical bonds, the sub-atomic particles act like magnets and cause different elements and compounds to be stuck together. Many of the interesting properties associated with clay are a result of the electrical bonds that hold clay particles together. Because of the electrical bonds, clay particles are strongly attracted to each other, making clay "sticky.

Electrical bonding also comes into play when other substances attach themselves to sediment particles. These other substances can be toxic substances from chemicals or other materials that can substantially increase pollution when sediment washes into our streams. Naturally occurring forces, such as wind, water, frost action, heat, gravity, etc. Frequently these forces work very slowly to change the landscape.

They are relentless, however, and the cumulative effect of billions of years of activity has worn down mountains, carved rivers and filled inland seas. Although these processes may act too slowly for us to see their effects, they are ongoing and continue to affect the earth's surface. These processes not only shape the surface of the earth, but the habitat that humans need to survive. For example, many productive agricultural areas are dependent upon nutrients that are deposited when sediment-laden floodwaters spill onto adjacent floodplains.

Many of these floodplains are used for farming and the deposited sediments act as natural fertilizers for the farmers. Roads are also a necessary part of our human habitat and the effect of the natural forces on our roads creates the need for road maintenance activities on a routine basis. As discussed in greater detail later, these gradual processes and forces are so intricately related to other natural systems that they act to sustain all life on earth. On the other hand, acts of mankind frequently disrupt these natural processes and forces and thereby accelerate rates of erosion.

This increased rate of erosion is faster than naturally occurring rates and is referred to as accelerated erosion. This manual, with its proposed practices, is intended to eliminate or at best alleviate accelerated erosion. Understanding these processes and forces is the key to learning how to use them to reduce pollution and improve the stability of our roads.

Gravity, water lubrication, erosion, water currents and frost action are among the wide range of naturally occurring forces most frequently impacting our road systems. Gravity is the force that causes objects to fall or water to flow downhill. It is one of the most important natural forces because it influences many of the other forces. When water gets between rocks or soil particles, it acts as a lubricant to help particles slide and roll about. When gravity enters into the picture, the slope of the material may be steep enough that the material may begin sliding along a slip plane.

A slip plane is the movement of material in different directions along a plane of weakness, and is similar to the sliding that takes place between individual playing cards when stacked and slanted, Photo It is also common for hillside roads to contribute to their own failure by creating a dam to natural water flow, trapping and absorbing downhill flowing water, adding greatly to the weight of soil and causing the bank to slip or slump along a plane of weakness.

Banks can fail slowly by creeping downhill sloughing or catastrophically, such as a landslide. Erosion is defined as a wearing away and most often occurs with wind or water. The effects of winds can be seen in the phenomenon of shifting sands. At Cape Cod, for instance, the sands thrown ashore by the sea are driven inland by the winds, advancing upon the cultivated lands, burying them and destroying their fertility. The sands from the beach on the Pacific coast near San Francisco are driven inland in a similar manner again encroaching upon the more fertile soils.

In the fairly dry regions of the interior of our country, high winds, laden with sand and gravel, are a powerful agent in sculpting the rocks into the fantastic forms so often found there. Erosion due to water ranges from the impact of raindrops to water currents picking up particles and carrying them away from their original location. Erosion due to the movement of surface water is one of the major physical forces that have shaped our country's landscape.

Water, in the form of rain or other precipitation, falls to the earth's surface and either soaks into or runs across that surface. Water, percolating through the earth, slowly disintegrates the hardest rocks initiating the work of soil-making, which we will address later in this chapter. A large portion of rainwater, however, never soaks into the earth, but runs off the surface. Erosion is all about energy - soil and rock particles do not move unless a force or process has enough energy to pick up and carry the particle away. The ability of water to erode soil and rock materials depends on four factors: 1.

Force of the raindrop impact; 2. Soil resistance; 3. Volume of accumulated water; and 4. Velocity speed of flow. This will be discussed in detail in Chapter 4. Briefly, vegetation facilitates soil resistance by breaking the impact force of raindrops, disrupting and slowing the flow of water across the soil surface, and reinforcing the soil with root structures to hold the soil in place.

While soil resistance helps prevent erosion, the remaining three factors lead to erosion. A single raindrop falling from the sky on bare soil creates a mini-explosion to dislodge and scatter soil particles, initiating the erosion process. Once on the ground, water from these raindrops collects and starts to flow downhill, growing in volume and velocity, forming rills and rivulets and producing furrows and gullies. The accumulated water has lots of energy to erode particles. The rivulets join to form torrents, creating ravines and gorges, and further uniting to form rivers that in turn deposit their load Flowing water picks up volume and velocity causing further erosion.

As the accumulated water flows downhill, steeper slopes cause greater speed, increasing the energy and erosive capacity of the flowing water. While each of these factors can cause erosion, the impact from a combination of these factors can be great, causing everything from washouts and bank failures to flooding and complete roadbed failure. The width and depth of the Grand Canyon, which has been carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, is testament to the tremendous erosive power of water.

Our landscape is continuously being altered by water and erosion with material eroded from one location being transported and eventually deposited somewhere else. In this fashion, the landscape is altered in two locations, the point of original soil erosion and the location where the material is deposited as sediment. Frost action, or the freeze-thaw process, has also helped to change the face of the earth.

When water freezes, it expands and exerts pressure on anything that contains it - like the soda can that was stuck in the freezer and "exploded" when it froze. When water gets into the small cracks in rocks, the expanding ice can split the rock. Bear in mind that a large part of our climate Deposition of sediment alters the landscape. As will be discussed in Chapter 3, this freeze-thaw process also causes rocks to move upward through the road base and surface; causes potholes to form; and causes posts, poles and structural foundations to shift or tilt. In their study of the earth's history, geologists have identified three basic rock families: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

What family a rock belongs to is determined by the way in which the rock was formed. Igneous rocks form when molten rock magma cools and hardens. Lava is a form of magma that erupts from volcanoes, and when it hardens, forms volcanic rock. Hawaii and Iceland, both volcanic islands, are primarily made of volcanic igneous rocks. Other types of igneous rocks also form beneath the surface of the earth when magma oozes and intrudes between layers of existing rock. Igneous rocks are usually our older rocks underlying the stratified sedimentary rocks forming the great mass of the earth's interior and forming the axes and peaks of our great mountain ranges, such as the Sierras and the various Colorado ranges.

Examples of igneous rocks include granite and diabase. Sedimentary rocks form when the elements sun, wind, water temperature, etc. Over time, these sediments may become fused together by natural cementing, compression, or other methods, forming sedimentary rocks. Common examples of sedimentary rocks include shale, sandstone, conglomerate, and limestone.

Metamorphic rocks make up the third family. These rocks have been changed from their original form by heat, pressure, or chemically active fluids to produce new rocks with different minerals and texture. These heat, pressure, or chemical processes may act on any of the three families of rock to produce a new metamorphic rock. Examples of metamorphic rocks include slate, schist, gneiss, quartzite, and marble. Shale often serves as a parent material that is metamorphosed into slate, while sandstone may become quartzite and limestone may become marble.

As mentioned in Section 2.