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gravel road engineering

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pdubdo

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Got a gravel road that crosses a shallow limestone creek. For about 100 feet coming out of the creek, the very loamy/sandy soil turns into about 2 ft deep mud every time it rains. This is due to both the soil type and the road catches quite a bit of run-off from surrounding land. Old-timer who's known my property since the 1950s said it's been graveled several times but the soil just gradually sucks up all the rock. I'm working on a water re-routing plan away from the road, but any tips for keeping loose soil from swallowing gravel? Thought about laying down landscaping fabric underneath?...
 

Nesikep

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don't know if you had any ginseng farms out that way, but ginseng tarp would be the ticket.. incredibly strong and durable, but lets water through... comes in 24'x240' rolls, so that would go a long way too
 

jkwilson

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Ditches or tile to get rid of the water are important if you can do it. By having the road a little higher than the drainage, the water that is soaked into the road drains out.

Ditches to divert water away from the road.

If at all possible, scrape off the spongier layer of soil to get to a base layer that is harder. Unlikely to be possible near a creek.

What you want is a road that floats on the base. Seems strange to say, but that's what it does. Fabric base, a layer of big rock like #2, then a layer of smaller stuff to smooth it out. I've actually walked on a road made that way that I can feel move under my feet when it is sopping wet and it still holds up to vehicle traffic.
 

talltimber

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The geo fabric, and geo grid both work well. It it's real bad I would go with the grid, lay down some 3-6" clean about a foot thick, crowning it, then top it with 2" minus. Keep water from running down the road bed basically, and especially from standing in the road and freezing/thawing. Unless you keep the water diverted into the center of the creek, you're gonna have a hard time keeping mud and trash off at least part of the road and creating a mess on top, even if the road itself holds.

The best gravel road engineering tools are a dump truck full of gravel and a road grader. Both used regularly.
 

jedstivers

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talltimber":6mdvdb7u said:
The geo fabric, and geo grid both work well. It it's real bad I would go with the grid, lay down some 3-6" clean about a foot thick, crowning it, then top it with 2" minus. Keep water from running down the road bed basically, and especially from standing in the road and freezing/thawing. Unless you keep the water diverted into the center of the creek, you're gonna have a hard time keeping mud and trash off at least part of the road and creating a mess on top, even if the road itself holds.

The best gravel road engineering tools are a dump truck full of gravel and a road grader. Both used regularly.
This. Fabric. Big rock for a base. Get all the water away you can.
 

kenny thomas

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dun":fs3q1ls7 said:
Geo Textile cloth under the gravel/rock
What Dun recommends is what's used here to,stabilize the streambanks for heavy log trucks to cross. It saves u,enough on rock to pay for its self also.
 

D2Cat

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For your crossing in the creek, cut one side out of some truck tires and lay the cut side on top as you put them in the creek side by side. Then fill the tires with rock. The tires hold the rock in place pretty good.
 

talltimber

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kenny thomas":1iv2yqe7 said:
dun":1iv2yqe7 said:
Geo Textile cloth under the gravel/rock
What Dun recommends is what's used here to,stabilize the streambanks for heavy log trucks to cross. It saves u,enough on rock to pay for its self also.

Yes, it's essential to not eventually losing all your rock. Like the OP mentioned, rock will just keep sinking. The fabric is good for soil and small rock, especially, but works for bigger rock too. I think if there is a lot of pumping, the big rock will cut your fabric if it's not thick enough to "bridge" it. That geo grid I mentioned won't hold the very small rock, or soil, like fabric will. It will stand a lot rougher treatment and does real good under the bigger backfill like 3-6" clean, and will allow water out of it faster than the fabric. Both are excellent products. Both are used quite a bit on engineering jobs in my area.
 

SmokinM

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If possible to fix it as described when dry it will save you a lot of headache and rock. If it is put in right when it is dry it will be solid when it starts raining. Trying to fix it when it is wet will take twice as much work and rock and you won't have half as good a road when you finish.

I will have to remember that cut tire trick!
 

Stocker Steve

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D2Cat":1vjebxfb said:
For your crossing in the creek, cut one side out of some truck tires and lay the cut side on top as you put them in the creek side by side. Then fill the tires with rock. The tires hold the rock in place pretty good.

Slick!
What is the easiest way to cut tires?
 

jedstivers

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Stocker Steve":zcbq8wk4 said:
D2Cat":zcbq8wk4 said:
For your crossing in the creek, cut one side out of some truck tires and lay the cut side on top as you put them in the creek side by side. Then fill the tires with rock. The tires hold the rock in place pretty good.

Slick!
What is the easiest way to cut tires?
Sawzall, I use a metal cutting blade. We cut tons of tractor tires. Let the tire lad flat. Start cutting and let the sidewall fall in. Don't pick up on it.
 

Turkeybird

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Go to your local nrcs office and ask for help. They helped pay to fix 3 crossings on my place w/ geoweb cell panels and a bunch of rock, works dang good and solid too
 

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