In the previous article about roads and driveways we discussed how to determine the pathway for your new driveway. In this post we’ll cover issues of drainage, the anatomy of a road and the cost.
Dealing with Drainage
Drainage is a huge consideration, especially with gravel or dirt roads. In the worst case, your road could wash out, but the prospect of constantly repairing an improperly build driveway is not a good one. You’ll first want to observe how water currently flows around the area. Notice where it pools during rain. Look for ruts or gulleys. These will be indicators of the volume of water you’ll be dealing with, and how it’s currently routed.
The most common approach in our area is to raise the bed of the road with chert fill, and then install ditches on either side to handle the wash.
A culvert is then installed in areas where the water builds up to allow it to pass down grade. A culvert is a metal or plastic pipe of varying diameter that is installed under the road. With the right placement and capacity, the volume of water collected during a heavy rain will be dispersed at a higher rate than it is accumulated. This prevents water from rising over the road. Once the road becomes submerged under moving water, it is only a matter of time before it will wash out completely.
The key to managing water is to keep it moving slowly. Fast moving water has an enormous amount of power and can quickly erode soil. Slower moving water tends to just spill over without creating damage. Continue Reading…