Archives For road

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Alabama Power

Alabama-Power-Line-InstallationLast week I was out of town at the TSP earthworks course in Ft. Worth, Texas. While I was gone, some major progress began at the Ant Farm. It’s rare that an inch of progress is made without me pushing as hard as I can, so it’s pretty safe to say I was excited. Apparently, the power company finally felt like it was time to install my power lines, and I got a text from my neighbor with a picture.

In the picture I could see where the tree trimmers butchered our pines, and I could make out both power poles, the transformer and the primary line dangling to the ground. After having been told repeatedly that they wouldn’t begin installation until the home was on-site, this was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only surprise I would get, and the next one was nowhere near as pleasant…

Continue Reading…

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series All About Roads & Driveways

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…

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series All About Roads & Driveways

When you’re looking at property, access is one of the most critical elements that must be considered. The Ant Farm is located off of a chip & tar road maintained by the county, which is a very good thing. Unfortunately, the only access to the interior of the property was via an old timber road that hadn’t been maintained in years. After a cursory review of the property, we knew that we wanted our home site to be located deep on the property, which would require a significant investment in road construction. As a result, we had to consider the costs associated with adding a driveway when we determined a reasonable offer price.

There are basically four different aspects of road building that you’ll need to give some thought. Each one will require research in order to fully understand the repercussions of your decisions. While your excavator should provide a lot of expertise, no one is more interested in the success of your project than you are. Invest yourself in learning more about these issues, and your chances for success will multiply exponentially:

Continue Reading…

Constitution & Conduit

September 8, 2013 — Leave a comment

00 ft. of conduit in the ground.

Things have finally started to move again on the Ant Farm. The rain has held off, and the soil (as well as the chert pit) has dried up enough for the heavy machines to roll again. As it turned out, things were moving so quickly that I was caught a little off guard. Friday I learned that the excavators were set to install the water pipe on Saturday, and I had been planning to install a conduit while the trench was open for the water line. As a result, Edie and I ended up rushing out to the property yesterday morning with a truckload of conduit and a long day’s work ahead of us.

Continue Reading…