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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    457
    Location
    New York - Upstate
    Tractor
    Kubota 2710

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    I have a gravel road leading to my house as well. It is about 850 feet long, and your picture appears to be similar in construction, from what I can see. 2 years ago, we had a major addition built, beginning in April (very wet season for upstate NY). The builder got a cement truck stuck up to its axles!!! They had to get a crawler/loader in to get it out. It turns out that the roadbed was never built, and the previous owner just kept putting #2 gravel on the mud, only to have it repeatedly disappear. The original house must have either been built during the summer or winter, when the clay hardpan/mud was solid as a rock, or during an exceptionally dry spring or fall, or they would have lost a truck or two as well. Enough of the story, how did we fix the problem, you ask?

    The entire driveway was covered with rip-rap (also called cobbles, basically 4-5 inch stone chunks). This was left in place for the duration of the building process (about 4 months), to let the heavy equipment drive it into the ground. Then, on top of this, we spread 2-4 inches of #2 gravel. The gravel still disappears, but not at such an alarming rate. Now that I have a box blade, I can dig it up and re-spread it, too.

    My recommendation is to dump the rip-rap in early spring, when its really wet, so it will sink in. This will also have the effect of leveling the low spots, more or less. I was able to drive my Saab 9000 over the big rocks, with only a little clunking, if I drove slowly and carefully. After the wet season is nearly over, have the trucks come back with #2 crushed (not washed or round, you want the little dusty stuff, too). Spread this # 2 nicely over the drive and go one or two more seasons with that. Then, after that is getting a little thin, have 4 inches of crusher run spread. If possible, have this rolled as well. If not, just rent aheavy lawn roller and roll over it a lot with your tractor and wet it a bit as you roll it. When you are done with this process, you could hot top over the crusher run, and you would have a low traffic road! Otherwise, just leave the crusher run as your final surface. Regrading with the box blade/rippers will become an annual rite of spring!

    I am at the stage just before I add the crusher run, but the driveway has been holding up pretty well. I will need to get the regrading done with crusher run come spring to get the tire paths up and the streams that form in them over into the ditches.

    The two best things about this approach are 1) costs are spread out over several years and 2) more tractor seat time[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    PaulT

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,384
    Location
    michigan thumb
    Tractor
    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    The nonwoven 6oz. geotextile fabric from Fabriscape is not too bad at
    .08 cents/sq. ft. propably 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of the material you would
    be putting above it.

    Steve
    Champagne Taste, Beer Budget

  3. #13
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,534
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    Maybe try a small grader with operator and get him to make it look like a road. If he's a good operator he will not have any problems doing this and will know what to do. Then lay down some crushed gravel [1/2 or 3/4 in.] in the problem areas. After this just add gravel if problems occure. Note: some off the soft spots may have to be be dug out deeper and backfilled with crushed gravel or good clay to give a solid base. Good luck
    Egon


  4. #14

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    Before you start pouring good money into bad...

    I'd try to address the original problem of poor drainage...

    First, I'd regrade and contour the roadway for proper drainage to occur off the roadway..., consider whether a boxblade and utility tractor can do it or possibly hire/rent a dozer...

    When that's complete {if needed}, then I would look at topping it off with whatever... broken shale, cement "dust", etc. {whats cheap in your locale}...

    But you have to take care of the water problem first...




  5. #15

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    <font color=blue>There is a cover fabric that is available to stabilize a road base</font color=blue>

    Yep, Kevin, that's the geotextile road fabric that we've discussed in various other threads before. From what I've learned here, it goes under the actual road and forms a magical barrier that prevents mud from "pumping up", while at the same time allowing water to percolate out. You lay down the fabric first, then your coarse stone for the base, and finally a good "crusher run" for the surface. The fabric keeps your valuable stone from being pushed into the mud, yet allows it to drain nicely.

    Doug probably doesn't want to dig up his whole road to retro-fit it with fabric, but it might not be a bad way to go to fix the more troublesome stretches. When I looked around for prices, the fabric came in at between $250 and $300 for a 300-foot roll, 12 feet wide.

    MossRoad is right about gravel. You want something much more angular which will stay put, so some kind of crush would work best. The "crusher run" that I have used is called "non-spec'd limestone". It contains a lot of fines, like grains of sand (see attached picture) and packs down solid, making a very good surface layer.

    John Miller, III makes an excellent point about drainage, too. If you don't address that first, you will never achieve the results you are trying for.

    Having said all that, you say this is an easement? That does make throwing money at it kinda unappealing, doesn't it? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img] Keep us posted as to what you wind up doing.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #16
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,534
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    Ah yes, Drainage. Thats what a good grader operator can do. He even has the proper machine to do it with.
    Egon


  7. #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    DAP,

    What PaulT outlined is the basic drill. You put down a layer of large stones as a base, then cover it with one or two layers of crusher run (or preferably #21a which is a specific kind of crusher run).

    If the price of that does not scare you away, you can get longer life on the road bed if you lay down geotextile below the base rock. The geotextile will prevent the fines from pumping up through the larger rock. However, for a 1000' driveway, I think the geotextile is going to cost a few thousand dollars. A reasonable alternative would be to only lay the geotextile in the places where it gets mushy. I don't remember what lengths the geotextile comes in, but I seem to remember 100' or 150', but don't quote me on that.

    The GlueGuy

  8. #18
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    2,249
    Location
    Paige Texas
    Tractor
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    fellas -
    The fabric idea sounds really cost prohibitive. I know they use lime to stabilize the ground under concrete slabs and IAW Harv the limestone he layed packed real well ... would spreading lime down to try to firm up the base work? (before putting down a top layer of whatever)
    mike


  9. #19
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,294
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    Mike, I can't claim to know much on this topic, but I was once a project manager on a construction site and for "lime stabilization" they didn't just spread lime, they "tilled" it in with the darndest machine I ever saw; looked like a giant tiller but with the tines turning at least 2 or 3 times as fast as my tiller turns. The construction foreman told me if they hit a golf ball sized rock, it would break a $50 tine every time.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] The point being that I think you want the lime thoroughly mixed into the soil instead of spread on top.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]


  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,807
    Location
    Sharpsburg, Md
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 HST

    Default Re: Dirt Road Repair

    Doug,

    Everyone has supplied some excellent solutions to your problem.

    You'll probably need to combine some of these ideas together go get the problem solved. The best time to do this kind of work is in late summer when the road has a chance to dry and you have a chance to get the work done!!

    John Miller's suggestion is the probably the first you should consider. You're having the same problem we have with our community roads. The clay subsoil is turning plastic on you when it gets wet. So, you need to get as much moisture off of the road surface as possible. Since your driveway is so long, you may want to have someone come in with a large grader to set the grade and drainage properly. It would be money well spent.

    The next step is to get a good solid base down to prevent the rutting in the areas that go plastic. If you use someone to help you grade the lane, you can ask them for a recommendation for the type of stone to use as a base. Your county zoning office may be able to help you with this also.

    If you have your tractor, you'll be able to work the stone occassionally. Freshly laid stone has a tendency to move around alot until its found its proper level. Before we used asphalt millings on our community road, we usually spread about a 100 tons of stone a year on the six miles of roads we have. Within two weeks, the newly laid stone was pushed to the sides of the road. Back then we only had about 40 homes and the traffic was light.

    This covers the first season. The next season you may have to repeat laying another base. Depends on how much is pushed into the road bed. If you're lucky, you might be able to lay down the final layer.

    Keep in mind that you'll probably have to get a few loads of stone in every year for a couple of years. Dang stuff just disappears or gets eaten. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Hope this helps.

    Terry




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