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  1. #1
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    Default Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    I'm in central Pennsylvania, not far from Penn State University, live on top of a hill and have a 16 % grade, 1200 foot long driveway up to my garage with a 49' x 59' level pad in front of the garage doors. All of this is currently a mishmash of 2RC stone and shale. I am tired of constantly grading it in anticipation of most every rainstorm and then repairing it after most every rainstorm. Over the years I have sculpted the hillside to prevent rain from running over it from the hill, and have put in diverters to direct water off it, approximately every 30 feet so water does not build up speed. These help, but inevitably the diverters get washed out or fill in, and I'm back to regrading, and digging with a shovel. I use a 7 foot wide snowblower on the back of my IH 584 tractor to clear the driveway, but, of course, this scatters the stone all over the place.

    I've finally saved my pennies to get it paved and have gotten two estimates. They both came in near the $30,000 mark. One is very detailed, the other pretty bare bones. Basically, they recommend the following in terms of materials/procedure:

    1. For base only: (This, more detailed proposal, gave me quotes for just a base driveway and also for one completed with a topcoat). Place
    2A as needed to rough and fine grade and compact for proper drainage, place BCBC Base Asphalt Coat and compact to 2". Total compact asphalt will be 2". Seal joint.

    Topcoat (goes on top of above "base"): Place 1 1/4" ID2 top asphalt coat and compact to 1". Total compacted asphalt depth will be 3". Seal joint.

    The other proposal was:

    2. Provide 140 tons 2RC stones for grading. Shape and roll stone base. Place and roll 3" ID-3 top (Heavy duty top coat).

    The first guy recommended the 2A stone over 2RC as providing a better base. The second guy (as noted above) plans to use 2RC stone, and, he specifically recommended using ID-3 over top of the stone as being better for farm lanes (in his experience), especially if there is repeated heavy vehicle traffic on the lane (such as coal deliveries, soil deliveries, tractor trailers, etc). He also said it should be a bit less expensive (although, of the two proposals, his was $1K more).

    Both recommended I re-dig my diverter drainage ditches that angle out from the side of my existing driveway, but which have gradually filled in with shale, before doing the paving, and filling them in with large stone (so my bush hog doesn't bottom out on them when I mow).

    I'd be interested in any input on this project, including insight into which plan seems the better one, or if I should suggest changes to the proposals, such as suggesting using 1 1/4" ID-3 as the topcoat for the first proposal, instead of 1 1/4" ID2. Any thoughts on how well either plan would hold up to weather, water infiltration, freeze/thaw cycles, etc would also be welcome.

  2. #2
    bcp
    bcp is offline
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Does Penn State University have an agricultural or civil engineering department that could work with you on the design for some real-life experience?

    Bruce

  3. #3
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    NH Boomer 1025

    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    I'd pour concrete cheaper in the long run and last longer.
    5"x10'x1200' = 186 yards of concrete. No rebar, use fiber in the mix.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Almost $2.50 per sq ft for asphalt? That's the black stuff with stone in it right? I know that they're doing base, but that seems high...and I come from the West Coast.

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  5. #5
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    If youre in shale. (that should be a very good base) and it is stable, compacted etc. You should be able to single shot a 12.5 mm 3" (compacted) lift and be done with it. I'm not sure what your local terms/specs mean that you were quoted, but I've only seen the stone size (in mm) as a state (roads) approved mix. Of course this does not include other modifiers that (latex, foam, warm mix etc.) that are included in state & fed hyw work and not usually involved with driveways.
    This 12.5mm is basically a good size aggregate (for stregnth) that is not so big that is too "course" in appearance. I like this for your (described) situation and I put it down on my place. If your shale or subgrade is not tight, a good base of at least 19mm stone is called for and then a topping of 9.5. but in general, I prefer a single layer. One very important thing to ask your 2 bidders is. how many ton roller do they have, and go with the guy with the heavier roller, and ask them if that 16% grade is going to give them trouble getting proper compaction (at LEAST 95%) . Properly done, the roller is **** near FOLLOWING the paver for the knock down pass, sibsequent passes will come as conditions (temp) dictates. Hope this helps some.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Thanks for your thoughts (and for the welcome to TBN). Seems a lot of the difficulty in evaluating the proposals comes from the jargon used to describe the materials; first because this isn't my area of expertise, and second because some folks use mm, and my guys use terms like 2A or 2RC which appear to be meaningless to folks not from this area. It's hard then to know, without further explanation, whether I'm comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges. The more detailed proposal was prepared by a guy who retired from the PA State Department of Transportation (PennDOT) after 30 years, and PennDot does all of the state road projects. As far as concrete is concerned, that's an interesting thought, though I have never seen a farm lane in my area done with concrete. Of course, asphalt prices rise (and maybe fall) with the price of oil. I think I'll ask around with some of my farming neighbors, and ask for references from folks they have done similar projects for. I'll also discuss some of the ideas I've heard here with the contractors and see what they have to say. As far as the price I'm being charged, these two proposals came in pretty close to each other, and over the years I've had someother estimates on this projec;, the first being 20 years ago at $10k, and the most recent one after that about seven years ago at $25K, so this price was not unexpected. Thanks for the input, and anything else will also be greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Many places raise your property taxes for concrete over asphalt as well. They seem to find concrete more permanent than asphalt.

    Price seems right, stuff is outrageous around here!

  8. #8
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    Allmand TLB 425

    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    How wide are they paving the 1200 foot driveway ?

    I like the first proposal much better , 2A stone will be better than 2RC which has clay in it and holds a lot of water, and 2 passes with the paver , 1 for base and 1 for top will always end up smoother than a single pass. Make sure they do a good job on the stone, the more uniform the stone the more uniform the asphalt will be. Big stone in the ditches is important going forward so you dont lose edge support and have them breaking off. Once the base is layed make sure nobody drags a bunch of clay or other muck up on it , the two layers will bond but the base has to stay relatively clean for it to work as expected.

    Like rustyiron above I wonder why they're using the old standard for materials , everyone has pretty much gone to the Penndot "gyratory" standard here in PA , which includes using the mm sizes for the stone, BCBC was pretty much outdated in public road building 15 years ago, it would be replaced by 25mm gyratory in todays standards, the 25mm product is higher in asphalt and contains more fines, resulting in a tighter knit mix with less voids. ID2 would be replaced by 9.5mm and ID3 would be 12.5mm , with both the mm mixes being reformulated also.

    Just wanted to add this to clear up any confusion on the "local" stone , 2a is all limestone , open graded so it's basically #57s and smaller to compact well, known in other areas as "crusher run". 2RC is #57s and up to 10% #3s mixed with clay also known locally as "dirty 2 mix" , holds a lot of excess water , it is a couple bucks cheaper. 2A has an aashto designation I just don't recall it right now, 2RC is a regional thing.

    Ray
    Last edited by ptgdigger; 10-04-2012 at 12:15 AM.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member flyingcow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Very good post to follow. good info.

    Curt7, ....after paving, soap box derby races?
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Paving a farm lane (driveway)

    Description for stone from western PA quarry handbook that I found in my work stuff:

    2RC Select Granular Material

    This material has a 1-1/2 inch topsize and is a mixture of coarse stone and fine material.
    Used as a road base and fill material.
    The fines in this material will be an earthen fine (dirt, silt, loam, clay).
    This material does not drain readily and has no structural coefficient.
    Used where compaction and stability are a concern.
    Primarily a dirty material.


    2A Subbase

    This material has a 2 inch topsize.
    It is a mixture of coarse stone and crushed stone dust.
    Used as a road base or an under slab fill.
    Will drain.
    Has a structural coefficient.
    Used where stability and drainability are concerns.
    Primarily a clean material.


    Ray

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