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Ditching
A Hoodrat Journal: 2/7/22, Cascadia
This 200 yard drive way comes off of a quarter mile private road. There is also another 200 yard driveway I maintain when in winter quarters here, up the road and around the bend. The main drive way was asphalted once, with only odd slabs and chunks remaining. The Captain and The Colonel by batches of gravel and fill potholes along the length, while the other three residents refuse to help with gravel or work. Most of the potholes are made by horse trailers that come to the fariar below the Captain, the potholes pretty much ending after his driveway. That man refuses to help at all, makes the potholes and waits for the people who live further up to fill them in to save their cars.
I will discuss The Captain’s driveway in The Berm. The upper driveway to the major and The Colonels House, used by two young men also, who refuse to help, takes 10 hours a winter for me to repair. I additionally, spent 6 hours this winter replacing the berm where one of the young fellows almost ran into the creek just past the culvert, where the drive way turns over the stream.
The first problem is drainage. If you just fill in the holes with material and do not give the water any place to flow, then the tires splash the fill out of the holes and onto the roadside, making of it a sunken road from which water does not escape. What is worse, is the rank vegetation. Enough organic material builds up on the road side to raise the side of the rad above the surface by 3 inches per year.
Rake and coal shovel all of the vegetation from the side.
Use the coal shovel to cut gutters where the roadside is lower than the surface.
Where the potholes are [near the sides] cut a deeper gutter just off the side, using the clay, rocks and sand to fill 75% of the hole.
Bring 1 inch gravel to fill the rest, then top with ¼ inch gravel and sand.
Do a savage rain dance on the fill to tamp it down.
The Colonel’s dogs lay in the road and watch this human activity.
Where gutters were cut the previous year, go down when it is frosty in the morning and use the coal shovel to cut out the frozen leaves, mud and needles.
Using the coal shovel to scalp the grass and lilacs on the side of the road makes next year’s gutter cutting easier.
Instead of guessing at the drainage go out when it is aininga nd find the points where the water heads for the side of the road and is turned back by built up material that has resulted from tires splashing fill out of holes and from organic encroachment n the side.
This area is built over an old cedar clear cut, which means that many large potholes result from buried stumps rotting and causing road sink holes. In these cases, use the broken asphalt and oval flat rocks to load the bottom of the hole before adding the basic fill.
Last year I managed to divert the wash off the service road that goes up the mountain, by cutting a C-shaped gutter at the turnoff to the Colonel’s and suing the material to build a berm, diverting the water that made a creek out of the road for the next 200 yards, into the stream, stopping rutting for the space between the two upper side roads or driveways. I did this while it was raining, as I did the rest of the main road work last year, finding where the water wanted to go, where it sued to go and was turned aside, and opening that up.
A side gutter across from the first turn off diverted water off the shoulder in the road across from the lower culvert and reduced the water running straight down the main drive by 50%. These two culverts required a total of a half hour to clear of washed in debris, with both of them taking a combined 20 hours to dig last year.
All of the sides of these small private roads have good road base material there that has been blown out of the roadway by vehicles and can be reused.
In resurfacing the Captain’s drive way, and constructing a new bed for a 14-foot stretch that had been washed out, which is built on an old railroad bed and is hard as hell to dig into I found the best mix was the following.
-4 inches of mud and stone, with 40 to 70 pound boulders, flat on one side, placed under the tire tracks. This bed was secured fork sliding on the low side by using re-bar stakes from 20 to 44 inches long, hammered in next to the outside stones.
-2 inches of dirt, stones [fist size and smaller] tamped onto this.
-1 inch of ¼ inch gravel taped down on this.
-1 inch of loose dirt tamped down [allows the gravel to settle and embed]
-2 inches of 1 inch gravel
-1 inch of dirt
-2 inches of mixed quarter inch and 1 inch gravel
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