Road Maintenance on Your Dirt Road

Hollis Walker shares low-tech solutions for road maintenance on your dirt road to help keep your driveway and roads in good shape.

| September/October 2006

Learn about these low-tech solutions for road maintenance on your dirt road. 

Most of the time, living on a country road feels almost like heaven, as John Denver sang. But when your darling dirt road turns to mud soup after a rain or your ditches overflow into your fields, living on a country road can feel more like being stuck in purgatory.

If it’s a public road you live on, you may be literally stuck — at least until the government road grader bails you out. But if you own the road or share ownership of a road with your neighbors and feel you’re forever struggling to keep it passable, take heart: There are solutions for road maintenance on your dirt road.

In some parts of the country, road improvement is no longer optional. Wildfires that scorched the West have emphasized the need for better road access for firefighting equipment; new ordinances are mandating wider roads with better turnarounds. Environmental studies show that much freshwater pollution and soil erosion is caused by unchecked runoff from dirt roads, prompting calls for improved road construction and drainage on private as well as public byways.



You may be thinking, "Right. But I can’t afford to fix the road."

That might not be the case, according to Richard Casale, district conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, based in Capitola, California.

Zadim
7/7/2018 9:06:33 PM

Good article. We have acreage in far northern Ontario where it rains very frequently. Our little track is grass covered and has many puddles that folks have land nearby fill the puddles with saplings to keep the vehicles from sinking too deep. The last trip there was good until the very last one, it was somewhat deeper than the rest and I didn't want to risk getting stuck out there with the billions of hungry mosquitoes. I haven't looked see if the water could run off the trail with just a few shovels of dirt being removed. I will give that a go next time to see if it remedies the problem.


Gareth
6/19/2018 12:47:56 AM

Very informative and thorough. I feel as though if I were to use anyone of these methods that that I may reclaim our little road.. and save the suspension on our vehicles.. Not to mention the elder gentleman that lives a few acres down from us whom has had to have several hip and back surgeries. Getting to and from his home causes him a great deal of discomfort. I’m particularly intrigued by the “rolling dip” method. I’m going to try it first, after crowning it I suppose... luckily soon will have a mini excavator out here to finish clearing out our property digging a pond… Seems like a mighty fine opportunity to cut and some rolling dips 💪🏼👈🏻


Gareth
6/19/2018 12:46:59 AM

Very informative and thorough. I feel as though if I were to use anyone of these methods that that I may reclaim our little road.. and save the suspension on our vehicles.. Not to mention the elder gentleman that lives a few acres down from us whom has had to have several hip and back surgeries. Getting to and from his home causes him a great deal of discomfort. I’m particularly intrigued by the “rolling dip” method. I’m going to try it first, after crowning it I suppose... luckily soon will have a mini excavator out here to finish clearing out our property digging a pond… Seems like a mighty fine opportunity to cut and some rolling dips 💪🏼👈🏻







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE