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



This swampy lagoon of a road demonstrates the most common problem in maintaining rural roads – drainage.

This swampy lagoon of a road demonstrates the most common problem in maintaining rural roads — drainage.

PHOTO: GRIT MAGAZINE STAFF

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.

ragmeister
2/29/2016 8:42:26 AM

excellent and helpful article...thx.


qberryfarm
10/21/2013 1:02:37 PM

one of the worst offences is filling pot holes with gravel alone, especially round gravel. water collects around the gravel and lubricates it so that traffic immediately pounds it out. Fill hole partially with gravel then a layer of dirt to fill the spaces between the rock then put a layer of gravel on top the traffic will pound into the dirt. This will usually shed water and prevent the reappearance of the pot hole.






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