Project: Driveway and Retaining Wall
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    JDSwan87's Avatar
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    Project: Driveway and Retaining Wall

    I have some nasty potholes in my gravel driveway. I am unsure if the driveway has a proper "base" of large gravel beneath the top layer we all see. My mom and dad always just brought in more tailgated gravel when it was needed but the same potholes always come back in the same spots.
    To complicate matters, when the driveway wraps around the side of the house, there was a railroad tie retaining wall built. From my gravel driveway to the bottom of the gulley is about 3ft. The retaining wall is rotting, failing, and is need of a different solution (it lasted about 25 years). I want a permanent solution for the retaining wall, thinking either bring in fill dirt and build it up or pay $$$ and have a beefy concrete wall poured (my guess this will cost $5k). My concern with fill dirt is creating a soggy condition in my neighbors yard.

    What are my options for the driveway and the retaining wall?

    I would like to knock out one of these project this year.

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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    I would use a box blade and use scarifiers to rough it up first then get a load of rock and spread it and try to pack it down. When it rains drive the heavest unit with wide tires and pack it down. has far has the railroad ties go either spend a lot of money or start over with ties level and buried in the ground If they lasted 25 years that's a lifetime for me.
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    Well, the retaining wall is seeing lots of force from the driveway being close. It would probably be better to move the retaining wall a little further away from the driveway. Whatever you use to build the retaining wall, you need allot of drainage stone behind the wall.

    I have retaining wall blocks that I used for all my retaining walls with lots of drainage stone behind and geogrid every other course that holds the wall into the backfill.

    https://www.nitterhousemasonry.com/w...-1-Sq.-Ft..pdf

    As far as the driveway, put a 2A modified base, roll it good, and pave it.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    I would use a box blade and use scarifiers to rough it up first then get a load of rock and spread it and try to pack it down. When it rains drive the heavest unit with wide tires and pack it down.
    I agree. It's almost impossible to just fill a pot hole and have it last. The new material just doesn't bind with the old.
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    So if I really scarfier the crap out if it, do I need to remove the loose stuff and start from scratch? Or can I pack the bejesus out of it after I scarfier the crap out of it and I'm done?

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    I agree with Ray on the retaining wall, I built one with those blocks for our basement entrance which is also right beside the driveway. Bury the first layer and drill holes and drive some heavy ribar down through to lock the base layer and just fill and build. As for the driveway, well, paving that would be costly. But get a box blade and work the base real good then top with a few inches of limestone crusher run. If you know anyone with a vibratory roller wet it down and hit with that, it will out live you.
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    ctrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDSwan87 View Post
    So if I really scarfier the crap out if it, do I need to remove the loose stuff and start from scratch? Or can I pack the bejesus out of it after I scarfier the crap out of it and I'm done?

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    I was always taught to take a dirt driveway or road down to the lowest point. So whichever pot hole is the deepest, try to get the rest of it loosened up to that point. Once you've done that, then you can pack it down and add to it.
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    have to agree what everyone else here has said about using a BB and take it down to the lowest point. One thing I would add to these comments is to taper your driveway once you are done. You seem to have a pretty flat driveway. Where water lays is where your potholes will begin. I had the same problem with my 900+ foot driveway. I use a BB took it down to the base, tapered the drive to make a slight crown in the driveway. Then brought in some dirty crush and run spread it with the FEL and the BB then ran a yard compacter over it that weight about 350 - 400 lbs. That was 5 years ago and I have yet to have a pothole show up. As for the wall, block, wall pavers and good drainage like everyone else said.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctrider View Post
    I was always taught to take a dirt driveway or road down to the lowest point. So whichever pot hole is the deepest, try to get the rest of it loosened up to that point. Once you've done that, then you can pack it down and add to it.
    Keith

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    Thanks guys! Now on to hunting a decent deal on a box blade, willing to travel!

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