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Only a few days ago I finished a road from our house to the barn so I don't have to put boots on when it rains and I was real proud of the results. Five loads of road base, five loads of crushed granite and a few hours of tractor seat time (and $$$) did the trick. Two days ago we had a frog strangler rain (almost 7" per hour rain rate) and received a much needed 1.76" or rain. What I didn't figure was my new road made a nice berm until part of it washed away. Our property slopes from north to south and there's about 250' of land for runoff to accumulate on the north side of my road.

I'm going to place two or three east-west lines of rock to act as a catch for runoff and to slow it down but I would also like to make some kind of culvert in the road to carry runoff away. I really don't want to buy a large steel culvert, I'd have to do a bunch of excavation to place the pipe and I don't think I need something that large anyway.

I've thought about laying some 4x4 (or 8x8) PT timbers spaced maybe a foot apart perpendicular to the drive but they would probably get clogged up with leaves. Another thought was getting some drain pipe at Lowes but I'm not sure if the tractor would crush plastic pipe. I have a bunch of old steel pipe that I could make something like a cattle guard but I would need to line the ditch with wood or concrete (or whatever.)

Any ideas for something fairly simple to carry runoff away?
 

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At least now you know where the water will run across your driveway. You can either dig out a little deeper and put a 6-8" culvert. for me a 8" or

if you have a place to buy some rough cut saw from a local saw mill, dig that ditch a little deeper make a 3 sided box and for the top just put a few 2x4 or 2x6 placed so you could drive over that location and rest so it would be easy to check and see if it needs cleaned.
 

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Can't tell for sure, but it looks like you may not have the vertical room for a small culvert without building that area up a little. Another option, if you can't get the water to drain away to the right in the picture, is to shape a shallow, very gradual dip where it went across, get a couple tons of larger stone that won't wash away and put that in the dip area. Make a low water crossing of sorts.

That's probably what I would do if I couldn't get it to drain away parallel to the drive. If you build it up for a culvert it might create a berm that would end up holding water back and making a soggy spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips guys! Maybe digging the area out and making a rock swale would work best, we have lots of rocks from pebble size to the size of a truck on the acreage. Then again rocks might collect leaves and dirt runoff. Scratching head here.
 

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Thanks for the tips guys! Maybe digging the area out and making a rock swale would work best, we have lots of rocks from pebble size to the size of a truck on the acreage. Then again rocks might collect leaves and dirt runoff. Scratching head here.
Incase you thought that was part of my suggestion it wasn’t. Let water cross there over the road. With a good rock base, and your small rocks filling the gaps it will remain smooth. And not catch leaves. It looks way to flat for any kind of liquid underpass, it will just collect debris.
 

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How often does it rain like that?

This sounds like a lazy man's way but I think I would be tempted to just put it back the way it was and let it get fully packed before making any changes. My thinking is that you don't have much fall even though you have 250' of run. I doubt you will have any problems with any ordinary rain but if you do, then you can figure things out a bit better. A 7"/hour rate is unusual, or at least I hope so and your road wasn't fully packed yet.

If you do go the culvert route, I'd recommend 12" or larger diameter. Anytime I've used anything smaller it would silt and clog. There are lots of alternatives but all require :gizmo: and some maintenance so my first option would be to put it back, let it get fully packed and see what happens.

The alternative of using larger rock as a base with something like crusher run on top is a good suggestion. If that is packed in tight, it will take quite a bit of water flowing over it with minimal damage. I have a stream crossing that's built that way and it normally has water flowing over it without harm. The only time the rocks moved was when I broke a beaver dam upstream and about 18" of water coming across it moved some of the rocks on the downstream side of the road. The larger rocks are rougher to ride on, even with some fill on top.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Incase you thought that was part of my suggestion it wasn’t. Let water cross there over the road. With a good rock base, and your small rocks filling the gaps it will remain smooth. And not catch leaves. It looks way to flat for any kind of liquid underpass, it will just collect debris.
Ah, roger that. The base is crushed limestone, I forgot what exactly it's called but the largest rocks are 3/4" to 1" - it's the typical road base used in this area. I have a bunch of that kind of base around the shop and after a few years it doesn't wash out even with the heaviest runoff.

I think I'll just pull back the crushed granite and let it get packed in more. I need to get one more load of crushed granite and I'll ask the guy to run up and down the road to pack it in. Our main drive is now crushed granite and once it got packed, it's really hard.

Thanks again fellows! :hi:
 

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That is amazing looking stuff, I'm interested! I was looking at my run off area a while ago and that partial washout started about 200 yards away - I have the beginnings of a dry creek bed. I've identified a place where I can build a rock berm that should pool most of that runoff.
 

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That is amazing looking stuff, I'm interested! I was looking at my run off area a while ago and that partial washout started about 200 yards away - I have the beginnings of a dry creek bed. I've identified a place where I can build a rock berm that should pool most of that runoff.
They have similar matting at a local boat launch. It does well for keeping muck as something you can walk on or roll a light trailer across. I’m betting it would hold crushed anything right where it’s placed.
 

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Along the lines of a larger rock ditch how about putting in a galvanized steel collector that would flow into a 4', 5' or 6' cement valley gutter going across the road?:dunno:
 

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That is amazing looking stuff, I'm interested! I was looking at my run off area a while ago and that partial washout started about 200 yards away - I have the beginnings of a dry creek bed. I've identified a place where I can build a rock berm that should pool most of that runoff.
If you can build a rock berm/level lip spreader to slow down the water flow, that should help your problem immeensely, but with 7" of rain/hr, you may still have a problem. You may have to build several rock berms on that dry creek bed to slow down the water velocity. The geotextile in the area where it has blown out will certainly help. But remember that water will want to go where water will want to go. I would check with your local soil and water conservation agent or engineer to give you some assistance in designing the water measures.

Dave
 

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Only a few days ago I finished a road from our house to the barn so I don't have to put boots on when it rains and I was real proud of the results. Five loads of road base, five loads of crushed granite and a few hours of tractor seat time (and $$$) did the trick. Two days ago we had a frog strangler rain (almost 7" per hour rain rate) and received a much needed 1.76" or rain. What I didn't figure was my new road made a nice berm until part of it washed away. Our property slopes from north to south and there's about 250' of land for runoff to accumulate on the north side of my road.

I'm going to place two or three east-west lines of rock to act as a catch for runoff and to slow it down but I would also like to make some kind of culvert in the road to carry runoff away. I really don't want to buy a large steel culvert, I'd have to do a bunch of excavation to place the pipe and I don't think I need something that large anyway.

I've thought about laying some 4x4 (or 8x8) PT timbers spaced maybe a foot apart perpendicular to the drive but they would probably get clogged up with leaves. Another thought was getting some drain pipe at Lowes but I'm not sure if the tractor would crush plastic pipe. I have a bunch of old steel pipe that I could make something like a cattle guard but I would need to line the ditch with wood or concrete (or whatever.)

Any ideas for something fairly simple to carry runoff away?
Howdy. I would put the rock back and pack it back in. Then I would regrade the uphill side and help the water go down the drive more. From what I can see in the pics it looks like the water comes down along the upper part and meets up with water running down to the point it washed out the rock. A.small sale will help, I wouldn't put rock in it, just let the grass grow back and I think you will be fine. Like someone said, you don't usually get that amount of rain every time. Good luck
 

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What about a plain ol' open ditch on the right/uphill side of your road? Can't see what's farther on the right of your pic. Is there a place for the water to go?
I live in Tennessee and we've got ditches on the both sides of ALL roads...no storm sewers here! As long as there's a place for the water to go at the end of the ditch...withOUT crossing/washing out your road, you're good to go!
 

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I would vote for putting it back and packing it down with a slight swale in that area.

I also like the matting that Big posted. Thanks. I have a project or three that might benefit from that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
7" per hour is a lot of rain that I hope isn't common for your area. What about a detention pond instead? You could get some seat time digging a pond that would only fill up during heavy rains.
Unfortunately my weather station doesn't archive high rain rate but 7" an hour is not the norm but spring and fall we can get some very heavy downpours. There's a saying here about weather - we're either in a drought or having flash flooding.

In our west pasture I have a fairly large retention pond built by the previous owner, good thing otherwise our county road would get washed out every few years. There's really no room to dig a small pond in the area of interest unless I take out a bunch of trees - they help quite a bit to stabilize the soil.

Anyway, I've added some pictures that show the runoff 'collection' area. Up-grade behind the house and berm is quite a bit of erosion, all of that water is diverted by the house berm and ultimately down to my new road. The erosion is getting worse and worse and I really need to put mat or something like that down ASAP to keep what little soil we have in place. I also have erosion west of the attached pictures that I need to deal with.

And thanks again guys, this is really a friendly and helpful place to hang out :hi:
 

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