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Discussion Starter #1
Got word that my road through a type 7 wooded swamp is getting permitted (silvicultural exemption), so now the decision on how to build it needs to be made.

I had the DNR TEP guy out last fall and he did some bore samples which discovered 3" of clay over sand under 4' of peat muck. So it's shallow enough I can skip geotextile, but I question the value of that savings? If I use fabric, it'll add about $450 per layer on the cost, where my other materials will be around $2500 or so (16x250' road bed).

I also question the "best practices" guidelines which state to put the fabric down over the organic material, and then put fill over it. Seems like a "skim coat" of large stones would make a better base for the fabric, even if some of that ended up sinking.

Another benefit to a base layer under the first coarse of fabric would be the ability to anchor the culverts with the fabric. The culvert my swamp drains to has heaved over the past 5 years or so and is coming up through the asphalt. I'd like to prevent that on mine!

So right now I'm thinking: muck/4-6" riprap to level it out over the stumps and slash/geotextile/gravel/then class 5 with fines for the surface.

I can also do corduroy and float it, but I think that'd work better if the ground was cleared. Maybe do corduroy over the fabric and below the gravel?

The swamp will start thawing when the temps reach the 40's and that could be this weekend.

Any input is welcome! I didn't think I'd get permission, or I would've done more site prep last fall.
 

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The easiest way to cross a wet swampy area is to fill it alot of bone.
That is big rock and rip rap or concrete and brick.
Have built quite a few roads that way. Mainly on Ft Dix where it wasn't an engineered and inspected public highway type of road. And a few private driveways as well. Used hundreds of loads of hammered up runway and tarmac concrete to make tank and armored vehicle roads.
I also did an access for my uncle where we used five tri axle loads of clean broken brick about 4 feet thick to cross a wet spung.

The thing is you can never get rid of the water and you shouldn't try to. The ground water will flow through the bone naturally without compromising stability. Now if we were talking about a public road or highway a whole different in depth, very expensive and engineered solution would be drawn up.
Start with the biggest boney material you can at the bottom and when you get near your subgrade fill the voids with a smaller clean boney material. You can then lay down a fabric and cover that with a road base material.
Getting down to the more stable UNDISTURBED clay or sand layer with your base material is the goal to make it as tight as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Talked to the pit boss, and he's got larger rock for $15/yd delivered per 12yd truck load ($180 a load). We just got 3" of snow, so everything's pretty well covered up now, but I'm planning on heading over there my next trip up here when the snows melted down a bit. I need to be home for a week or two to run my business, and can deal with the rock when I come back.

I have all the sand you can shake a stick at, but I don't want to dyke the swamp. There's a spring feeding it somewhere either on my 3 acres or the neighbors 2 (he's slightly up hill from me, but I have the deeper hole). I'd actually like to dredge it out into a pond, but don't have the money for that yet.

So having given it some thought; my plan is to put down a base of coarse rock and try to level it out a bit, and use that as a ford (I can add more as the swamp eats it). Then build some wooden mats, and then build a road bed over that.
 

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Interesting how things are so much different in certain areas. Around here before excavating to build a house, driveway or road we usually start with drilling and blasting. With all the rocks and granite ledge you need a backhoe to plant a geranium!!
 
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Discussion Starter #5
We're technically a drumlin field, but I don't know of anyone who's hit bedrock that wasn't drilling a well at the time. :)

There's a lot of stone in our soil, but it'd cost me more to sift it than to have the stuff delivered. When it's time for sand, I'll dig my own.

There's several gravel pits in a 5 mile radius of my land - it's kinda like firewood; the trees are free, but you pay for labor and hauling.
 

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Jim,

I dunno if you have ever worked with the Geo-textile before, or not.

It kind of works in reverse.

Instead of needing support with rock under it, it relies on tension of the rocks ON it, which creates a linear load on the fabric, and enlarging the effective footprint. Think of it as making a giant snowshoe. It needs some compression to work.

Putting the Fabric over Rock is counterproductive in muck and sand really, and just adds expense.

This whole area is either sand or muck, and cutting in Geo-textile 6", and then fill with 6" of 23A or crushed concrete, over 5-6' of Muck that sees heavy water flow seasonally, is pretty normal here. Heck, running loaded Reefer trailers over them without settling for years is normal that way. Ours just needs the backblade now and then, to fill the spots where wheels have spun.

It seems contrary, and especially so to us old school guys, that only knew to pack with sticks, and then keep pushing it to China with Gravel, every other year.

Price and Co. out of Grand Rapids, is a great source of info and help, for engineering and materials.
http://www.priceandcompany.com/index.html

Have you checked with the NRCS guys? If it's going to be a frequently used road, there might be some cost shares available under soil conservation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The most help I get is $100 permit fee and not having to pay impact credits unless I convert the land to residential and use it as my driveway.

I've been talking to all the TEP folks (ACoE, SWCD, county wetlands coordinator, DNR) for the past 3 years trying to find a reasonable solution to my being land locked. Finally getting the forestry exemption made permanent (I've had a 3yr temp No-loss determination on a corduroy atv trail which expires this summer) is a relief.

Part of the problem with the geotextile in this application is how little firm soil there is to anchor it with. The shoulder of the road I'm connecting to is mushy until mid-july. Without something to tug on, the fabric will just sink too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Started out with this:



Added 5 of these:



Ended up with this (so far):



I called it quits after spreading 4 loads. The 4th had some boulders bigger than a pair of watermelon, and those really mess up spreadability.

I'm going to end up hand loading the bucket to finish leveling this out, and also to place the big stuff along the edges. That should work well for erosion control.

They ran out of the fist size rock we started with, so hopefully in a few weeks they'll have more when I'm ready for the next batch. Road weight restrictions start Thursday, and run for 8 weeks. I won't be able to get a full load until that's lifted - delivery is most of the expense for this stuff.
 

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That's a start.:good2:
The ideal machine for that is a small excavator. It allows you to place bigger rocks on the bottom and use the smaller stuff to fill in.
 

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I'm keenly interested in this thread. I have a similar road to put in across a river valley (~300') that is has similar soils for a base.

I have used fabrics extensively on my property. For my river valley crossing, I was going to clear the debris off the route, fabric with a woven, 200lb tensile strength geotext I have used elsewhere w/ great success. Then a foot or two of #1 or #2 limestone or equivalent, topped with a foot crushed concrete. After a few years of the crushed concrete settling into the #1/2 and overall settling of the bed, maybe a few inches of more crushed rock/cement. I don't plan on cement trucks traversing it... 'should be bullet-proof for light duty trucks and tractors.

I'm a few years out from my project. I am very interested in how this project works out for the OP.

Matt
 
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Discussion Starter #14
The natives are restless and trying to block my permit. I guess they're trying to muster resistance from the township at tomorrow's board meeting. I'm waiting to hear back from the clerk if I need to go back up there and attend or if it's not needed since they can't stop me from using the road.

Work is temporarily halted until the final approval on the 27th (which is going to happen).

Meanwhile, I've informed my rock supplier of my need for another 10 loads of the larger stone and he's got time to amass some inventory while we wait out the road weight restrictions into early May. I'm not sure how much the muck is going to swallow up, but I've had good luck with wood floating weight on the surface as long as the load has been distributed across the logs and they weren't put in a hole that was punched through when the soil was unprotected (then the logs just sink and shift). I'll find out how hungry the muck is when I go up next and drive the tractor around on the work I've already done. The area at the very end of the first 93' (I laser'd it the other day) which has rock will be soggy when I return in a week or so (unless I have to go up tomorrow of course).

Lots of mud up there right now! The frost is holding water at the surface, so everything that's normally well drained is sticking to your boots.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ONE lone objector came to the meeting. Town board needs to verify no culvert is needed in the right of way (site visit Saturday), and we're steam rolling towards the final approval.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Today it went from good to great with the township side of things. I had mentioned the culvert was iced up and plugged last night, and the roads supervisor and the other board member guy came out with the county steamer crew to clear it. While they were out (2/3 of the town board) we went over my road location, that it wouldn't need a culvert permit from the township, and I had their complete blessing to proceed. :yahoo:

18" culvert plugged solid with ice and about to overflow the road holds a lot of water back. This was after about an hour and the water was down around 8". 5 acre swamp 16" higher than usual is a fair bit of fluid. :)

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Today was the last day of the comment period. I sent an email to the wetlands coordinator last night suggesting he might want to delay issuing the permit until Monday because my application was accepted pretty late in the day on the Friday 3 weeks ago - I didn't want the possibility of an appeal based on a technicality (14.8 business days instead of 15) which would serve to give them time to smarten up about ways they could actually shut me down (or tie me up in court for a while). He agreed, and will be issuing his decision Monday. He also asked for a copy of my SFIA contract so he could reference it in his decision (a good sign :good2: ).

Monday this will be a done deal. I haven't had any of the Technical Evaluation Panel members comment on the application, so it's sailing through the red tape and my previous meetings with them worked to establish my case.

The lake neighbors haven't made a peep in about a week and a half. They're aware of the appeals process, the $250 fee to apply for it, and I don't think they know they'd need to find some evidence of an endangered critter living in my swamp (which would only happen if they were trespassing - so catch 22 there!) to be successful, but I still don't think that'll prevent them from trying. I won't be at all surprised if they file, but they've got nothing on me so once the application is approved I can laugh at them for the rest of eternity knowing they have idle threats. The wetlands coordinator is also aware of how out of whack these folks are, and should have a pretty bulletproof approval determination if I'm reading his latest requests right. He's the one who'll have to defend it, but he's also got the county's legal department backing him. :nunu:

Once the Spring weight restrictions are lifted, we're back to hauling rock. :greentractorride:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I got my notice - we're exempt. :good2:

Neighbors are already wondering how to get in my way now that they can't stop my road construction. Township never even commented on my application. They have no problems with me using the beach road within it's limits. Lots of butthurt will commence today. :lolol:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Did a little more shifting of the rock yesterday. I'm anxiously awaiting the frost to come out of the ground, but with how cold it's been getting at night the progress is severely stunted this year.

There's so much ice in the ground from the culvert backing up that water is coming out of the cracks in the asphalt when you drive on it.





I'm going to need another load of chunky stuff by the road before I start pushing out further across the swamp. I had scraped it kinda thin the last time I was working the area, and now the soil is falling apart without the frost holding things up. The areas where I have a good base are unaffected by the tractor rolling over them (front or rear axles). That made me happy.


I also talked to the Menard's delivery guy a bit about the project when he dropped off my 16ga 24" culverts yesterday. He used aspen to make a similar road and said he found the wood had hardened up after being buried and it wasn't punky at all after being buried for a couple years. I've been under the impression that I'd need to cut oak or maple to build my corduroy layer, but now I'm wondering if I can use aspen? I have a lot of aspen I want gone, so if I can use it in the road base that'd be awesome.
 
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