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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm looking at a piece of property that has an access trail leading into the main portion of the land. The land the access trail is on is 66' wide, 1200' long and is currently a tractor trail.

I've researched making driveways, and more or less aware of the process, but I'm looking for advice from those of you who've got experience in this area. Assuming the soil is fairly well packed already, and the entire trail looks like the photo I've attached, what immediate concerns do you see? I'm thinking it needs to be widened, packed down, maybe crushed rock and grading/crowning, and ditches/drainage along the sides. Am I missing anything? In your experience, is this prohibitively expensive (more than a few thousand dollars)? (Assuming I do most of the work and hire out the heavy equipment when I can't do it myself.)

Thanks for your help,
--Derek

 

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From the photo, the trail doesn't look 66 feet wide.

Our 400 foot driveway was an old logging road (two ruts). I simply cut the brush and low hanging trees limbs on either side of the trail and that was it. No big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oops... Wrote that wrong. The part of the land that I'd own is 66' wide. The trail is considerably less; you're quite right.

Thanks for the info. How do you keep yours clear in the winter...any problems? What about spring? I'm in Eastern Canada.

--Derek
 

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The picture shows a flat area but it looks like a drop off beyond that. As someone that had a very long driveway with hills and curves I can tell you that I couldn't earn enough money to maintain it in gravel. The hours I spent scraping it with a tractor and the money I spent in gravel made me happy to sell the place.
 

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Madroaster said:
Thanks for the info. How do you keep yours clear in the winter...any problems? What about spring? I'm in Eastern Canada.

--Derek
This is how:


During the spring thaw, the road gets a little muddy and we will create some ruts....but, t's never too bad on accounta we're on sand. After the thaw is over and the road firms up, I will drag the road with an iron-toothed drag and then smooth it with the snow plow blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Beeman said:
The picture shows a flat area but it looks like a drop off beyond that. As someone that had a very long driveway with hills and curves I can tell you that I couldn't earn enough money to maintain it in gravel. The hours I spent scraping it with a tractor and the money I spent in gravel made me happy to sell the place.
This is straight and nearly flat. Not perfectly, but not hilly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cabin Fever said:
This is how:

During the spring thaw, the road gets a little muddy and we will create some ruts....but, t's never too bad on accounta we're on sand. After the thaw is over and the road firms up, I will drag the road with an iron-toothed drag and then smooth it with the snow plow blade.
Thanks...I'd wondered if it was as easy as going that route.

Anyone else with similar experiences and/or horror stories?
 

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I see a big mudhole in your picture. You'll need a culvert and fill if it's a flowage or maybe a re-route around it if it's not.

What's your soil type?

Spring is usually the worse but it might be just a matter of parking at the beginning of the driveway for a week or 2 until it firms up after the frost leaves.
 

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Just howling at the moon
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66' x 1200' I wouldn't even consider the property. That is only 6' wider than the typical city lot around here.

With it being that long and narrow it would be hard to do anything with it but cut it up into smaller lots.

You'll have no privacy as you have no width to keep them from building right next to you.

You need over 1/2 a mile of fencing for about 2 acres to fence it in.
 

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"66' x 1200' I wouldn't even consider the property. That is only 6' wider than the typical city lot around here."

I think that is the land the access trail is on, maybe not the area he will build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wy_white_wolf said:
66' x 1200' I wouldn't even consider the property. That is only 6' wider than the typical city lot around here.

With it being that long and narrow it would be hard to do anything with it but cut it up into smaller lots.

You'll have no privacy as you have no width to keep them from building right next to you.

You need over 1/2 a mile of fencing for about 2 acres to fence it in.
Actually, the 66x1200 is just the access to the property. The rest of the property is 3320'x745'. Still a lot of fencing though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fishhead said:
I see a big mudhole in your picture. You'll need a culvert and fill if it's a flowage or maybe a re-route around it if it's not.

What's your soil type?
I haven't seen the property yet, but according to my soil survey maps the area is sandy clay.
 

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Sand, like Cabin Fever has, is easy to build on.

Clay, like I have several 100 miles south of him, is miserable to build a road on. Mine is raised, with ditches on both sides. I put $2000 of gravel into it, & it still is smeary soft for a couple weeks in spring. But the gravel made it much better. Never measured it, but probably a tad longer than yours, not much.

Road building depends on: Soil type. Rainfall/snowfall. Frost depth. Flat or hills. Combined, these items will tell what is required to make a passable road.

We probably don't have enough info to say what type of road you need. Dry sandy areas and you aren't going through low spots, won't take much. Clay, low spots, rolling ground, lot of rain possible in a freezing climate, and you will need to raise the bed a foot, add drainage, & put a lot of rock and gravel on top.

--->Paul
 

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Madroaster said:
Thanks...I'd wondered if it was as easy as going that route.

Anyone else with similar experiences and/or horror stories?
I just spent $11,000 CDN getting 200 yards of road put in. It was a horror show, that's for sure, as it should have cost half of that. :Bawling: The municipality was supposed to come in with a grader to cut a ditch and build up the road bed. They screwed around for 3 weeks and never showed. Then it rained for 3 weeks solid.

The ground was soaked, especially in a low spot. The contractor putting in a pad for my mobile tried to keep to schedule and haul in gravel and got stuck to the axles. It turns out the low spot is full of white clay, which apparently turns into a bottomless soup when wet.

Couldn't wait all summer for it to dry out, so we ended up having the whole road built with a backhoe at $100 per hour. I decided to put geotextile down for another $1400 touch, because everything was so wet. On top of it all, the closest gravel pit was closed for a week and I ended up paying 20% more per yard to haul it further.

The road is overbuilt, but the mobile has to get moved on it, so there wasn't too much choice. Looks okay now, though :rolleyes:
 

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I don't know how muchmoney you are thinking of spending but I found something down here (southern GA) that I think is the best thing going for drives. They call it washout, it might be called something else where you are but I'm willing to bet you can find it. Its recycled concrete, its crushed and has some water added to it. Someone suggested it to me and I could afford two truck loads, I wish I could have gotten 5!! It packs down HARD and doesn't wash out after its packed. But when I needed to run a water line across the drive I was able to dig through it then refill the trench now you can't even tell where the spot was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cabin Fever said:
What does the soil survey say in regards to the seasonal high watertable depth?
Here's what the soil survey says. Not exactly positive news. The land itself is as this describes; generally flat with several depressions all over it. Sounds wet to me.

Survey:
Soil drainage ranges from moderately well to very poorly drained (Fig. 18). Gentle slopes and low soil perviousness result in excess water draining somewhat slowly. In depressed areas, roundwater and subsurface flow add to precipitation causing soils to be wet or saturated during most of the growing season. Impeded drainage is the norm rather than the exception, and imperfectly drained sites are widespread. They are associated with moderately well-drained soils on crests or elevated positions, and poorly to very poorly drained soils in depressional areas. Perched water tables, resulting from the “perching” of water on the surface of relatively impermeable lodgment till, occur in spring and fall and periodically throughout the growing season after heavy rainstorms.

Although some well- and moderately well-drained sites exist, low-lying topographic positions cause most sites to be imperfectly to very poorly drained. Groundwater levels are high but the water is well aerated and nutrient-rich, which offsets, at least to some degree, the detrimental effects of saturation. Most sites are subjected to flooding. Frequency is directly related to site position and drainage. Ill-drained sites, usually closer to the stream channel or in depressions, suffer more prolonged and frequent flooding. However, even well-drained sites are affected but less severely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
rambler said:
Sand, like Cabin Fever has, is easy to build on.

Clay, like I have several 100 miles south of him, is miserable to build a road on. Mine is raised, with ditches on both sides. I put $2000 of gravel into it, & it still is smeary soft for a couple weeks in spring. But the gravel made it much better. Never measured it, but probably a tad longer than yours, not much.

Road building depends on: Soil type. Rainfall/snowfall. Frost depth. Flat or hills. Combined, these items will tell what is required to make a passable road.

We probably don't have enough info to say what type of road you need. Dry sandy areas and you aren't going through low spots, won't take much. Clay, low spots, rolling ground, lot of rain possible in a freezing climate, and you will need to raise the bed a foot, add drainage, & put a lot of rock and gravel on top.
That pretty much describes the area. Looking at the soil survey and thinking about what you've said, it sounds like it could be miserable.
 

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No way forget it run now. It might work but if it doesn't it will be a black hole. I would never consider something like that sounds like some auctioneer divided up a large parcel and you are looking at the back part with a access from hell.
 

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Just a typical farm drive around here. Takes some work, build up the bed, gravel it, and drive.

Everything takes money.

I'd be more worried about the building site, if that is what you plan to do - is there a dry spot you can get a septic to perc, etc.

--->Paul
 
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