Drainage for long gravel driveway?

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Old 12-31-15, 04:09 PM
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Drainage for long gravel driveway?

We have a very long driveway that has been improperly graded and perhaps wasn't designed that great in the first place.

If we want to put in several cross drain ditches, what material options are possible? Would some type of heavy french drain design be possible? If so, what type of pipe can handle light traffic? Usually the heaviest vehicle is the trash truck.
 
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Old 12-31-15, 04:14 PM
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Can you please provide a couple of pictures of your driveway showing the slope etc. of it. Just putting in a cross drain isn't going to help a lot unless you have some place for the water to go.
 
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Old 12-31-15, 05:52 PM
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With the severe rains lately our drive (1/4 mile) has taken a beating with longitudinal gulleys forming. I have a suggestion which takes your french drain a step further. Instead of draining the water, redirect it with berms or angular cut outs raised above the drive. Yeah, it will act like a speed bump, but it will direct water into a controlled stream or wet weather drainage ditch. Damage to the drive will be minimal at that point. You'll see this in wilderness area roadbeds, or NFS lands.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 04:46 AM
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How long is the driveway? How much slope? any turns? if so how many?
My driveway is 1/4 mile long with 7 turns with the top being about 300' higher than the bottom. Mine is sloped to the inside with 2 drain tiles along the way. That forces most of the water to run along the inside and not wash out the road.
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 01-01-16, 05:45 AM
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You say the driveway is not graded properly. What do you think is wrong with the grading? It sounds like you are having water problems. Is the water coming from somewhere else and trying to cross the driveway or is the problem just water landing on the driveway?
 
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Old 01-01-16, 06:19 AM
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Driveway

If so, what type of pipe can handle light traffic? Usually the heaviest vehicle is the trash truck.
I would call the trash truck heavy traffic.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 12:49 PM
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Great input! I will try to get some pics but the only camera I have is the one built into my computer.

OK, it is a gravel/dirt road almost 1/2 mile long. This part is a straight run. There are a couple of smaller, shorter roads that need attention too but one thing at a time.

Most of the road is sloped, it goes slightly up from the entrance to a low peak, then down to a small flattish area near our pond, and then back up a hill to the turn up to the house.

It used to be better graded but the person who maintained it for a while pushed too much material to the sides so the edges are higher than the ditch which runs the length of the road.

So, there is potentially some place for the water to go but some better drainage should've been installed long ago and it should've either been graded differently or had material added.

Much of the water is falling on the road itself which got widened during the improper grading. A small amount of water can come from the sides in a few spots but mostly is not a problem. The ditch on one side is good in most areas of the full length but cannot drain water properly because of too much berm built up in between. The other side has a good ditch in a few areas but there is the same problem of berm'ed side material in the way of drainage.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 12:56 PM
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I suppose a trash truck might not be light traffic. Would anything short of steel pipe handle this kind of weight? Would this newer black, corrugated pipe handle it? Can you drill holes in it to make it a French drain?

I like the idea of the crosscut berms for drainage. Then we would only need to break spots in the berm to make a path to the ditch. That is a totally different approach we hadn't even thought about.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 02:06 PM
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Generally the steel corrugated or concrete tiles are best. The plastic tiles hold up ok but a lot is dependent on how deep they are set and how well the earth is packed around them. With a driveway that long I'd consider investing in a tractor and scraper blade. While my driveway [and property] is mostly slate rock my old tractor [ford NAA] does a great job of dressing it up as needed.

I'd probably scrape out the sides/ditches better and cut holes/drains into the berms as/where needed.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 04:12 PM
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You say corrugated, you mean corrugated plastic (I don't know if their is corrugated metal)? Can I drill holes in it to work like a French drain?

We do have a couple of tractors but I don't know how to use them well. I tried to drag the old box we have but it seemed to just scrape across the surface and not move hardly any material--even with the claws lowered. I thought maybe the angle of the blade at the back was wrong but I couldn't get it adjusted differently.

We do have a newer tractor and a box for it but I'll have to figure out how to get the mower off and the blade/box back on. The tractor and box are both smaller but newer and everything works well on the tractor itself. Maybe it would be more adjustable and work better.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 04:46 AM
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Corrugated pipe/tile comes in both plastic and steel. The county I live in approves steel and concrete for the culverts connecting to a county road but not the plastic. I'm not sure there would be much/any benefits from drilling holes to make a french drain under your driveway. It would be better to collect the water in the ditch or a basin and then pipe it to the other side.

My tractor is 63 yrs old, 27 hp and works fine. A box blade is great for leveling and filling in ruts but won't help you much for regrading. Both blades can be adjusted some with the leveling crank but a scraper blade can also be adjusted further by loosening the bolts on the blade and tilting the blade one way or the other.
 
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Old 01-02-16, 06:35 AM
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Driveway

Adding to Mark's comments, it sounds like you need to use a scraper blade set at an angle to pull the dirt and gravel from the sides back to the center. This is a common problem for gravel driveways. It takes a few tries to get the right blade angle and number of trips each way to get the best results. The material naturally works its way downhill as the driveway is used and as erosion occurs, so try to scrape uphill when possible to restore the eroded areas.

Here is an example of a scraper with an adjustable angle blade:

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...r-blade-5-ft-w
 
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Old 01-02-16, 07:03 AM
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HawkLine by Behlen Country Heavy-Duty Adjustable Rear Grader Blade — Category 1, 7-ft. Working Width, Model# GB84HD-ADJ | Category 1 Blades Scrapers| Northern Tool + Equipment

This link shows the rear of a scraper blade. The blade can be slid from side to side along with tilting one side [or the other] up and down by loosening the nuts on both side of the box where the blade mounts.
 
 

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