Building a new driveway or road on vacant land is an exciting first step in creating access to build a cabin or residence. The following are some tips to consider in building a new driveway or road.
First and foremost, consider the proper configuration for handling moisture and water.
When gravel driveways are designed correctly they will absorb and shed water efficiently. To “Crown” a driveway or road is where the center of the driveway or road is higher than the sides of the driveway or road. Typically a 3 degree angle slope from the center to the side of the driveway or road is common to allow for proper water drainage.
There are two ways to resolve this concern. The first solution is to apply a greater amount of gravel so that a “crown” can be established. The second solution is to dig ditches along the sides of the driveway or road to facilitate water drainage.
And, what about tree stumps?
They need to be removed. When tree stumps rot they cause voids under the driveway which will create mini sinkholes and damage your driveway.
A durable sub-structure is critical to the long-term health of your driveway or road. Any driveway or road surface (concrete, blacktop or gravel) will require a sturdy base. In the UP of Michigan there are a number of soil conditions ranging from sand to sandstone and shale. Depending on the situation, a base layer of sand or pit run (a mix of large stones with clay or sand) will be needed to provide a solid base for proper drainage and durability. In most cases this will entail removal of the topsoil before construction can begin.
All of the above criteria will help prevent potholes, thus avoiding future expensive maintenance and upkeep.