[permaculture] Re: pothole fixes

Albert Postema postema at nwlink.com
Sat Apr 10 03:23:59 EDT 2004

Greetings Dominic,
Potholes,  potholes, no easy solution
Going on the assumption that the roadway, is not asphalt, 
has a gravel base of some sort
and has potholes therein, the best way is to regrade. 
 With care taken
to loosen the soil around the pothole edges.

If the potholes are just filled, they will show back up very shortly.
Due to the "looseness" of the fill material in the potholes
and the "non adhesive" interface of the fill - pothole mix.

On badly potholed roadways (24" diameter, 6" depth)
we will take a dozer with a ripper attachment and scour the roadway
to loosen all the roadway base material, regrade, and provide compaction of some form (wheel rolling typically with loaded truck).

Doing this during dry weather is very preferable and drain or scoop all water 
out of potholes prior to regrading.  A tractor with a keyline plow could
work as well. The key being to loosen the material around the pothole, so all material will recompact at the same rate.

Otherwise the potholes will be back in a month or so.

Scouring the entire roadway, regrading and new gravel placement  (2-3" thick)
would set you good for 6 months or so, before new potholes start forming.
(figuring 30- 40 vehicle trips per day)

The most efficient way to keeping your gravel roadway, driveway etc. 
from the pothole pizza scenario's is frequent minor maintenance.

Once a month or when a pothole starts to form, fill with a fine gravel. And or regrade. We do regrading for some local associations twice a year. (May, Nov.)
A small chipped or fractured material with fines works best for filling potholes. 

If you let potholes go, they
will devolp into bigger problems. The adage, " a ounce of prevention is worth a 
pound of cure" is very pothole applicable.

Call some local contractors and ask for bids, make sure you compare apples to apples. Estimated time: 1km x 3m of roadway scouring 3.5-5hr dozer... regrading and spread gravel  3.5-5hr.  If they do not talk about "breaking" up the pothole edges, go get some other opinions, they probably are not as experienced or aware.

Form a pothole committee with alternating bi- weekly "pothole parades" among the roadway users ie; walk the roadway with a rake.  Hopefully this information is helpfull.

Best regards
Albert Postema
Earthwise Excavation     100% Biodiesel powered
Snohomish, Washington State

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