What can I do to improve my property?
What projects should you be doing to improve your property? In my opinion one of the most important things, you can do for a property is maintain/improve the road system. There’s always going to be something you can do to make your roads better.
The main thing to think about when working on your road is water control. Controlling how the water flows around your road is vital to keep them from washing out and creating mud holes. Roads with adequate water control also will last much longer. The first thing I consider when doing road maintenance is the overall shape of my roadbed. Is it flat, u-shaped, or crowned? A crowned road is best, allowing water to run off the middle. The key to a crowned road creating ditches on either side with the middle of the road being higher and sloping down to the ditch on the side. With very few exceptions, this is the goal to reach on a road. A U-shaped road is going to require the most work. The shape of this road means that water collects in the middle of the road and has created a channel in the middle creating high sides and a low middle. There are two solutions to this problem. First you can haul in new material and build the road that way. Second, you can reshape the road by pulling material from the sides into the middle reshaping it into the correct crown shape. A flat road is on its way to becoming U-shaped. As more water and traffic move down the road it will eventually hold water if it is not already doing so. A flat road, however, should not require as much work as a u-shaped road.
As I said previously, all things go back to water control. The best place to start on road maintenance is on the edges. You’re going to want to create a small ditch on edge of the road pulling the material in towards the middle of the road. You can accomplish this with a box-blade and a tractor, a skid steer with an adjustable blade, or a bulldozer and 6-way blade. Another important detail is to create a turnout in low spots where water can exit the ditch and run off into a drainage area. I’m sure there is a science to knowing how many to put in and where to put in, but my rule of thumb is to find where water is naturally trying to exit the road or low spots and make the turnouts there.
This is a very basic guide to road maintenance. Keep in mind that it will take a significant amount of time to reshape a road. I have found that moving at a slow pace typically works best. As always, feel free to contact me by phone or email with any questions about wildlife/property management.
Trey Adkins Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (334)-707-5694