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A Good Road Lies Easy on the Land  RSS feed

 
Instructor
Posts: 111
Location: Reno, NV
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Paul and I just recorded a series of 4 podcasts reviewing this book to be released sometime soon...so here's a thread where we can discuss this info and other road building adventures and concerns that people have encountered.

the book is by Bill Zeedyk who also wrote Let the Water do the Work on Induced meandering which can be discussed in more detail on this permies thread
http://www.permies.com/t/15484/permaculture/Induced-Meandering

Here is a link to the free pdf version of the book
http://quiviracoalition.org/images/pdfs/1888-A_Good_Road_Lies_Easy_on_the_Land.pdf

This book is geared towards land managers and broad acre land owners such as farmers and ranchers and gives guidelines and details for how to decrease maintenance, improve effective use of water, and mitigate issues with erosion, impaired water quality, and landscape health. A good portion of it is a how to manual, and it has lots of great pictures and drawings. it is set up for low-standard roads aka dirt roads and not paved scenarios, which we assumed would be the types of roads homesteaders and farmers are building.

I think the info presented here can be applied to homesteading and even to garden pathway design for high use pathways. In particular, I think the keyline design method of siting roads in the landscape as part of the water harvesting system and the good road information are complimentary. and both focus on how we can use roads to fit multiple functions as well as minimize cost and maintenance.

Three of the keyline books can be found at soil and health.
The Keyline Plan
The Challenge of Landscape
The City Forest

Yeomans Water for Every Farm can be purchased from Amazon or directly Water for Every Farm

For more info on Keyline, you can also come to our class this August. Keyline Design Course August 2012

These books are tough to wade through though, whereas a good road is a quick fairly simple read.

roads have the potential to be very valuable and very destructive in our built landscapes and there are some simple things to consider

location in the landscape: ideally at the toeslope in the uplands
drain the water off at every good opportunity to a location that can process it (infiltrate or store) effectively
only use a culvert when you really have to
as you traverse a landscape try to have the road alternate between uphill and downhill stretches freqeuntly (grade reversals)
keep the road as narrow as possible for a given use or vehicle type
Crown high use roads, whenever possible
outslope low use roads, whenever possible


there's a lot more, and these are some of the basics.

I'd love to hear stories or see pictures.
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 10518
Location: Portugal
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The first of the four podcasts is now available. I'm still listening to it, so can't really comment on it yet...

A Good Road Lies Easy on the Land - podcast, part one
 
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
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Neil,
Great podcast! I'm on 2 right now. It prompted me to do a follow up on our road tune up. I posted in Feb I think it was. Our improvements worked. If your at all interested my post is at http://www.permies.com/t/12930/homestead/Dirt-road-rain. I would appreciate input from ya on the flat area with ruts. Not sure how to tackle it. Could someone maybe move my post and attach it to this thread? Might make sense.
Keep up the good work.
Jim
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Thanks, this looks really good. We have kilometers of roads we have to maintain, in a land of rain of 3 meters. You think water, first and always.
 
Jim Lea
Posts: 114
Location: Southern Sierra Nevada's
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I have finished all 4 podcasts now. Good job guys. Thanks for taking the time to produce it. While it may not be for everyone it has helped me in our situation where we have about 2.5 miles of fairly heavily traveled dirt. Two thumbs up.
Jim
 
Posts: 535
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Low tech tow-behind true road grader. No affiliation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK7ptUIOghY&feature=relmfu

[edit]
A day more research and the above looks fairly overpriced and breakable. As well, the better low-end road tool may be a "pull type" box blade (scraper) rather than a single open blade when the job is to maintain an already existing road or the grade of the proposed road is fairly small. These use a single point hitch and the wheels at the back allow much better "smoothing" than simple tractor mounted blades and scrapers; many are usable behind mini tractors and SUV's (the latter assuming the equipment can be set up w/out hydraulics). Equipment with adjustments for the height of the box-blade individually for left and right sides allow crowning way more easily. Here is a list short of manufacturers: Frontier, Nammco, Reynolds, Double D, Westendorf (Landscraper) and of course John Deer. Also this site "www.changeyourland.com" though they may be re-sellers. I'm sure there are many others.
[end-edit]

Alternatives to above

http://www.doublebrepair-mfg.com/


And a way fancier version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3K5yT3icX0&feature=endscreen&NR=1
 
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