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Swales to fix a not-on-contour access road problem

 
pollinator
Posts: 1160
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
69
kids trees urban
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My community bought land that had an access road that goes straight up the hill, sort of on a ridge line(ish) but not really, just kind of collects water that goes streaming down the drainage ditches on both sides.

At the same time we have brush piles that are sitting around that people are thinking they should burn.

I'm wanting to put the two problems together (one of which isn't a problem in anyone else's eyes but I still think it is one) and make one solution. But what could we really do?

I know there was a Geoff Lawton video about access roads, I thought it was the Property Purchasing Checklist one but I don't see the part in that that talks about ridge lines. I think that might sort of apply here, at least more so than the on-contour one (which this road really isn't).

Then again, maybe some of the time it's closer to on-contour than not and if we could put drainage under-pipes in the right places, and grow growies beside it better, it might be more self-maintaining.

On either side of the road there are streams, one about 10-20' away (a bit up-hill), the other I'd say 50-100' away (that one's below, a creek). These may be protected by EPA regulations that we never quite got fully researched, but perhaps should have. The road was here when we got here, however, which I think means we're not legally responsible for that aspect of things, but if we dug swales closer to the streams I imagine we'd be culpable.

Hope this is clear.

If we can use excavator what should we do?
If we can't use excavator but have to do by hand, what can we do?

Thanks much.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Posts: 1160
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
69
kids trees urban
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Oh, it's a wet climate, New England, zone 6/5-ish. Gets heavy rather sudden rains, long periods of dry too. And some natural springs run through things too.
 
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