David Livingston wrote:Some questions
Does this ditch flood ?
Are you on stone or clay or ?
will you need planning permission ?
on the side I'm standing on in the picture (house side) it's really really loamy and dark and beautiful. The other side is a bit soft in spots. I'm not even sure how to explain it.
It's difficult to be more helpful without knowing the geology . Will the sides of the ditch collapse with the weight of the tractor?
David Livingston wrote:I' m fond of these and being St Pats it is appropriate an Irish bridge
Our neighbors had a low concrete bridge built over their seasonal creek. I can't imagine that it cost less than $10,000.
The term Irish Bridge is a poor joke as it's not really a bridge it's a type of ford made out of pipes some sort of filling . Can be quite simple and cheap fill the ditch with pipes and infill . .water goes through the pipes and the pipes and infil support the weight of the tractor Etc
Obviously it would rot out eventually, and use of a rot resistant tree would be good... If I was building one, I'd not cover it in earth, but level the tops of the logs adequately to drive on them directly, or deck them over per John's diagram.
I particularly like that John's suggestion allows for lifting to clear out any debris/clogging. The log-bridge definitely could not be moved, but there was sufficient clearance to the water below that it wasn't a problem, and as a bonus the bridge would stay put even when the whole area flooded above it...
I added this thread to a couple more forums to see if you might be able to get a few more ideas. Good luck, don't forget to take pictures of whatever you end up going with and post them here.
But the really cheap way of crossing it would be to build your own ford. Just taper the approaches to the water crossing so make the slope gentle, then form up approaches with 2x4's and make what is essentially concrete sloped ramps up each side, the lowest point being the center of the water crossing obviously. If you don't have a cement mixer you can rent or borrow one, and while the best cement would be one made out of gravel, just using the earth you dug out to taper the approaches would be good enough to work. They call it earthcrete. For the size you are looking for I would say (roughly) $75 in a few bags of cement and a weekend of time you could make your own ford.
Here is a bigger car version of one similar to what I am talking about.
The only down side is you would have to clean out any slash, trash or anything else that accumulates as you would have a cluster of pipes and not a single bigger culvert, but for $55 bucks, it is cheap and easy.
If you don't have that much rock (or time ), a ford of at least 2-3 layers of rocks dug in so the top surface matches the downstream height, sides sloped for easy driving, should last a long time. As I see you have some slope to the channel, you can halt any incipient erosion by locating the crossing just downstream of a drop, and building the surface up smoothly on the upstream side. The causeway will serve to counter the scour you would get at the foot of a dam, stacking functions.
We choose the large metal pipe solution and put it in the driest spot and the only thing I'd like to add to the discussion is that I choose a large flat rock to put at the inlet end in the creak bed and two large rocks on either side of the inlet and slightly smaller ones at the outlet similarly arranged. This has prevented undercutting (which we'd read could be an issue) and it means that when plants start to grow up around the inlet end, it's really easy to clean them out (this is a problem we've had with both the former owner's arrangements). I just used mulch to cover over the pipe and have had to recover it several times since, but at the time I didn't have a handy supply of dirt to do the job. I also added some rocks to the top at either end to provide a visual clue as to where the drop-off happens.
I like the idea of gradually ramping up to a simple large log bridge if you have plentiful large logs to do the job. Where we are, buying the necessary wood would have been even more expensive than the culvert pipe which was pricey enough.
I am also quite frugal. Here are a few of my methods:
1. For any size vehicle - Go to your municipality/city/township public works dept and they will sell you "used" culverts the plastic ones are best as they last forever - if you have an aversion to plastic look at it this way - you are rescuing it from the landfill and giving it a second life and if the first buyer hadn't been so evil you wouldn't be in this situation. Installation simple. throw it into the ditch and pile some dirt around it. KISS Theory.
2. For quads, small tractors, etc... - Rescue a telephone pole (is impregnated with interesting stuff so they don't rot) cut in half. Railway ties are great for this. flop across ditch 3' apart. Break down some rescued pallets for crossers - try to get the good hardwood onces.
3. Bush bridge - cut down a bunch of trees, lay them side by side, drive on.
4. for large creek & full size vehicles, tractors, hay wagons etc... Buy an old 45' flatbed highway trailer (they are cheap and they deliver) remove axles (simple 4 pins) and front jacks (bring those away for scrap weight$$). Lay some railway ties down crossways to support the trailer on both side of the creek - this keeps the trailer out of the dirt so it doesn't rot and provides stability for the main beams. If the ties are in good shape they will outlast you, want them to last longer lay them in gravel for drainage. Hill some gravel on both ends of the trailer/bridge for ramp as bridge should be about 1' or so above surrounding ground. You can do the above with a railway car as well, just harder to get/transport in my area. Or a shipping container - nice covered bridge make sure to brace if removing both ends entirely
If that's an issue, you've got several options to choose from. If it's not, I'd say that every option presented here will work. As a child of the 70's, I'd suggest building a ramp on each side and just jumping the creek like the Duke boys would've done. It may not be the best option, but it would be the most exiting.
Let us know what you do and post pics if you would.
FROM: Eric Koperek = firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBJECT: Small Bridges
DATE: PM 6:11 Tuesday 29 Mars 2016
1. In Africa, we would build a ford to cross a little stream like yours. Just dump lots of big rocks then level to make a smooth roadbed. Build your ford 3 times wider than necessary to protect from washouts.
2. If your stream flow is very large, consider using a culvert, as many others have recommended. Dump culvert in stream then cover with rip-rap = orange to grapefruit size stones. Note: You can make your own culvert by stacking rocks in the Neolithic manner = post and lintel system = like Stonehenge. Alternatively, lean 2 big rocks together to make a tee-pee = triangles make for strong engineering. Use the biggest rocks you can manage to build your culvert, then infill with whatever rocks you have. We build fords like this out in the bush where it is too expensive to haul manufactured culvert pipes. Culverts are necessary to protect bridges or fords from being washed out by seasonal floods. If you can't build or obtain a culvert, construct your ford with the biggest boulders you can move. Flood waters are very powerful and can easily wash away lesser stones. Translation: Build it right the first time and you will never have to do it again.
3. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING! Be very careful about government environmental regulations, especially if you have a permanent stream = wet year round. Be even more careful if there are native fish in the stream. There are 2 ways to play this: (1) Smile sweetly and ask politely for help. This usually works but may tie you up for 6 months or more with Government paperwork. (2) Don't tell anyone what you are doing and certainly do not admit that you did anything. This is how we do it in Africa. The alternative is paying bribes or waiting a year or more for official laying-on-of-hands.
4. If you have larger streams to cross, consider building a "Pipe Bridge": Lay 2 or 3 scrap I-Beams across the creek then weld 4 inch diameter scrap gas pipe horizontally across the I-Beams. Space the pipes 1 to 2 inches apart. Pipe bridges last forever and will stand the weight of dump trucks and other heavy equipment. Pipe bridges are standard engineering in developing countries or most any surface mining operation.
5. You can obtain many How-To publications on building fords in the outback. Search the Internet for Do-It-Yourself articles from international do-gooding agencies.
6. If you have a son, this would be a good educational project for him. Point him in the right direction then turn him loose.
armoring the up and downhill banks with rocks will prevent washing out and can be constructed to funnel the water thought the culvert.
You can make it as wide as you want so long as the culvert is pitched downhill to prevent sedimentation.