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November 2004 - Mud in the Street, What are the Solutions?

Mud in the Street, What are the Solutions?

Submitted by City of Lincoln, Public Works and Utilities Department, Watershed Management Division

This is the fifth in a continuing series of articles provided by the City of Lincoln, Watershed Management Division to address sediment and erosion control issues. In this issue we will continue to focus on basic sediment and erosion control measures for individual residential construction sites.

There are two measures which are the most effective and most frequently used for residential construction sites. The first is silt fence, which was discussed in a previous article. The second is the use of a rocked drive, which is an easy way to eliminate or greatly reduce mud tracking from individual construction sites.

Subcontractors tell us that their vehicles need to be next to the home under construction to access materials and tools. Likewise delivery vehicles often need to be next to the home to offload materials. However, the driveway is often not poured until late in the construction process to avoid damage to the concrete from heavy vehicles.

As discussed in previous articles, city ordinances allow no mud in the public right-of-way, on streets or sidewalks. It is time consuming to clean mud off of tires from vehicles leaving the site or mud off the street. Also, some builders have commented that asking subcontractors and delivery trucks to clean up mud left in the street causes conflict between builders, subcontractors and building material vendors.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution: a rocked drive on individual construction sites can alleviate mud tracking. This helps to reduce conflict between the builder, subcontractors and building material vendors by allowing them to use the rock drive for access and parking. The benefits of rocked drives include:

How do you properly install a rocked drive? Rocked drives are typically constructed of a layer of rock 1-2 inches in diameter, at a minimum depth of 6 inches, placed on top of a geotextile liner. The average width is 20 feet. The length for residential applications is usually from the garage to the back of curb or a minimum of 50 feet.

The geotextile liner is a very important component of the rocked drive. Although the liner is thin, it is strong enough to keep the rock from pushing into the underlying soil. The liner is fairly inexpensive and is available through local sediment and erosion control products vendors.

The rock and liner should flare out at the back of curb to allow for vehicles turning into the drive. The rock can be reused or left in place as a subgrade preparation for the concrete driveway. If using the rock and liner as a subgrade, a little planning will need to be done to install the rocked entrance at the correct depth to allow for the thickness of the concrete drive.

If you have questions about this subject please contact Gary Lacy of Public Works and Utilities at 441-4957 or contact HBAL Remote Site at 423-4225 for a listing of professional erosion control installers in the Lincoln area.

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