Gravel Road

Field Sites: Red Rose Road

Red Rose Road is a joint project between the Huntingdon County Conservation District and the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies. Key concepts employed include:

  • Raising the entrenched road to eliminate parallel ditches and allow water to infiltrate into surrounding terrain
  • Using fill from an existing on-site shale pit which was then retired and re-vegetated after the project was complete
  • Movement of one section of the road away from the existing stream channel and creation of a new stream buffer
  • Thinning of tree canopy cover over the road to allow for moderate sunlight penetration

Please read the brochure at the link below. It explains the concepts and study objectives.


Location

Red Rose Road is located just west off PA route 26 in northern Huntingdon County. It is approximately 3.5 miles south of the Centre/Huntingdon county line and 12 miles South of State College. Please feel free to stop by to see the road if you are in the area.

Red Rose Road Location Map


Adding Road Base To Correct Drainage

A problem that plagues countless miles of roadway in Pennsylvania and worldwide is an entrenched road. When the road has been lowered below the level of the surrounding terrain, water has no choice but to follow the road.

Before

Red Rose BeforeYears of traditional maintenance have created a depressed road that is several feet lower than the surrounding terrain. The depressed road does not allow an opportunity for water to leave the parallel ditches. In this case, the ditches carried water and built erosive force for over 1000 feet before discharging into the stream below.

Blue line indicates drainage flow.

Red circle indicated common point in all pictures.

During

Red Rose DuringSome people try to dig long outlet ditches to get water off of a depressed road. This causes problems because you have to dig them longer and further into the surrounding terrain as the road continues to be lowered. It also concentrates outlet drainage and increases the likelihood that drainage will reach a stream.

A better strategy for addressing a depressed road is to fill the road as shown in the picture to the left. The road has been filled and crowned to a point where water can flow into the surrounding terrain without being collected in parallel ditches.

After

Red Rose AfterAfter the base has been properly crowned (3/4" per foot), the road surface can be placed. The Program's Driving Surface Aggregate is a special mix of stone designed as a wearing course for roads. It is placed 8 inches thick with an asphalt paver and compressed with a vibratory roller. By insuring that the proper crown is placed in the road base, an even layer of Driving Surface Aggregate placed on the base will also reflect the proper crown.


Red Rose Road Posters

The poster below illustrates how a section of road was day-lighted, raised,
and moved away from the existing stream.

The poster illustrates how a section of road was day-lighted, raised, and moved away from the existing stream.

The poster below illustrates how a section of road was day-lighted, raised,
and moved away from the existing stream. Notice the newly created
vegetative buffer between the road and the stream.

The poster illustrates how a section of road was day-lighted, raised, and moved away from the existing stream. Notice the newly created vegetative buffer between the road and the stream.

The poster below illustrates how the road was filled with shale to correct
the drainage and eliminate parallel ditches.