Carbide-Tipped Grader Blades We will have a demonstration in Clearfield this spring on how to use these scarifier blades. If you plan on using them, you are strongly encouraged to attend. The District has purchased carbide-tipped grader blades for municipal use. Below are information sheets on the advantages of using these grader blades and how to use them. The technique differs from how straight grader blades are used. You will also see the equipment agreement required to use these blades. (This document may change based on what is practical in reality.) About the Carbide Blade Carbide Blade Grading Sequence Clearfield County Equipment Agreement
Low Volume Road Program
Projects that are along streams, especially in high quality watersheds or those with trout present will obtain the highest ranking and are the most likely to be funded. We are looking for projects that address drainage problems on tar and chip or paved roads with less than 500 vehicles a day. Applications that simply want to resurface a road will not be considered. If there are any spots this winter where an unusual amount of ice is on the roadway, or extra salt/anti-skid is needed to keep the road passable near a stream crossing, please keep these sites in mind as potential projects. Also look for erosion in the ditches or around stream pipes, these are problems that we may be able to address with this program. If you have a site you would like to apply for please call me at 765-2629 to set up a meeting so we can look at the site and develop a plan. Low Volume Road State Policies
Pennsylvania's dirt and gravel roads are here to stay. Although many people perceive of dirt and gravel roads as a nuisance - relics of a slower-paced time in our history just waiting to be paved - the facts show these roads are important links in Pennsylvania's overall transportation network. Covering more than 27,000 miles throughout the commonwealth, dirt and gravel roads provide vital access for Pennsylvania's major industries - agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism - while weaving the fabric of rural community life for over 3.6 million residents. Paved roads and highways carry high maintenance costs. Local municipalities and state agencies - with jurisdiction over more than 90% of the state's dirt and gravel roads - can ill afford to pave dirt roads and then adequately maintain them.
The Clearfield County Conservation District is one of the first in Pennsylvania to take advantage of the state's environmental clearance of a new method of maintaining dirt and gravel roadways. Currently dirt roads are being selected as candidates for improvement according to the road's location in respect to high quality streams.
The project's objective is to correct dust and sediment problems connected with unpaved (dirt & gravel) road systems in a manner which is sensitive to environmental conditions of the living plants, animals, waterways, aesthetics and culture of the area.
The Dirt and Gravel Roads Project reviews the surrounding terrain, road banks, ditches, road bases, and road surfaces to determine the components that are contributing to the dust problems. A local project will be created taking into account the funding, cost effectiveness and local priorities needed to complete the project.
The primary goal is to reduce the amount of dust and sediment that gets blown and washed from the roadway into the high quality streams. Once the roads adjacent to high quality streams are assessed and corrected, other roads come into consideration.
Local municipalities are eligible for funding to improve their local dirt and gravel roads only after they complete the Dirt and Gravel Road training.
Clearfield County's Dirt & Gravel Road Maintenance Program Priorities: - Impact to water quality - Treat the problems based on the long term effect to water quality - Emphasize the protection of watersheds determined as exceptional value or high quality - Use of environmentally sensitive techniques and products - Commitment of the participants
If you would like to learn more about the program or Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Techniques please visit the Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads website at http://www.dirtandgravel.psu.edu/.
We had a beautiful day for the Farm Lane workshop at Haags Green Valley Farm. With over 25 farmers, township staff, and other conservation partners we were able to demonstrate the use and installation of conveyor belt diversions to help reduce erosion and maintenance on farm roads. This simple environmentally sensitive maintenance technique is a relatively low cost option to help divert water off roads into stabilized outlets. They effectively divert water and can be run over with vehicles and equipment with no problems when properly installed, they require less digging and fill than pipes and are easier to maintain than structures like grade breaks and broad based dips. Attendees were greeted in the morning by coffee and donuts compliments of Linda Kennis. Completed examples of conveyor belt diversions around the barn were discussed. Important topics such as angle of the belting, placement, having a stabilized outlet for the water and the amount of fill surrounding the belt were explained. After a short hay wagon ride we arrived at the farm lane which has required fill several times in the last couple of years. The road has had severe erosion problems and deposits sediment onto the township road during heavy rain events. To address these concerns the road was filled in and out-sloped for water to run off into the vegetated area below the road. As part of the workshop we also installed 3 conveyor belt diversions on the road to stop water from flowing down the road and direct it into a stabilized vegetated area. The number of diverters a road needs depends on the slope of the road, drainage area, and availability of stable outlet areas. The first belt was placed just below the contour line marking the beginning of a no-till field so that the belting would not get caught in the machinery. This belt should catch any runoff that is coming down the road through the field and prevent it from running down the road. The second belt was placed about halfway down the hill to prevent increasing volume and velocity of water. The last belt was placed near the bottom of the hill to prevent water and sediment from running onto the township road. The water was directed into a vegetated area before going through a cross-pipe.
*Excavating the ditch to place the diverter in.
*It is important to make sure that there is enough angle (at least 30 degrees) to allow an easy change in direction for the water to follow.
*Depth of ditch was approximately 10-12 inches
*Securing belting to treated 2x6 lumber with deck screws and washers
*Screws were placed about 12-18 inches apart
*Placing the belting in the ditch and securing with some fill to hold it upright.
*Filling around the belting -we used the material that was excavated from the ditch to fill around the belting to prevent potential heaving problems next spring.
*We found it is important to leave no more than 4" of belt above the ground
*Make sure there is enough fill on the downhill side of the belt to support the belt when traffic runs over it.
**Fill material must be compacted. A whacker is an efficient and easy way to accomplish this.
*Without proper compaction fill material will be carried away with the first storm and the structure will no longer be stable.
Belting folds over to allow vehicles and equipment to pass, returns to upright position
Water flowing along a completed diversion on a farm lane.
Water running along a belt into a stabilized rock lined ditch.
Water flowing out of the rock lined ditch and into a stable vegetated area.