Owner Building a Strawbale House
in the Bega Valley,
NSW,
Australia.



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Roads

Whatever your plans are, you need to get a road into your property, and you should put that as a high priority. The building process involves a lot of big trucks accessing your site, and if the goat track is bad they will (rightfully) turn away or (worse) get stuck on the track.

Aside from setting up a reasonable road into your property, you need to construct it to move water off the road surface to avoid erosion.

We have had quite good success with the following technique. Firstly, try to chanel and catch large flows of water (concrete drains, pit-n-pipe); secondly, shed the water off the side of the road as fast/soon as you can; thirdly, top-dress the road (and especially the batter) with topsoil and seed it (we used grasses) - we have done this on roads we expect to travel on infrequently, and the erosion is much less of a problem.

To channel surface water where you want it (i.e.: divert it early, before it build up on the road surface and really cuts the road up) we installed Pit-n-pipe. This allows us to divert water away from the "high" side of the road to the lower side, without going across (or through) the dirt road surface. We use "green pipe", a recycled plastic pipe. The pipe requires a trench cut into (through and across) the road, deep enough to distribute road traffic loads (read the instructions for your pipe). The pit was home made from cement stabilised earth and a galvanised steel grill to suite. The outlet was simply the end of the pipe allowed to dump water onto stable (well-grassed) soil, although we may come back and install a seepage pit around the outlet made from rocks.

A reference to check out "Maintaining Your Gravel Road".