Gravel roads : maintenance and design manual (SuDoc TD 2.8:G 78)
By Ken Skorseth
Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
Number Of Pages:
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN-10 / ASIN: B000115EM2
There are over 1.6 million miles of unpaved roads (53% of all roads) in the United States.
In some nations, the road network is predominantly unpaved and generally consists of
gravel roads. This manual was developed with a major emphasis on the maintenance of gravel
roads, including some basic design elements.
Gravel roads are generally the lowest service provided to the traveling public and are usually
considered greatly inferior to paved roads. Yet,in many rural regions, the volume of traffic is
so low that paving and maintaining a paved road is not economically feasible. In many cases,
gravel roads exist to provide a means of getting agricultural products in and out of farm fields,
timber out of forests, or as access to remote areas such as campgrounds and lakes. Many
gravel roads serve rural residents as well. Many of these roads will remain unpaved due to
very low traffic volume and/or lack of funds to adequately improve the subgrade and base
before applying pavement layer(s).In some countries, economic constraints mean gravel
roads are the only type that can be provided.
The purpose of this manual is to provide clear and helpful information for doing a better job
of maintaining gravel roads. It is recognized that very little technical help is available to small
agencies that are responsible for managing these roads. Gravel maintenance has traditionally
been “more of an art than a science” and very few formal standards exist. This leads to many
arguments between grader operators, managers, and motorists over questions such as:What
is enough surface crown? What is too much? What causes corrugation? This manual contains
guidelines to help answer these and other questions about the maintenance of gravel roads.
This manual is designed for the benefit of elected officials, managers, and grader operators
who are responsible for designing and maintaining gravel roads. The information provided in
this manual is as nontechnical as possible without sacrificing clear guidelines and instructions
on how to do the job right.