Thursday, August 17, 2017

a wider berth...

Only took an hour this morning to chop my road wide enough to get past the bad spot.  Tune in tomorrow night for the video.  Another big storm came through this afternoon but only hit my road up by the highway.  Another small chance of rain later tonight and if that one misses, looks like I will be good to go for awhile.  83,94,72, .05",B 

18 comments:

Patricia said...

Again good luck and wish I was able to help ya!

Ocotillo,

Sam Finn said...

What's likely to be the permanent solution?

John Wells said...

Years of scraping the roads deeper has taken its toll. The good news is, the current road crew is doing a very good job making up for decades of bad road work. This particular spot is a problem due to earthwork a neighbor has done on his property. The road never washed out this badly before he came here. A "permanent solution" would be for him to go back to Austin.

Sam Finn said...

Hope the road crew gets there soon.

LeoinSA said...

There's clearance for your Toyota, but will the UPS truck fit?

Todd said...

Kubota has some pretty good sales going on tractors right now. Do you have a tractor? Ever thought about getting one?

C T Dunn said...

"A "permanent solution" would be for him to go back to Austin."

That's good! Don't understand why the road crew, good as you say it is, doesn't 'borrow' dirt from the side of the road and crown your road.

I guess the only way to prevent a washout would be a culvert or concrete surface.

Maybe a six-shooter as encouragement to the city boy. I guess he ias one of those Austin liberals! Just kidding.

Tal ChaiTai said...

Assuming that road is running easterly, one of your earlier longshot photos shows signs of water pooling on the North side (left in the frame) of the road up against the road bank and it pools a distance of 100 yards or more and it all collects down at the bend where you can see that the pool has then been draining off the road and thus eaten that side away and now eats the road. That erosion has progressed now to the middle and will eventually eat all the way to the road bank effectively cutting your road in half. This is a given. As long as a pool gathers in that bend, it will always eat away the road to a 100% cut across, not only from runoff pressures pushing the gathering pools into the crevice there, but also from gravity as the water FALLs down the crevice eating away the side wall in its slow march to cut your road in two very deeply.

Rains pooling in those discolored areas seen in the longshot photo will always be present because the road conditions are not changed to alter that. These collection pools will always feed down and cut at the same spot in the bend unless the erosion mechanic is altered further up. If you try to drain those distant collection pools to ease pressure down at the bend you will only introduce that same mechanic to those other spots and slowly eat them away in the same method. The only solution there is to cut a drain cutter across the road to drain those pools in place, so they no longer push to the gathering pool in the bend. The gutter should be concrete with a drive grate over it. It should drain those pools in such a way as to prevent any chance of erosion there. Of course erosion will still occur at the bend from other directions, but the major push from these feeding pols would be dramatically lessened. But no permanent solution.

Your good effort at shaving the bank so you can pass with your truck will of course only be short-lived. Water collection during rains is guaranteed to continue to escape int the bend and will keep cutting your road for eternity. Your "shavings" are packed on the up against the bank which is now a raised spot that will only continue to divert runoff into the crevice and hasten its disintegration. But even if you had cut those shavings out of the road to avoid that additional diversion and even cut deeper along the bank edge to hold more water in that pool and lessen the erosion spill into the crevice you would only buy a small amount of time during rains. Which leads the the intuitive solution which is to cut into the bank on the north side (left side in the photos) to drain off that collecting pool in the opposite way in which it is now eating your road. Of course this is impossible giving the elevations. You would be fighting against the natural drain slopes.

If it was me I would be looking to cut the bank further back toward your place from this bend and re-route your road to the left an run it a good 100 to 150 yards down and re-tie to the existing roadway down past the pooling. The existing road is essentially dead now. And in making such a new road, be sure to bank it so as to drain in the natural runoff direction.

The final and only other solution is to create a concrete culvert road section at the bend itself so that the natural pooling will still occur but the current crevice will no longer exist, instead replaced by a concrete section of road with an inbuilt swale to allow the runoff as always. And maintenance around it's edges should be easy thereafter.

That's how I see it.

Larry G said...

I suspect Tal ChaiTai is onto the truth of it ... and the Kubota tractor idea not a bad one..

I noticed the left side pooling also and that does indicate draining from higher ground on that side of the road.. and it's got to have a place to go.. and usually ditching and crowning the road with a pipe/culvert .. which apparently the owners of the road don't have the resources to provide it..

Back east when this happens - typically the "owners" go running to the county and state to "take over" the road.. ;-) A not untypical outcome is for the State/Count to take half and the owners the other half.. to put the road right.. then the state takes it but they only take a certain number of miles a year so there is a long list .. and some folks don't want to pay half so they take their road out of the running.

I find this issue ... interesting .. in that land in and of itself is not particularly valuable unless it has road access.. and wealthy people can own a bunch of land and do the interior roads and get access to a public road - a "curb cut"...

In the early history of Virginia - it was the Anglican Church that was in charge of roads and very male parishioner had to put in a day or so per month as their duty. And back then , people fought to get the roads to go through their property rather than oppose it!

It was well into the 1930's when Virginia took over the county roads and to that point - the counties and their taxpayers were solely responsible - which is still the case in about 46 of the states where you'll see road signage that says CR instead of US or SR...

Texas has what is called FTM - Farm to Market roads .. but TX 118, built in 1927, is a special case road.. and it's history in in Wiki... along with Terlingua and how folks accessed that part of Texas before 118 was built.

Without the state owning and maintaining Tx 118 (and others).. that part of Texas would be REALLY wild and woolly if the roads were like John's is now!!!!



Todd said...

John - If you have an alternative way in and out, you could let Mother Nature continue her excavation in the road. Buy a corrugated metal pipe (CMP) and drop it in the hole across the road and cover it up. Or have the road crew bring out a piece of CMP and install it there. That is called a cross drain (crosses the road) in Civil Engineering parlance.

Here is some information on how to size the pipe:

http://www.fdot.gov/roadway/drainage/files/culverthb.pdf

You basically want to figure out what your highest Q is and that is the cubic feet per second of runoff. There are rudimentary ways to come up with this. It depends how deep you want to think about it. But, since you don't drive on the roads when it is raining sizing it is less important since maybe you don't care if you get ponding on the upstream side. Mother Nature is showing you where the pipe needs to go and appears to just about have it excavated for you. If you put way too small of pipe it will act like a pressure sprayer when it has a lot of head built up, so you may want to put the end a little ways from the road. A drainage engineer could fix you up back of the napkin style by you answering a few questions about it. Again just depends on how deep you want to think about it.

Todd said...

The actual process is fairly simple to determine runoff using the rational method. The formula is Q=ACi

Q = Cubic Feet Per Second
A = Drainage Basin Area
C=Runoff Coefficient (How much of the rain runs off?)
i=rainfall intensity

You typically decide what year storm event you want to design to, I.e. the biggest rain event expected 1 time in ten years is a typical minimum design. The data is likely available online for your area of how many inches of rain a ten year storm will dump, the drainage guy at the county should be able to tell you where to find it.

Here is a calculator for Q=ACi

https://www.lmnoeng.com/Hydrology/rational.php

To do a good calculation you need to be able to determine the size of the area that drains there, this is usually done using a topo map. You might be able to use an aerial and daft logic area calculator if you know where the high points are. This should at least give you something to chew on if nothing else.

John Wells said...

It's not that I don't appreciate suggestions...but people offering solutions to a problem when they have no idea what the reality of the situation is - is amusing at best.

Margery Bills said...

It's all about smarts. The people in Austin pride themselves on being smarter. I suppose that is the reputation people in N.Y. have, thinking they are better. Touché. :-)

Margery Bills said...

Now if your neighbor is a white-looking Mexican American, he might not give a flying F. about what anyone thinks about what he does.

Margery Bills said...

Anyway there are law suits by the Native Americans to take back all that land. An Apache girl (met her) came around my tent at night at Big Bend but I stayed quiet. Then there was the good Mexican American man from San Antonio who was lured out of his tent at night at Big Bend and killed. They followed his credit cards up to Oklahoma from his attacker.

Margery Bills said...

There is such a thing as the quiet Take-Back of Texas by the Mexican people. It happened in San Antonio and is starting here in this Germanic area where I now live in my particular area. Let's see. We could all put our problems on the table but we would probably take our own problems back. I just remember what I am grateful for and accept situations as they are if I cannot change anything (except myself).

Margery Bills said...

It was fun before DNA when I did not know my ethnicity. I could be anything. But now I know I am a Gringo Yankee Bag who carpetbagged the South and should leave. (I just got a Disney Iron Man coffee cup for my coffee. Iron Man can do anything. LO).

Flyboy1957 said...

There's all sorts of textbook city-boy solutions to your road problems, John. The problem is that you have to deal with the real world as you well know by now. I spent a lot of time growing up down in the Carrizo Springs area in South Texas. There was never a permanent solution to dealing with the occasional heavy rains with the orange sandy loam of the area. Concrete culverts and galvanized pipe always left us with a huge chunk of concrete or pile of metal in the middle of the road once the water eroded underneath and around said "fixes". Our best solution for a dirt road turned out to be a skid loader and make the required changes/ repairs as time went by. You have to be a blade of grass and bend with the breeze as nature does her thing.