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Buried Belts Keep Water Off Lightly Traveled Roads
Used conveyer belts make great surface water diverters on low traffic, gravel and dirt roads. Snowmelt and rain running down wheel tracks can cut ruts and erode away the surface. Anchored to buried, treated lumber, the belts can be driven over and then spring back into position.
  Damon Carson at Repurposed Materials (www.repurposedmaterials.com) brought the idea to our attention.  
  A Penn State bulletin recommends cutting a length of 1/2 by 15-in. used conveyor belt thatís long enough to extend at a 30-degree angle across the intended roadway and slightly beyond at each end. If the diversion length is 20 ft., lay out two 10-ft., 2 by 6-in. treated boards end to end. Lay the belt over the boards so about 8 in. extends above them. Overlap the joint of the long boards with a four-ft. length of treated 2 by 6-in. board. Start at one end and drill 3/8-in. holes through the belts and the boards at about 2-ft. intervals.
  Secure the belt to the boards with 3/8-in. bolts and nuts with washers on both sides.
  When the belt and anchoring boards are complete, dig a trench across the road at the 30-degree angle. It should have a minimum of 1 percent continuous slope toward the outlet side. The trench should be deep enough to provide 3 to 4 in. of backfilled road material over the anchoring boards and against about 4 in. of conveyor belt. This should leave about 4 in. of belt above the road surface. Place some large stones or gravel at the outlet end of the belt to control erosion as the water leaves the road surface.
  Depending on the grade of the road, stability of surface material and the amount of expected flow, multiple diversions may be needed. If properly installed, the diversion can stand up to heavy hauling and has a long life expectancy with low maintenance.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Center for Dirt & Gravel Roads Studies, Penn State University, 207 Research Unit D, University Park, Penn. 16802 (toll free 866 668-6683; dirtandgravel@psu.edu).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5