Mudhole mystery solved, carpet bridge.

The great mudhole mystery has been solved! Its not a spring, it’s a particularly clay heavy area of the soil. This keeps the water from absorbing. I’ve graded it enough to allow the water to run off into the existing ditch nearby.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are several other areas with the same soil along our driveway. We haven’t had the water problems as the mudhole, but the problem is that when wet the water runs off without soaking in, causing the top 2 inches to be really gummy. Its not too much of a problem if you just walk on it, but as soon as you try to drive anything across it the dry under section starts to get wetter, and the soup gets deeper.

That means we can dig it out 12 -18 inches and refill it with rock and gravel ( which will cost a fortune), lay down some roadbed fabric and then some gravel ( also very expensive), OR we can follow the suggestion made by Dr. Wang from the University of Georgia and reuse carpet scraps as the roadbed fabric.

He completed a study to include several field trials to show that the use of old carpet under gravel can, and does stabilize soft and slippery soils to give a better load displacement under the gravel.

Once I started to research this method I found an article put out by the EPA approving the use of carpet for the underlayment of both paved and unpaved roads, even up to Interstate Highways.

The study showed that it could drop the cost of road construction 40 to 50 percent. It also show that less excavation and less fill material needed to be hauled. That has allowed for less green house gases produced from heavy equipment and trucks.

Its solid underneath, but greasy as bacon on the surface and thats not even the worst mudhole. That’s just normal after the rain today!

I’m going to do a small scale test on the carpet/gravel theory across the famous mudhole, but I think its a good solution.

If I can get the driveway drivable, I think we can really make some progress on the cabin.

We did have a visitor today who seemed to be enjoying the driveway, muddy or not. He just decided to cruise on up the driveway.

We hope that everyone has a great week.

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7 thoughts on “Mudhole mystery solved, carpet bridge.

    • That was kind of the original plan, but the study showed that the carpet distributes the weight better, and while it will eventually break down it takes longer than wood chips. I wouldn’t use it on a temporary road but this one will be permanent.

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  1. I don’t like the idea of laying carpet down in the ground at all. But have you looked into doing a corduroy road in those areas. We’ve used them a lot in Canada and Alaska going across the muskeg and swampy areas. Plus, it’s natural. You can use a lot of the slash you cut out to make your road.

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    • I did consider that. The problem is that most of what we cut was just brush. Nothing really solid enough for corduroy. I wouldn’t normally think of the carpet either. Especially in something temporary, but since this will be permanent it will work. The old carpet will wind up in the ground in a landfill anyway as there is no technique to recycle it. The carpet we plan to use is mainly made from natural fibers so it will eventually break down. The nylon fibers will last longer, but like I said, since it’s a permanent road I’m not as concerned with that small amount. I feel like it will would pollute less than the tar in asphalt.

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      • I definitely agree with you there. Less pollution. I was talking with my friend about it and he also suggested laying down a simple blue tarp with perf pipes on top then your gravel on top of that, which would divert the water to the pipe and the pipe would divert to the ditch. Not sure about all that, either. It would divert better but would not make good use of old materials, so….. yeah. Sounds like you’ve got a good idea there. Looking forward to seeing how it all works out.

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