Evolution of a Road

The gateway to Hope Rise has been constructed!… In my previous posts I have described the challenges we faced to get a road entrance designed, approved and finally constructed. Given the low terrain and steep drop from the main road, there were numerous challenges to surmount in order to span a difficult low area that retains quite a bit of ground water, even during the driest months of the year.

Fortunately, we have one of the best excavators in the state who devised a plan of attack to build the road by approaching from the high ground, then systematically placing large chunks of concrete aggregate across the saturated ground. The work of establishing a solid foundation was completed early in the month, but then a record setting rainfall caused a delay in finishing the road. Interestingly, the material shown in the picture below was actually sourced from the demolition of the bridge that crossed the river into our historic downtown, so we have a bit of local history supporting the road to the house!

Weeks later, anticipating that site prep and excavation of the house site was again imminent, it was necessary to once again cut down some of the field grass that had grown over the past month. Unfortunately my small riding mower had some major issues (a severed drive belt and some carburetor build up resulting in combustion problems) that needed to be quickly repaired. Thankfully my friend John, has a talent for small engine repair and he was quickly able to get me up and running. Shortly, I was back on the site with my woefully small mower to tackle the large mowing job ahead.

While mowing, my excavator Doug, showed up to drop off some additional heavy equipment needed to finish the road. I think he got a chuckle seeing me on my tiny mower, which was significantly smaller than the machinery he uses on a daily basis. His wife was with him and must have felt sorry for me, because shortly after they departed, Doug returned yet again with more equipment. He explained that after they had left, his wife had asked the leading question: “You’re gonna go back and help him, right?” There was only one answer to that question, so when I saw his truck approaching from the corner of my eye, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this time he was towing a large, commercial grade zero-turn mower that he promptly mounted to join me in finishing the mowing job. With his help, the job was quickly completed and Doug decided to spend the rest of the weekend grading the site and moving dirt to top the road base that had been established earlier in the month.

Over a two day period, truckloads of soil were dumped, spread and compacted and the culvert pipes were placed, resulting in a level surface that will be able to support all of the heavy construction vehicles to come. Now that there is a direct access to the house site, I think things will begin to move at a faster clip. Stay tuned for the next update…

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