Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A River Runs Over It, No More?

The upside of a long lane? Privacy.

The downside? Keeping it passable.

Several times this year, our driveway looked likes this.

A waterway, located about 100 yards in front of our house, collects water that runs off fields after heavy rainfalls. Three culverts running under our driveway allow the water to pass.

When we moved to the farm nearly 20 years ago, that's what usually happened. Once in the first five years, the rain fell so quickly that water filled the waterway and poured over the driveway. In the process, it washed away gravel and deposited cornstalks in and around the driveway.

For the past several years, the water has come up and over the driveway several times a year.

What's caused it? Most likely a number of reasons. Heavy rainfalls have become more frequent. Fewer fence rows and frequent plowing means the farm land is less able to quickly soak up the water. Thus, it runs off the fields to waterways, ditches, streams and rivers.

When a waterway in front of our house was being repaired this fall, we had a decision to make: keep replacing gravel and removing cornstalks, or put in a larger culvert that will allow even more water to pass under the driveway.

We opted for a big culvert.

So our driveway was closed for a few days while the area was dug out, a crane was brought in, and a new culvert installed.

When the heavy rains come, we're hoping the river runs through it.

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