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MIKE IN lINO III

Building a road at the lake

13 posts in this topic

I plan on building a driveway at the lake, it will be about 800' long and run down the property line, which is agreeable with my neighbor. My question to the professionals here is; What is the minimum width I can go? Right now I was planning on 14' wide but to decrease the wetland impact I was thinking of more like 10' wide with an 8' crown. Is this regulated somewhere, as far as minimum width?

Mike

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If you're impacting wetlands, you may want to consult with the DNR.

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The soil & water guys from the county have already delineated the property and they suggest that if I can go smaller I should.

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Width shouldn't be mandated at all on a private road. I'm sure you are asked to get by with the minimum width in the wetland area to minimize the impacts that you would be making to the wetland area. Outside the wetland area you should be able to go wider if wanted. 8' crown should be sufficient for 1 vehicle travel. You may want to make sure that you have some sideslopes on the driveway in case there are two vehicles that need to get by one another.

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Driveway widths really aren't mandated or regulated. You should though take into consideration whether you think there will be 2-way traffic on the driveway or if it will just be your one vehicle that drives in and out of the driveway. I say this because a 10' wide driveway won't be wide enough to pass 2 vehicles on the driveway surface safely. Someone would have to pull over a ways to let the other by. MnDOT on roads uses a minimum width of 12' travel/driving lanes (depending on traffic counts); therefore 2 driving lanes would be 24' wide. They will in some cases accept 11' driving lanes (22' wide). To allow for 2-way traffic, I'd personally go with a 22' wide driveway surface. If you don't think 2-way traffic will be an issue, 10' wide will be adequate. One other thing to consider, if you plan to gravel or blacktop the driveway, you coud get by with 10' even with 2-way traffic in order to save some money. What you should consider doing in this situation though is keep the shoulder of the driveway (if for example the shoulder is grass) relatively flat so if you do encounter on-coming traffic, there is room for someone to pull over and not endanger themselves (or their rig such as a boat, camper, etc if that's the case) of pulling down on a slope like you see from the shoulder of a highway on out to the highway ditch.

Basically speaking, if you're only dealing with one-way traffic, a 10' wide driveway surface should be adequate. If you're dealing with 2-way traffic, then one option would be to have a 22' wide driveway surface or another option would be to have a 10' wide driveway surface with relatively flat shoulders that are wide enough (6' on each side) to allow one or the other to pull over in a safe manner.

As for wetland impacts, contact the DNR to get their comments. Be sure to ask them if there are other agencies that would need to review and/or approve the driveway (watershed districts, other local government units, etc).

Good luck!

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You need to make sure Planning and Zoning and Soil and Water are up with your Wetlands destruction....trust me on this one.....I am currently fighting this battle as my contractor didn't really follow rules.

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You should contact your local Planning and Zoning. I know in Forest Lake, there are minimum driveway and private roadway widths. Remember that even if a driveway or private road is on private property, fire and emergency vehicles should be considered. Usually 10-12 ft widths is a minimum for driveways.

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Also, check with the local Fire Department. There are several properties up here that we won't be able access with the fire trucks or the ambulance because we either can't get down the driveway or we can't turn a fire truck around. If we can't turn around, we don't go down there. It's a safety thing.

Also keep in mind other trucks like fuel, UPS, lumber, etc.

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If it were high ground with a 8" blanket of class five you could get by with an 10' road but by the sounds of it your going to have a fairly steep ditch that'll be wet and maybe spongy. 10' wide, 800' long road will be a devil in the winter.

Come winter who ever plows your road will appreciate a wider road.

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Thanks guys,

This is going to be a private driveway from a dirt road across a hay field to some camping spots. Two way traffic is not an issue because it is wide open field, we can drive anywhere and there isn't any slopes that we need to contend with. I already have all of the depts. involved with the project so no issues there either.

As for plowing in the winter.... I'll be doing that so also, not an issue. I know going from a 14' wide road to a 10' wide road will save me 2200 sq. ft of wetland that I don't have to mitigate.

Thanks for all of the replies.

Mike

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Here are my thoughts on this topic. 10' is really narrow. As Bass mentioned a typical drive lane on most highways is 12' wide. I would used this as a min. but I would probably still go 14' wide. The wider the better I feel. Because on thing is you will impact the drainage with putting base right on existing ground which will trap water on the edges most likely and then it will always be soft. You never know what you might end up taking down this road. Also for your aggregate base I would so some searching and see if you can find some recycled asphalt millings this is the absolute best material for private roadway surface in my mind. Class 5 is good but usually more expensive. Locate a asphalt contractor in your area. They almost always are looking for a place to get ride of this material and it usually will be cheaper than most other aggregates. It will pack together much better and in time with hot weather it will almost because a paved road with traffic on it. If you get a good solid subgrade of clay that is packed well 4-5 inch should do your about right. If you have a rather soft area that is really soft and you can't get packed decently then I would use 8" or more. Now the other thing with asphalt millings that I have ran into is sometime different goverment agencies will not want this type of material near wetland so I guess before you were to used it I would make sure it is ok with the agencies in your area. That is the most important thing to contact the required agencies. DNR, Planning and Zoning, even public heath can be involved. So don't just get a bunch of equipment and start going to town. Good luck with it is sounds like you are on the right track.

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Very well put IFF! Excellent suggestions and I agree 100%.

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If you stay with the one-lane design, I'd suggest building a "belly" about halfway just in case you need to let someone come through. Four-hundred feet is a long way to back.

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