ECM of Urban Land - Gravel Access Path

Gravel Access Path:

Gravel or rock driveways in construction sites can minimize tracking of soil or sediment into the streets by vehicles and equipment. In addition, compaction of soil on the rest of the construction areas is reduced by limiting vehicle movement to the gravel or rock driveway. Temporary rock areas should be underlayed with appropriate geotextiles. This limits the incorporation of rock into existing soil, which will support future plantings.

Rock driveways minimize tracking soil into the street and keep traffic funneled to a smaller area reducing soil compaction on the rest of the site Image by M. Mamo


Soil Facts

Soil compaction results when soil particles and aggregates are compressed together. This compression reduces the empty spaces or pores of the soil. This increases the bulk density of the soil. Compaction reduces soil aeration, water infiltration, drainage, and ability of roots to penetrate into the soil.

Unless gravel roads are in place and vehicle traffic is minimized, it is highly probable that vehicles will track soil into streets. The impact of soil tracked into paved roads can be significant since any rainfall runoff will carry this soil or sediment directly into the storm drainage system. If the soil has been tracked onto the pavement, the goal should be to minimize its movement into drainage ways. A practical and cost effective way to do this is to sweep or scrape soil on the paved road daily before it is moved by rainfall runoff.



Vehicle traffic not only tracks soil onto paved roads but can cause soil compaction. How does this compaction influence soil erosion?

Looks Good! Compaction reduces the pores or empty spaces that serve as conduit for water flow. If the soil is compacted, water cannot infiltrate the soil and therefore runs off from the soil surface. As the water runs off, it takes soil particles with it.

Construction sites are very vulnerable to many types of erosion. Image by M. Mamo



Soil is left stockpiled on the construction lot, which is typical in construction sites. What management practice would be useful in this case to minimize soil erosion from the pile to the paved road?

Looks Good! One of the simplest management practice would be to install silt fence around the stock pile. Can you think of other practices?