“We would like to thank Clyde Walton [30MRWA volunteer and board member] for his continued insight and wisdom in the construction and maintenance of camp roads. His guidance has greatly benefited our group by improving the quality of Day Road as well as protecting the health of Kimball Pond. We look forward to working with Clyde in the upcoming year.”
– Scott MacDonald, Treasurer of the Day Road Association on Kimball Pond
“Mud Season and Camp Roads”
–Clyde Walton, Board Member and Landscape Architect
Like black flies, mud season is an annual nuisance. It signals the end of winter and the presence of the flies begins the advent of summer. Mud season is a process of thawing frozen ground. The posting of some public roads with bright red signs serves as a reminder of temporary weight restrictions placed on heavy truck loads travelling over roads with dangerous frost and thawing conditions. Also, some private gravel roads become impassable and accrue expensive repairs during this season.
Why do seasonal roads have fewer ground thawing problems than those used year around? Answer: seasonal roads require no snow plowing. Therefore, the snow cover remains undisturbed and insulates the ground from excessive frost penetration while having a shorter thawing time period. An early snow cover in November and no “January thaw” are ideal for minimal road damage.
What causes the variety of mud season damages that occur on year round gravel roads? Answer: Snow melt and rainfall that cannot penetrate frozen soil. Instead it puddles against snow plow banks and overflows across the hard frozen ground surface in downhill directions. This is called storm water runoff. Depending on the duration and intensity of runoff, numerous rills and gullies cut into the ground to create concentrated runoff flow and soil displacement. The transported soil moves long distances in water/soil slurry that ultimately reaches lakes, streams and other water resources. The slurry contains soil particles laden with phosphorus, a major pollutant nutrient that enhances unwanted algal blooms in lakes and waterways. When left unattended, the problem only gets worse. So do the mosquitoes!
How can we fix the Mud Season problem? Answer: 1) photograph the damaged site immediately; 2) as the thawing process permits, redirect the runoff off the road travel way and into the roadside ditches; 3) keep culverts and ditches free of debris; 4) trim back roadside tree branches to let in more winter sunlight/heat; 5) add more culverts and ditch turnouts to better apportion runoff flow; and 6) upgrade the gravel road surface with a coarse gravel blanket and crown graded shape. Utilize professional help where needed.
FREE assistance for landowners
We off free services for landowners by request and appointment, to address erosion problems such as:
•Assistance forming road associations
•Camp road maintenance workshops
•Site evaluations of individual properties
To request assistance with your camp road, please contact Lidie Robbins, Executive Director, 30 Mile River Watershed Association, firstname.lastname@example.org.
These two-hour outdoor workshops will consist of touring problem sites and discussing corrective options. Topics will include erosion control, drainage, road surfaces, assessing and scoping need, prioritizing and phasing work, budget planning, communicating needs to contractors and where to get technical assistance.
Targeted event participants will be limited to road associations or other governing landowners living on private, seasonal or year-round roads within the watershed. These sessions are best suited for small groups of about 12 people.
Over the years, the 30 Mile River Watershed Association (30MRWA) has worked with the Day Road Association on Kimball Pond in Vienna to help them improve, upgrade and repair many parts of their private camp road. Growing year-round usage of the Day Road had created more costly road maintenance and traffic performance problems for land owners, as well as threatened the health and water quality of Kimball Pond. The Day Road Association took the first step towards improving its camp road and protecting the lake by contacting 30MRWA for help.
Through his volunteer role with 30MRWA, Clyde Walton, 30MRWA board member and former DOT employee, provided free technical assistance to the Day Road Association. Together they completed a road assessment and developed work priorities that included setting new culverts, roadside ditching and vegetation clearing, road grading and gravel surfacing, removal of tree stumps and large stones, and implementing timely erosion control measures. The goal was to create something that would be affordable, fully functional and long-lasting. Last year a formal road association was formed, using the new statutory model as a guide.
With guidance and assistance from 30MRWA, as well as the help of many landowner-volunteers who contributed their time, equipment and resources, the newly-formed Day Road Association has begun making and implementing work priorities and continues to set budget priorities as a planning process for continuing the road work. As a result, the storm water from normal and heavy rainfall and snowmelt is being properly drained, which reduces road deterioration as well as protects the water quality of Kimball Pond from polluted storm water runoff.
Congratulations to the Day Road Association for a job well done!