Garden Diary - September 2021

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Making Driveway Repairs After September's Storm
Wednesday and Thursday, 8 & 9 September 2021

The remnants of Hurricane Ida came up the coast and dumped better than 7 inches of rain in less than 12 hours. As can be imagined it caused flooding and damage where we live in Hunterdon County in New Jersey. Sufficient damage that the county has been declared a FEMA disaster area.

The rushing water washed so much gravel and stones that the upper culvert under the driveway could not handle the debris. It choked the culvert to the level of the driveway. Water gushing over the driveway ran along the edge and undermined the asphalt.

The water also undermined about 70 linear feet of the driveway itself. After the storm ended the driveway buckled to the extent that the asphalt cracked.

Paul called several paving companies. Most did not answer or call back. One did say they could maybe come in November, at the earliest. Finally there was one, Richard's Paving, who could come promptly. Normally we would get three bids and a written contract. Time was of the essence: the driveway was not, well, driveable. It's not just a matter of walking up from street to house with groceries. There's cat supplies (consider kitty litter ordered 120 pounds at a time for free shipping.) Once a week trek down to street with trash can for garbage pickup, every other week with recyclables. Mailbox at bottom of driveway. We went with Rich's company.

They started up at the top, clearing the upper end of the upper culvert.

The somewhat damaged asphalt over the driveway above the upper culvert
was broken up for removal, as was all damaged asphalt. Undamaged area
in front of the garage was not repaved. Top coat next year,perhaps, I do hope.

The next morning we woke up, looked outside. An enormous paver and roller
were parked at the top of the driveway, having arrived sometime previously.

The paver is aligned at the top of the driveway area to be paved.

"Wings" are extended to match the edges of the driveway's width.

Additional roller/compactors are filled with water to provide
necessary weight to thoroughly compact the new, hot asphalt.

Of course things never go quite as planned. The two existing culverts under the driveway are 18 inches in diameter. Remember your high school geometry. Area = pi x r squared. These culverts have an area of 254.46 inches. A second, larger culvert (24 inches in diameter, 452.37 inches) was going to be paired with lower culvert. However the original culvert broke apart. It was removed and replaced with the new one.

Now we need to figure out how to dispose of the pieces of the old culvert.

Working down the driveway, removing old damaged asphalt and preparing for repaving.

An improvement - in a couple of places along the driveway asphalt diversions

were created, directing runoff away from the edges of the driveway. Here
is one located above the lower edge of the upper culvert's outlet. Water goes
where water wants to. It is helpful to provide an easier, better for us choice.

Henry, Rich's father and the original owner of the paving company suggested

paving the inlet for the lower culvert. Dubious, but he's the expert so it was done.
No, it is not for skate boarding, even if it looks like something that could be used.

Two days, massive equipment: specialized machines for actual paving, trucks of various sizes

including this behemoth that when filled with asphalt weighs 80,000 pounds.

UPDATE: Thursday, 23 September 2021. Hundred year weather events now seem
to arrive every ten years. Or less. Today's storm with 2.61 inches of rain from noon on.

And the diversion for the lower culvert worked excellently well.

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