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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Driveway 2.0

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Our next big project is now underway. We have committed to spending too many of our hard-earned saved dollars to fix the driveway that has been crumbling since the first few months after we arrived here. That was almost ten years ago. In the ongoing saga of our adventure of leaving the suburbs to create a sanctuary of rural bliss that we call Wintervale, this improvement on the land might be the least important but the most visible.

The old dilapidated pavement was still driveable, but it looked completely neglected (it was!) and was becoming increasingly more of a nuisance by the day. Smooth new asphalt will be a joy to have and it will make this place look even more amazing than it already did despite the lousy driveway surface.

We are contracting with two different companies that have worked together many times before. Yesterday, the excavating company that has supported us on multiple projects in the past, started the process of removing the old asphalt from a majority of the length. Specifically, the portion just above the shop garage all the way down to the road.

The asphalt company will overlay new pavement on top of the old asphalt in front of the shop garage and up to the house where little deterioration was evident.

After the excavators pulled up the first chunks of asphalt, they deduced the material used for the base looked like it was not as coarse as they recommend and it was not applied as thick as it should have been, especially in the low area where wetness and our clay soil combine to create a potential for problems.

Watching the process was mesmerizing for me. I stared in wonder like a little kid. The man operating the backhoe was an artist, deftly manipulating the controls to efficiently pull up and then break chunks of asphalt in one smooth motion.

After the first load of broken asphalt was hauled away, the truck returned with a full load of gravel to slowly pour out over the length of the excavated section. Then, that truck would be positioned beside the backhoe to receive more removed asphalt.

Eventually, a second truck showed up with gravel and joined the rotation. By quitting time, they had torn up about three-quarters of the length. They should be able to finish the entirety of their portion of the work before the end of the day today.

The asphalt company has us on their schedule to start next Monday with their work. When the quote was made this spring, the man said it would be best if they could lay the pavement during the hottest days of summer. It is looking good at this point with high temperatures in the 90s°F expected.

When your driveway is 900 feet long over two rolling hills, it becomes a significant feature of the overall property. I’m really looking forward to having ours updated to a new and improved version 2.0.



Written by johnwhays

July 12, 2022 at 6:00 am

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