Steep Driveway Problems in Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth, MN gets lots of snow and rain. I snow blow and plow my driveway. It has about an 8 foot grade for a 50 foot span with more slope for about 400 more feet. I have used class 5 gravel and eventually ruts from the tires and washout happen. Do you know if recycled blacktop or concrete will work any better on this steep slope?


Thanks,
Lauren

Dear Lauren,

Steep slopes are a huge maintenance issue when gravel or any other loose material is used for its surface. This is because water moving down such a steep slope can get under the gravel and wash it down the hill. Cars coming up the hill have difficulty getting traction and start digging the gravel out. The only two materials I have used on very steep driveways like yours is asphalt or exposed aggregate concrete. With the long length of your driveway, the cost of this material may be prohibitive. I have seen larger stone used, but it is uncomfortable and not easy to use. In many cases this large stone is the base for a gravel driveway with the smaller gravel being on top. Be sure you are using a crusher run gravel that has stone dust mixed with the gravel. This gravel compacts better.
Sorry there is no easy solution.

Nancy

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