This issue was brought about by some recent clear cut logging on some property I own up in Virginia. The land will be planted down to Pine trees again, and we'll see what the next 20-40 years bring. The immediate problem is the access roads.
The logger did ensure the roads used were left flat and un-rutted, which is the usual conditions for a logging contract around here. However, the lack of tree cover, and the fact the logger paid little attention to water control has resulted in a road that is eroding badly. Pic below
The picture does not clearly show this is a downgrade between 8-13 % in spots, and the natural flow of the water is from left to right. My goal is to work the road up and put in clear ditches on either side, place a drainage culvert in the lowest part of the road, and probably put in shallow water bars or dips frequently to encourage water to move off the road before running down hill. Total length of this road is about 1300 yards. There is another road, more of a luxury, which accesses a different part of the farm which also has issues with water handling, perhaps another 800 yards.
Primary Reason: At the end of this road my family has a camp-site where we "truck camp" ( throw every imaginable piece of luggage in the truck and go ) and have been doing so for a number of years. My family states they wish to continue the tradition. Further, a cousin owns land behind us with his own family campsite, and our road is his access also.
So the question I'm facing is, how best to tackle this? I worked with Dad on our dirt roads using a Massey 150 and scrape blade a number of years while growing up . While the tractor and blade did the job after we learned how to use it properly, we didn't have the kind of old growth forest with 15-25 inch stumps like those left on the Virginia farm. My current plan after watching a number of Youtube videos is to rent an modest size excavator (12-20K pounds) to create the ditches, deal with stumps found, and use the dozer/stabilizer blade to smooth and shape the road as well as ditching and placing the culvert. I don't know how well the excavator blade will work to smooth and shape the road. Ideally, I would like to use this situation to possess a full size farm tractor (insert Gollum "My Precious" noises here) and only spend a minimal amount on the rental.
Can anyone guess how long it might take to ditch and smooth this road? My estimate is a full week, but I have very little experience running an excavator - which also means it will take me longer than it takes an experienced operator.
I'm going to start a second post with the tractor questions I meant to ask.