the road less traveled

A 2016 completed Dirt and Gravel with fill, new drainage outlets, and DSA.  (Pike CCD)
The Newsletter of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads at Penn State
April 2017
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Township Convention


Tioga County

Elk County

Indiana County

Crawford County

Pike County 

Centre County 

Snyder County

Huntingdon County

Dauphin County
State College
August date TBD

  Annual Workshop
Bradford County

Pike County

Berks County

Centre County
Q & A
Our Conservation District likes the stream crossing policy the way it was at 50% of bankfull: can we still use 50%?

Yes, as with most other policies in the Program, Conservation Districts are free to en act policies and standards that are  more strict than statewide standards. Since changing the eligibility threshold to 75% is in fact loosening Program policy, districts are free to keep it more restrictive at a percentage lower than 75%.  In fact, a few districts do not fund stream crossing replacements at all, preferring instead to focus funding on more traditional road sediment reduction practices.  The "Local Control" aspect of the Program allows districts to tailor many Program policies to fit their local conditions. Ensure that any local policies go through the process of being recommended by the Quality Assurance Board, and adopted by the District Board.

Center for Dirt & Gravel
Road Studies;
Larson Transportation Institute
Penn State University
201 Transportation Research Building, PA  16802
Toll-Free 1-866-NO-TO-MUD

The Center provides education, outreach, and technical assistance related to PA's Dirt, Gravel, and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program. 

 Support provided by:
PA State Conservation Commission

DGLVR Program 20th Anniversary Citation
     Section 9106 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code was signed into law to create the Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program in April of 1997.  Over the past 20 years, the Program has dedicated over $150 million to local road improvements with a focus on mitigating environmental impacts.  Former PA Senator Doyle Corman was instrumental in establishing the Program in 1997, and his son, Senator Jake Corman, played a role in the funding increase passed in 2013.  At the April 4th "Successes in Rural Road Maintenance and Ecology" symposium at Penn State (details below), Matt Wise from PA Senator Jake Corman's office presented the Program with a citation in honor of it's 20th anniversary.  The citation reads:

In the Senate, February 8, 2017
     Whereas, The Senate of Pennsylvania takes great pride in recognizing those organizations which, through adherence to the highest standards of service, contribute in a meaningful way toward a better and more productive society; and
     Whereas, Pennsylvania's Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program is being honored up the momentous occasion of its twentieth anniversary during the Successes in Rural Road Maintenance and Ecology Symposium, which is being held at The Pennsylvania State University on April 4, 2017; and
     Whereas, The nationally and internationally recognized Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program evolved from the Dirt and Gravel Road Task Force and the transportation bill championed by former Senator Doyle Corman and the late Bud Byron, past President of PA Trout.  The unique program, landed as the first of its kind in the United States, was enacted into law in April 1997 with five million dollars in annual funding for environmentally sensitive maintenance for unpaved roads.  With the additional of funding by Act 89, The Pennsylvania Conservation Commission now allocates twenty-eight million dollars annually to sixty-five conservation districts.  More than two thousand five hundred projects were completed by 2015 to address Pennsylvania's seventeen thousand stream pollution sites on unpaved roads.  People from all over the United States and the world have used the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program as a model for their work on unpaved roads.
     Now therefore, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania congratulates the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volumes Road Maintenance Program for its many accomplishments over the past twenty years; extends warmest wishes for a future replete with ever-increasing success and service to the community;
     And directs that a copy of this document, sponsored by Senator Jake Corman, be transmitted to the Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program.  

Citation presention by Senator Jake Corman's Office.  From left to right: Jason Hall, PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry; Karl Brown, PA  State Conservation Commission; Steve Bloser, PSU Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies; Matt Wise, Senator Jake Corman's Office
SCC DGLVR Admin Manual Approved
    The PA State Conservation Commission approved the revised version of the Program's Administrative Manual at their April 14th meeting.  Some of the changes in this updated manual include:  guidance and policy about funding Full Depth Reclamation;  off- right-of-way work notification requirements; additional educational guidance; and more.  One of the most anticipated policy changes was to the Program's stream crossing replacement policy.  The policy was "loosened" to make more structures eligible for replacement, and multi-pipe structures are now automatically eligible for replacement. As before, ALL new structures must be wide enough to span the bankfull width of the channel.  The  new manual, along with a 2-page summary of the changes, are available on the Center's website here

Spring Stream Crossing Trainings for CDs

    The Center's five regional stream crossing trainings are fast approaching.  These one-day trainings will spend about 2 hours in the classroom, and the rest of the day in the field.  One of the focuses of these trainings will be on Program policy and the determination of bankfull width of various stream channels. Another focus of this training is details that are often overlooked during stream crossing design and installation. This includes factors such as structure slope, establishing channel grade control, reestablishing channel grade, inlet and outlet protection, and more. Space is still available for these trainings, and more information can be found on the Center's website here.

2016 bottomless arch pipe installation. (Snyder CCD)

     The 2017 PA State Association of Township Supervisors will hold its annual conference and trade show in Hershey next week (April 23-26).  Center and Program staff will have a booth at the event to interact with townships about the Dirt, Gravel, and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program.  The annual event typically draws over 3,000 attendees.  If you are attending the event, plan to stop by and see us in the Chocolate Lobby.
In Other News...
This recurring feature highlights related topics outside the Program.

Center Hosts "Successes in Rural Road Maintenance and Ecology" Symposium
     To help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pennsylvania's Dirt, Gravel, and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program, the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State sponsored a "Successes in Rural Road Maintenance and Ecology" Symposium, which was held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 on the Penn State University Park Campus. This symposium highlighted project successes and research related to sustainable rural road maintenance and ecology by bringing together road managers, academics, government employees, and the non-profit sector to share their stories and accomplishments.
   More details about the symposium, including handouts, posters, and speaker bios, can be found on the Center's website here

Eric Chase (CDGRS), moderates a panel discussion at the symposium.
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