the road less traveled

The Newsletter of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads at Penn State
December 2016
In This Issue
Upcoming Events


State College

Greene County

Elk County

Indiana County

Bradford County

Tioga County

Crawford County

Snyder County

Huntingdon County

Dauphin County
State College
August date TBD

 Annual Workshop
Bradford County

Pike County

Berks County

Centre County
Q & A
How do I report "materials, equipment and labor" expenses for contracted jobs that don't differentiate between those categories?

Some contracted services (such as DSA placement) are bid as either a lump sum or per-ton price.  These prices include the material, equipment, and labor costs all rolled into one value.  In the GIS reporting system, however, grant expenditures are reported as either "materials", "equipment", or "labor".  In these situations, the spending breakdown can be estimated for entry into the reporting system, as long as the TOTAL expenditures accurately reflects what was spent on the project. For example: a $50,000 DSA cost (assuming paver placement) could be entered as $40,000 material, $5,000 equipment, and $5,000 labor.  Note that simple delivery costs are typically considered part of the material.  For example, if shale fill costs $12 a ton to bring to the jobsite, that is all a "material cost", including trucking.  Once the shale is on site, equipment and labor costs may be incurred such as spreading and compacting the material.

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

Happy Holidays

     2016 is proving to be a busy year indeed for the DGLVR
 Program.  Conservation Districts have already input more project spending  into their GIS reporting system in 2016 than was reported in all of 2015, for both unpaved and low-volume roads...and reports are not even due until January!  Look for a full update after the annual report is complete early next year. In the meantime, the staff at the Center hopes you have a safe and happy holiday season, and we look forward to working with everyone in 2017.  
The 2017  CDGRS Photo Contest Calendar will be shipping soon!

2017 ESM Trainings and Workshop Scheduled    

     The Center has scheduled 12 Environmentally Sensitive Road Maintenance (ESM) trainings throughout the state in 2017.  Training locations were determined based on conservation district requests, with emphasis on areas that have not held a training in recent years.  The training dates and locations, including a link to register, are listed on the "upcoming events" to the left.      
     The 2017 Annual Maintenance Workshop is scheduled for September 26-28th, in Sayre, PA (Bradford County).  A "northern tier" workshop should supply opportunities for a variety of field trips.  Look for more details in 2017.
Russel Redding, PA Secretary of Agriculture, addresses attendees at the 2016 Workshop in York, PA
CD Annual Reports Due Jan 15th      

    Conservation Districts administer the DGLVR Program within each county and keep track of all projects and spending using a customized online GIS system.  Each January, the GIS system must be updated with all projects and spending in order to generate the Annual Summary Report (ASR).  A few references are available to assist Conservation Districts in preparing their Annual Summary Report:
  • ASR Refresher Webinar:  Recorded 12/6/16, this brief webinar goes over the basics of completing the report.
  • ASR Guide: two-page overview of ASR process
  • Additional Help: for more detailed and individual help, contact Ken at, or 814-865-6966.
Education and Outreach Update

     The Center and State Conservation Commission jointly run several advisory workgroups consisting largely of conservation district staff.  The "Education and Outreach" advisory workgroup met on 12/15 to discuss several items related to the Center's educational efforts.  Topics included: updates and changes to the ESM training; the 2017 Maintenance Workshop; potential "Bankfull and Stream Crossing Structures" training in the spring; a "Winter Webinar Series"; and more.  Look for additional information about these trainings and more in January.
See You at PACD in January

     The PA Association of Conservation Districts ( PACD ) is holding its Winter meeting in conjunction with the State Conservation Commission on January 24-25 in State College. Center and Program staff will be available at a "DGLVR Help desk" in the lobby of the State College Ramada all morning on January 24th.  Please plan to stop by with questions or just to say hello and give us an update on how things are going in your county.  Feel free to bring files for specific questions on individual projects as well.  We hope to see you there.
In Other News...
this recurring feature highlights related topics outside the Program.

Federal DSA project     
DSA placement in the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana.

 The Center is currently working with the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service on a project involving Driving Surface Aggregate (DSA).   This is a "Technology Transfer and Expansion" project that is designed to take successful practices and disseminate them to other federal land areas around the country.  While DSA is used frequently by the Allegheny National Forest in Northwestern PA, this project looks to expand the potential use of DSA to other Federal lands.  DSA will be placed and monitored on federal roads in Indiana and Vermont as part of this project.

Indiana: The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge placed nearly a mile of DSA on one of their roads in September of 2016.  Center staff assisted in the coordination and placement of the aggregate, and plan to return to perform monitoring tasks in 2017.  

Vermont: The Green Mountains National Forest was chosen as the location for the Vermont DSA placement.  The initial site visit and setup were completed in 2016, but DSA placement has been pushed off until 2017 because of weather.

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