the road less traveled
The Newsletter of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads at Penn State
In This Issue
Upcoming Events




State College

Better Project
Hard Files


A Look Inside Annual Summary Report

State College

Q & A
What is the Program's and Center's thoughts on multiple "side-by-side" stream pipes?

Multiple "side-by-side" pipes are associated with a variety of problems including clogging and channel stability issues. Installation of multiple pipes for a stream crossing is NOT permitted with DGLVR funds (flood plain or overflow pipes are OK).  In addition, the SCC/Center is considering  adding wording to the stream crossing policy to allow replacement of existing multi-pipe structures regardless of their relationship to the bankfull channel width.

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

The Center's Newsletter Returns, Digitally!!!

     This is the first issue of the Center's new digital newsletter, "the road less traveled", which will be distributed roughly every other month.  With the move to a digital newsletter, anyone can subscribe or un-subscribe to the newsletter at any time. While conservation distirct and DCNR personnel involved in the PA Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program are  the  primary audience for  the  newsletter, please feel free to forward it to anyone else who may be interested.
Since this is the first issue, be sure to "subscribe"!
Program and Center in the News

     Below are links to several articles that have appeared in various publications recently in relation to Center and Program activities:
LVR Sharing Sessions for Conservation Districts

Bucks LVR project
     2015 was the first construction season with low-volume road (LVR) funding, and conservation districts completed 67 projects statewide.  Another 125 LVR projects are currently under contract in the online GIS reporting systems. 
     To facilitate education and idea-sharing, the Center and SCC have organized several "LVR project sharing sessions" around the State.  The idea stems from a session held in Southeast PA in February.  Since many of the conservation districts in attendance had complete LVR projects and were willing to share, it was a successful venue for sharing information between districts and with SCC/Center staff. Dates and regions for the sessions are listed in "Upcoming Events" to the left.  Registration is still available, just select a session in "upcoming events" in the left margin.
Driving Surface Aggregate (DSA) Update
Sampling DSA

     At it's May meeting, the State Conserv ation Commission approved a new Driving Surface Aggregate specification for use in the Program.  This means that conservation districts and municipalities are no long longer tied to using the PennDOT DSA specification. Among the major cha nges in the new spec are:
  • requirement of pre-delivery DSA testing
  • paver required on jobs over 1,000 tons
  • in-place density testing not required
  • addition of Program-specific language on site preparation and weather limitations
     In addition to the new specification, a comprehensive "DSA Handbook" was developed by the Center.  The new spec, handbook, and two recently recorded webinars on the DSA changes are available on the Center's  DSA Webpage.
2016 Annual Maintenance Workshop

September 28th-29th, York, PA

     The Center's 2016 Workshop, featuring concurrent classroom sessions and multiple field trips related to the PA DGLVR Program, will be held in York, PA this fall.  This year's workshop promises to be "field-heavy", with 5 separate field trips visiting nearly 20 different sites.   Look for a more detailed agenda and registration information to be available in the next few weeks.  Workshop sessions and trips are currently scheduled to include:
  • Multiple concurrent classroom presentations.
  • A field trip to 4 recently completed projects including road fill, road relocation, and a bottomless arch pipe.
  • A field trip focusing on the Program's stream crossing policy and bankfull determination.
  • A field trip to develop a project plan for both a D&G and LVR potential project.
  • A DCNR-specific field trip to visit several projects in Michaux State Forest.
  • An optional field trip the day before the workshop that focuses on urban LVR practices and projects.
  • An administrative training the day before the workshop.
Attendees visit a LVR Project in Lawrence County in 2015.
In Other News...
this recurring feature highlights related topics beyond the Program.

NFWF Marcellus Research Project:
     The Center is participating in a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) funded Marcellus Shale Gas Sediment Control Project led by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). The project is focused on reducing the impacts of road sediment on streams in the Marcellus Shale impacted areas of the Susquehanna River Basin. The Center is assisting the SRBC in the assessment of roads and their potential to impact water quality.
     As part of the project, the SRBC completed a survey about erosion and sediment control related to unpaved roads and other infrastructure associated with oil and gas development in the Susquehanna River Basin. The results of the survey indicated that the environmentally sensitive road maintenance practices taught by the Center are being used outside the Program by industry and regulatory agencies. In addition to the survey, the technical memo contains literature review of best management practices to reduce sediment from disturbed areas such as roads and pipelines. The full technical memorandum can be found here here
     In the next phase of the project the SRBC is utilizing advanced GIS processing to identify watershed areas that have the potential to be "captured" by the road network and contribute increasing flows and sediment to streams. The project will culminate with a series of outreach efforts to educate industry and regulators on best practices to minimize erosions and sedimentation from oil and gas development. An update on the project is currently being planned for the 2016 Annual Maintenance Workshop.  
Public road impacts from gas traffic in Susquehanna County.
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