Construction and Maintenance of Gravel Roads

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According to eh US DOT there are about 497,000 miles of unpaved roads in the US, which accounts for about 35% of all roads. According to Transportation Canada, about 60% of Canada’s 650,000 miles of roads are unpaved and the US, Canada and China lead the world in miles of unpaved roads. In many countries, more than 90% of the roads are unpaved. 

This course presents information on construction and maintenance of gravel roads. The final section of the course covers recent innovations in gravel road maintenance. New adaptations of equipment specifically for gravel roads, the use of recycled asphalt and additives for dust control, are covered. The course is based on the Federal Highway Administration publication: Gravel Roads Construction and Maintenance, 2015.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials. The appendices are included for reference only. Quiz questions may be taken from the Course Description, Forward, Introduction, Definitions, Chapters (Sections), and Summary.

A multiple-choice quiz is included which is intended to provide 8 hours of professional development

Course Author: U.S. Department of Transportation


At the conclusion of this course, the student will be introduced to the following topics:

  • Terminology and acronyms related to gravel roads
  • Understanding the gravel road cross section
  • Routine shaping principles
  • High shoulders
  • The benefits of mowing
  • Erosion control of gravel roads
  • Corrugation of gravel roads
  • Intersections with paved roads
  • Bridge approaches, rail crossings and cattle guards
  • Soft and weak subgrades
  • Ditches, culverts, bridges and underdrains for gravel roads
  • “Good gravel”
  • Gradation of gravel
  • Recycled asphalt
  • Testing and sampling of aggregates
  • Pit/Quarry Operations, Handling, Hauling and Dumping
  • Dust control of gravel roads
  • Types of stabilizers for dust control
  • Reduction of gravel loss
  • Application of dust control products
  • Innovations in gravel maintenance
  • Innovations in grader mounted and grader towed equipment
  • Innovations in tractor mounted equipment

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