Is a creek or a ditch cutting through your Oakland property, making it difficult for you to get your vehicle to the other side? There are two ways you can choose to solve this: opt for either a culvert or a bridge driveway. Both aim to create a structure that will allow you to easily access the part of the property that is on the other side of the creek or ditch.
Both choices, however, have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to supporting large vehicles, however, bridge driveways are generally recommended over culverts. In planning a bridge driveway over a creek, there are a lot of considerations and planning to do, the most basic of which are laid down by deck builders.
The Problem with Culverts
Culverts can work for homes standing over small creeks with consistently low water levels. It is usually made of a piece of galvanized steel or polyvinyl chloride with a brick or stone structure on top, acting like a very small bridge. According to David Reed, the author of “The Art and Craft of Stonescaping”, culverts would only work as footpaths or can only accommodate the weight of small vehicles such as motorcycles. If you are building a driveway for a bigger vehicle, then you’ll want to consider the alternative.
Why Opt for a Bridge Driveway
Bridge driveways are considered necessary structures in spanning a creek. Moreover, homeowners could own a picturesque bridge without the actual complexities and expenses of building road surfaces over the creek. Building bridge driveways, however, also requires determining soil qualities, professional engineering work, and other considerations that are best left to professional deck builders, like the experts from Schafer Construction, Inc.
Planning for a Bridge Driveway
Among the many considerations when planning a bridge driveway are the spans for the steel girders and the amount of wooden flooring your project will need. You might also need to place a culvert pipe into your creek, which should be wide enough to allow water to freely flow through it. Additionally, pipes need to be at least four feet longer than required to let water flow in and out, and each side should be filled with at least three inches of rock for stabilization.
You might be tempted to treat the construction of a bridge driveway is something you can do yourself, like many home improvement projects. Doing so, however, could only lead to costly damages, like washouts or even dangerous collapses due to poorly constructed bridges. Consult with professionals first, so they can conduct an inspection of your property and suggest the best options for a driveway.
How to Build a Driveway Over a Creek, eHow
How to Build a Bridge Over a Creek, eHow