Our subdivision approved a major capital project to repair and pave its roads. The contractor offered to pave owner driveways while the equipment was on-site, and we took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade our 800' gravel driveway.
The first step was to prepare the driveway loop.
Originally we laid a border of stones around the driveway loop. But now, four years later, many stones have scattered or sunk into the ground. We decided to replace the stones with precast concrete edging blocks.
We dug out the stones and moved them with the tractor – five buckets full, or about 2,500 pounds – to a convenient spot at the edge of the forest, where they can commune with their friends buried throughout our soil.
In the 20 days since the last update, we rented a trencher and used it to dig a shallow trench for the new concrete border blocks. This excavated a lot of dirt and granite rocks that we had to remove from the driveway. Then we cleaned out the trench, spread an inch of sand, set the blocks, and backfilled to hold them in place. We were too busy and tired to take photos of these steps.
But we do have photos of the finished concrete block border – cylinders resembling soda cans standing side-by-side.
Here's another shot. In the distance are piles fine stone. Read on to learn why we had this dumped in the driveway loop.
We're pushing to finish the block borders (there's another 65' on both sides of the entrance) before the contractor is ready to bring in his equipment.
Only part of the loop will be paved, but we wanted to smooth the gravel surface on the unpaved section. So we bought 15 tons of gravel "dust" which resembles coarse sand (but it's really pulverized granite). It turned out that 15 tons is way too much for that part of the loop, so Mike spent the day using the tractor to carry and spread the excess along the driveway to add to the base for the asphalt.
The contractor spread several truckloads of 21A stone over the driveway and half the loop (we left half unpaved to preserve tree roots). Here Frankie grades the stone next to the front deck.
Here's Frankie using the vibratory roller to compact and smooth the graded stone.
This is the result, ready for the pavers to begin. The unpaved half-loop begins on the right, loops left behind the three trees, and ends 6' from the grill near the second deck walkway.
Early in the morning the paving crew arrived with their monster asphalt paving machine.
Then 10 men hung out for 45 minutes waiting for the first truckload of asphalt to arrive.
When the truck finally arrived, things got busy. The truck dumped asphalt into the paver's hopper, then moved out of the way.
The paving machine spreads a 10' swath of asphalt.
A worker rakes asphalt close to the landscaping border.
A small gasoline-powered vibrator compacts the asphalt next to the landscaping border.
The paver begins a second 10' pass. A worker takes shovels of asphalt from the paver's hopper and spreads it next to the retaining wall for later compacting with the small vibrator.
The heavy machine sank its treads about an inch into the compacted stone base.
The asphalt width can be adjusted as needed by moving "wings" on the sides of the machine. This fellow controls one wing on the paver to spread the asphalt close to the driveway edge. A second man controls the opposite wing. The man seated above drives the machine.
The final pass on the loop, heading out to the driveway proper. Notice both "wing men" standing on the corners of the paver.
The large vibratory roller and the small vibrator compact and smooth the asphalt.
Workers sculpt the edges of the asphalt. These were compacted and smoothed later.
The paver spreads 10' of asphalt on our driveway through the woods.
Two vibratory rollers follow to compact the asphalt.
The finished half-loop. The workers made a smooth transition to the unpaved section.
The driveway entrance. The cul-de-sac will be paved within a day.
Outbound. The driveway curves through the woods.
Inbound, looking toward the end loop in the distance. The house is out sight to the left.
This is a quadcopter view of the paved and unpaved sections of the loop near the house.