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I have a creek crossing that I used two loads of railroad ballast. OK at first, water flowing through the stones but they fill will leaves and silt, so I buried a 6" & 3" PVC pipe. OK except we've had lots of rain recently which they couldn't handle.

I have this 3ft. X 13ft. Galvanized corrugated pipe which should be final solution. I have a JD3038, FEL & 7.5ft backhoe which should do it.

Before I start I'm trying to figure out how to do it.

A few things...the hill going down is steep (where stone is). The creek bed which is about 10" below crossing is solid bedrock (so I can't dig deeper). The 3ft. pipe I assume I would need about 2 ft. of dirt on top with about 6" RR ballast then gravel on that? Then either side would take an awful lot of dirt going to it, especially on the steep uphill side going back maybe 50 feet (actually a good thing since my small tractor does a wheelstand going up now).

Then I figure I'd have to move all that ballast out the way first, then put it back.

Pictures are in order as I walked down hill just now. Next to last picture is coming back, the road is a Y...bear right goes back up steep hill, left crosses a small pond *** and much more level ground.

Thanks so much any ideas.


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If you have access to fill I would get pipe down as low as possible in the bed, and then fill in the approaches (reducing the drop) and going from one side to the other. This may require a 2nd pipe though to ensure full waterflow won't overload during hard rain. This will give you a sort of *** across the creek but should allow easier approach and departure.
 

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No reason to put the pipe in below the creek bed as it will just fill in anyway. Then it will lose flow. If you have access to large broken concrete or rock line the fill on the upstream end or the fill will wash out and all your work will be for nothing.
 
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I would wait until its a small stream of water. Build up the sides up on the high end with dirt or clay and dip out the creek with the backhoe. Set the pipe in place and back fill on top. I've set a pipe right in water and back filled on top of it.
 

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Don't think you'll need two feet of top fill. I put a 16" metal culvert across a swampy portion of some back acreage and covered it with just six, maybe eight inches. Has held up fine. Guess the amount of available fill would determine how much you want to put on. When I put this in I didn't have the BH so it was all hauled down the hill with PU truck and unloaded by hand.
The strength of the culvert comes from round shape plus the structural ridges. As long as the pipe is is solidly supported all around with fill there is no where to go, unless of course you decide to drive over it with a large truck filled with stone and crush it. But then another couple of inches probably wouldn't matter anyway. The one I put in was made up of three ft sections of one torn out by the town highway dpw. Installed end to end with old license plates and door skins from an old jeep truck bent to the curve and covering the seams, and that was some 35 yrs ago. It's still holding up to my over loaded PU truck of many loads of oak firewood each yr, or stone from the many walls on the property.
MikeC
 

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No reason to put the pipe in below the creek bed as it will just fill in anyway...
The pipe bore is probably large enough that setting it as low as possible will save having to build it up as high.

Don't think you'll need two feet of top fill...
Depends on how much frost there is to jack it. Up here in Canada, if you don't put enough cover on it, it will eventually pop right out of the ground. As the frost jacks it, stones will fall into the void underneath when the ice melts. Railroad ballast should be coarse enough and jagged enough to not fill in the void but it might help to put down some terrafix fabric just in case. Do a reverse gradient, with the coarsest on the bottom, then terrafix and finer stone on top.
 

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Your plan is solid, if you have the fill available. My only concern would be washouts or erosion on the upstream side of the pipe. An angled head wall on each side of the pipe using large stone would alleviate that.
 

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Depends on how much frost there is to jack it. Up here in Canada, if you don't put enough cover on it, it will eventually pop right out of the ground. As the frost jacks it, stones will fall into the void underneath when the ice melts.
Yes, it's really amazing the power Mother Nature can exert on solid made made structures. Back in the day, when I did more "stuff" than I do now, I was always told that it was the prep work on the base that helped prevent frost heave. Unless you got footings, columns, etc. below the expected frost line, nothing would stop the heaving. Now granted the more cover on top will decrease the depth of the frost line, but since the OP is in Va, don't think he'll encounter the deep freeze that you get in the frozen North. Heck I don't think I've encountered frost beneath a foot or so in the past decade. Trades folks are loving it though as global warming has allowed them to work year round. Major Lego Land project dozen miles from up has continued going all winter... earth work, concrete work and steel, with the exception of two frigid weeks where they halted the grading and pouring concrete. Pity the iron workers though, plus the guys that had to get all the heavy equipment started each morning.
MikeC
 

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The culvert actually lets the frost go deeper. As you say, base prep makes a difference, and scraping down to bedrock is a good base prep.
 
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