Ryerson Roads FACT: Gravel Reclaiming

Ryerson Roads FACT: Gravel Reclaiming

During regular road use and maintenance, gravel migrates form the travelled portion of the road to the shoulders and into the ditches. Over time this leads to soft shoulders, poor drainage, and eventually potholes and washboard edges. It also increases the overall road width. Vegetation grows in this excess shoulder material making it difficult to redistribute properly.

To recover this road material and create an overall consistent road width, the grader is fitted with what appears to be oversized farming discs, called a GRAVEL RETRIEVER. These discs cut up the mass and pull the material up on to the edge of the road. The process is done multiple times and berms of material are left to dry. These berms also serve as a guide for motorists to avoid the extremely soft shoulders. Caution signs are placed at various locations to warn motorists.

Gravel retrieval SAVES TAX DOLLARS

  • Controlling road widths saves the amount of gravel overall that is required to re-surface a road;
  • Removing the material from the ditches for re-use means it doesn’t have to be hauled away; and
  • Re-applying the retrieved gravel extends the lifecycle for re-surfacing by almost two years.

Based on conservative estimates, re-claiming the gravel can save approximately $3000 per kilometre.

Gravel reclaiming is best conducted in hot, dry, weather – the process is dusty and the result are ugly – but it is a very cost effective operation that improves the roads and saves tax dollars. Your understanding is appreciated!