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Model Shoulder/Ditching Specifications

  • Shoulders will be lower and graded at a slightly steeper cross-slope to provide positive drainage toward the ditch.
  • If possible, all inslopes will be no steeper than 2:1 (Horizontal to Vertical) and all backslopes will be no steeper than 1:1.
  • The depth of ditch should be at least 12" below the bottom of the roadway gravel. If the depth of base gravel is unknown then the ditch should be a minimum of 18" below the shoulder elevation. Care should be given to avoid excessively deep ditches which could create safety and liability concerns to motorists and/or pedestrians, especially with steep side slopes.
  • All ditches will be shaped with no hard transitions in slopes. The shape should be rounded (parabolic) to minimize erosion and water velocities. V-ditches should be avoided.
  • The slope of the graded ditch should be a minimum of 1%. In difficult situations, it should never be less than .5%.
  • No gravel of sod berm or windrow will be left in-between the road and the ditch slope.
  • Prior to any grading, the Contractor or Town will call Dig-Safe toll-free number 1-888-DIG SAFE (344-7233) to protect against possible damage. Comments like "I know there's nothing there" are not acceptable. The 72-hour waiting period will be adhered to in ALL CASES, except emergencies.
  • All work will be protected by proper work zone devices and procedures. The standards presented in the latest edition of Part 6 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) will serve as minimum standards.
  • All culverts or obstructions will be flagged or marked prior to grading to ensure no damage to the culverts or equipment.
  • All "ditch spoils" will be properly disposed of by the operator in accordance with all environmental considerations. An easement will be obtained to dump excavated material onto private property.
  • Any ditch drainage onto private property can only occur after a drainage easement is on file with the Town.
  • All work will be performed under the direction of the Road Commissioner (Town Manager or Board of Selectmen).
  • Any inconveniences to residents or to adjacent driveways shall be avoided by prior notification.
  • All culverts, geotextiles, and erosion control materials will be approved of and/or bought by the Town for use.
  • All unstable ditches and slopes will be properly protected against erosion according to current best management practices and State law.


This page last updated on 1/9/13