A gravel road is an unpaved road surfaced with gravel. You should know that unpaved roads are not abandoned roads in the middle of nowhere. In fact, as of 2013, according to the United States Department of Transportation, thirty-five percent of America’s roadways were unpaved, showing how important gravel is and the need for them to be properly built and surfaced.

Building a gravel road goes beyond just laying down gravel and cement on the soil. It requires meticulous planning, adequate preparation, and even specialized equipment. This is to ensure that the road is smooth and has a uniform surface that can handle all types of load and won’t break under extreme weather conditions.

Whatever type of gravel road you want to build, be it a small scale or one covering a large area, understanding the basics of building one will go a long way in helping you achieve an impressive outcome. Follow these basic principles, and you’ll be set on the right track.

Determine the road usage

Before embarking on the project, you should answer these questions: Where is the gravel road situated, and what type of vehicle will be plying the road? The location will determine the cars that would ply the route. As you might imagine, if it is located in an agricultural or industrial district, you would expect heavy-duty vehicles on the road.

Your answers to these questions will help you determine the ideal development path. The road should have as few curves as possible due to the limited maneuverability of cumbersome vehicles. Of course, it would be stronger than a gravel road meant for light vehicles and low traffic volume.

Build a solid foundation

Any construction process must start with a strong foundation, which is also applicable to gravel road projects. You should avoid building on weak and wet soil. However, in an unavoidable situation, like a portion of the road passing through a swamp, you’ll need to compact the soil to reduce the presence of air and water. This ensures that the soil is harder, denser, and more durable.

Use the appropriate material

A good rule of thumb is never to mix up your construction materials. You shouldn’t use gravel meant for filling for road construction. It lacks binding particles and becomes loose and unstable when used for road construction. Therefore, be sure to test and purchase the suitable material. It is a good investment as it saves the maintenance cost in the future.

Get the right machinery and operator

If you want to construct a gravel road that’ll last long, it is only natural that you utilize the right set of construction machinery. Be sure that you are also employing the services of an expert operator to ensure the smooth operation of these machines to avoid downtimes. The role and importance of an operator cannot be undermined. Their experience with road building and familiarity with the principles and tactics involved in road construction is a bonus.

Proper drainage

A good road network is characterized by a sound drainage system. Ensure your gravel road has provisions for drainage systems that’ll help drain water off the road surface. Gravel roads with poor drainage systems cannot be fully maintained as any adjacent water on their sides will compromise their structural integrity.

Apply surface strengthening solutions

After successfully building your gravel road, you would want it to remain smooth and free of cracks, ruts, and potholes. You can apply a one-off application of bituminous surface treatment. It helps provide a rock-hard, all-weather, water-resistant surface.


You should perform regular maintenance on your gravel road to keep it operational. It could be grading or soil stabilization. Regardless, be sure to conduct at least one of these maintenance practices. Standard maintenance practices include leading the drainage system of rubble, reshaping the road, and removing excess materials.

Contact Excalibur Land Services for Your Gravel Road Land Preparation

At Excalibur Land Services, we understand that Gravel Road Construction gravel road construction starts from a level clearing. We’ll leverage our vast experience and professional operators to deliver the best land clearing service you can only imagine.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our services and how cost-efficient they are. We are located in Tacoma, WA, and have provided land clearing and forest mulching services across Hobart, Shadow Lake, Ravensdale, Maple Valley, Graham, and Lakewood. We are just one call away, so do not hesitate to call us for an expert land clearing service!

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