Site Work, page 1
One of the things we didn't expect to require so much work was the road along our lot. We had
to spend quite a bit of money grading and surfacing it when we first began work on the house,
and it's an ongoing consideration in terms of water runoff and damage caused by Border Patrol
agents and stray vehicles. We recently decided to add a culvert where the road curves to go
uphill just past our lot. We wanted to replace a simple water bar (ditch and mound) with
something that would do a better job.
With the help of the folks who own the lot above us, we first dug a trench and lined it with rebar.
About half of the rebar is shown in this picture ... you can never have too much of it, you know.
We put in the concrete in three stages ... first the floor of the trench, then the wider sidewalls
that support a cattle grate, then the outside walls. As usual, we mixed the concrete ourselves
(six cu yds). The walls and floor were 6-8 inches thick.
A nearby landowner gave me a massive old cattle guard and I cut it up into 3 sections, each two
feet wide and just under eight feet long. They sit end to end on the ledge we built into the walls
of the culvert, shown here where the water enters.
Here's a view of the completed culvert looking down toward our lot. We found a nice big rock to
cover the entrance so errant vehicles wouldn't drop a wheel into it. Plus it made nice landscaping.
And here's what it looks like from below. The total length is 34 feet, 23 of which is covered by
the cattle guard sections. No, those aren't illegals sitting by the road, although these ones work
pretty cheaply. That's my wife and the owner of the adjacent lot. His wife also worked with us
almost every day, especially the hard ones (digging dirt and mixing concrete), but she wasn't
here when I took this picture.