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Old 09-28-2015, 01:02 PM
Acorn
 
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Is it possible / plausible to grade a 180ft by 5ft drop off?

I bought 1.7 acres of land 20 minutes outside the city I work back in March of this year. Until now I've been doing a lot of cleaning up. On the south-west side of the place is a clearing. There is a road that dead ends right in front of my property. This road is right in front of the clearing.

The clearing doesn't reach the entire depth of my property. It's 193ft deep and probably 60ft wide then it gets deeper and makes a rectangle to the East.

On the very west side of this clearing is a kind of drop off. I'd say about 5ft in the highest spots, but there are low spots more in the middle about a foot or 2 that have more of a slope. It isn't a straight drop off. It does have a bit of a slope, but hardly any in some spots. There is probably 5-6 ft between where my property line lies on the west and the edge of the drop which is east.

So I have this 180ft by 5-6ft section that I'd like to grade to more of a slope. The theory is I can use the dirt I shave to built part of the slope. Once I have the slope graded I'd like to dig a ditch into it and have it slope south into my current ditch.

My land is mostly slope. The clearing is kind of level, (A tiny bit higher on the west than east.), but the rest of my land slopes down hill into a creek on the very east side of my place. There are some more flat areas and the slope decreases, but it's still mostly a slight slope. Plus my place is the lower than those around me. The land slopes back up to my nearest neighbor on the east. So their water goes down into the creek as well. My neighbors on the north slope to me, and on the west obviously my land is lower due to the drop off. Now I haven't had any problem with flooding since I bough the place and we've had more rain this year than we have in years. So I feel with the right grading I should be good to go for sure.

So water is already going down this hill along this naturally made trench. I'm not creating any problems for anyone. I'm just directing the water from the drop off into the ditch on the south side of my place before it goes where it already goes. It literally affects no one.

Also, my area doesn't really care what you do as long as it doesn't put anyone out. That's why I bought the place. Good area with little crime, but people are very reasonable and there are few restrictions.

Is this a crazy idea? I don't see any long term negative effects. I'd need to take erosion into consideration. But what is the best way of going about this?

I know it sounds crazy but I can't afford to hire a dozer or a back hoe right now. I mean I have the money, but I'm saving it for things I want to hire out later and unforseen things. The plan is to do it with hand tools and a tractor and blade. I have access to a scoop, but I don't think that will be much help. It isn't a fancy tractor with a bucket and a ton on implements. Just an old 8N Ford with a blade and a scoop. I've got the hill cleared mostly. Now I need to dig out stumps and big rocks. (I'm 26 and labor goes fairly quickly for me. Plus I like it so it's fun.)

My end goal is to have the clearing more level but slightly slope east toward the downhill section. The north west corner will be the high point. It will slope south and east. I'm going to bring in fill dirt and top soil. So after I grade this drop off down a bit I'll be adding dirt to the overall clearing anyway.

Thoughts, ideas, tips?
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:07 AM
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Grading can be hard to discuss and with no pictures or elevation drawing, it makes it that much harder. That combined with the busy fall season may lead to the crickets here.

I'll just suggest that you put up silt fencing to prevent runoff while you work on this. Also, you didn't suggest how you would close up the site--with grass, mulch or other. This is important so that you don't put soil/silt into the creek. People downstream may not be as easy-going as your neighbors.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:54 PM
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I read it several times and don't think it is written well enough to understand. It sounds like you want to grade within a 5'6' wide area that has an elevation change between 2' and 5'.

My guess is that you have more than that 5-6' of width to grade within, but that does not come across in what was written.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:21 PM
Acorn
 
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djeets is on a distinguished road
@lanelle, youre nit making sense. Right now its dirt. It all slopes down to the creek. So right now wirhout doing a thing this silt or whatever else is already being washed down hill to the creek. What im proposing changes nothing regarding that. The only difference is I will be directing water around my clearing instead of through. The water ends up going where is is already going. Which is this run off at yhe edge of the clearing. I cant really do anything about water going down hill. Itll do that with or without me.

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Originally Posted by agla View Post
I read it several times and don't think it is written well enough to understand. It sounds like you want to grade within a 5'6' wide area that has an elevation change between 2' and 5'.

My guess is that you have more than that 5-6' of width to grade within, but that does not come across in what was written.
Its fairly clear, it just isnt written how you would write it..

To simplify it for you, imagine a 180ft long section 5 ft wide with a 5 foot drop on one side. I want to ease that 5 foot drop.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:46 PM
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Over what size area are you going to ease the grade? It sounds like you are trying to do it within a 5' width. My question for you was/is how wide an area are you going to use to "ease" the grade?

A creek bank is a protected wetland resource in most states. You should make sure that you are legally allowed to do that .... maybe that is what you are asking?
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:48 AM
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Hire a company that does grading.

This is a simple project that a tracked bobcat and expierenced operator can complete in a few hours.

Projected cost in the Atlanta area sight unseen would be an estimate of around $500/$600 if I didn't need any fill dirt and the job is within 30 miles.

My fill dirt cost for a 16 yard tandem dump truck full is $190 for quality screened fill that is Sandy and easy to fine grade.

Regular clay fill around $120-150 in the Atlanta metro area.
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