Gravel Road Design: Building and Maintenance Techniques That Keep Costs Down

Gravel Road Design: Building and Maintenance Techniques That Keep Costs Down

In EK35®, Gravel Roads, Soil Stabilization by John Burnett

Midwest’s gravel road and runway building solutions lay the foundation for huge savings.

It’s no secret that gravel roads and runways need regular and effective maintenance in order to ensure their long-term functionality. But it’s time to fill businesses relying on gravel surfaces in on something that might not be so obvious: they can cut costs and boost productivity by investing in effective dust control and surface stabilization products that reduce the need for intensive and costly maintenance efforts.

Gravel Runways and Roads: The Challenges


Properly maintaining gravel runways can be particularly challenging for airport operators and owners. During takeoff and landing, large aircraft can loosen gravel, causing large amounts of dust to be released into the air. In addition, weather conditions can compromise the structural integrity of gravel runways, leading to unsafe conditions for incoming and outgoing aircraft. Of course, ensuring the safety of pilots, passengers, and cargo is the main priority for all runway operators, yet continuously repairing and maintaining damaged gravel can run up a bill in the millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, the gravel roads that criss-cross municipalities and rural communities remain vital to our nation’s infrastructure. Every day, millions of vehicles travel over gravel roadways between these remote locations across the country — as of 2013, 35% of America’s roadways were unpaved, according to the United States Department of Transportation, meaning that gravel still accounts for over 1.4 million miles of U.S. roads.

Moreover, a study conducted by the Arizona Association of County Engineers found that paved arterial roads require maintenance at astronomical costs — ranging from $20,000 to $330,000 per lane per mile — and yet maintaining unpaved roads can be even more expensive.

Midwest Knows Gravel

Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc.’s surface stabilization and dust control solutions ensure that gravel surfaces are as dependable as their paved counterparts — at a fraction of the cost. Midwest’s EnviroKleen® and EK35® products seal gravel surfaces against damaging moisture, while also preventing fugitive dust from accumulating in the air. EK35 is a non-toxic, synthetic solution that strengthens gravel roadways within 48 hours of initial application. Gravel roadways treated with EK35 increase in load-bearing strength as they’re used, actually leading to increased functionality over time. These products, when properly applied, protect the structural integrity of gravel roadways and vastly reduce maintenance costs — in fact, EK35 has been proven to reduce the cost of building and maintaining a gravel surface over the course of its full life-cycle by up to 50%.

Gravel roadways require a regular maintenance schedule to ensure continued optimal performance, and Midwest’s experts work alongside road and runway operators every step of the way to develop personalized, cost-effective solutions. Whether accomplished through soil stabilization or regular grading, gravel roadways will inevitably need to be recovered or replaced in areas that have thinned or worn out.

For airport operators and municipalities aiming to reduce maintenance costs and prolong the structural integrity of their gravel roads and runways, rest assured that Midwest’s surface stabilization and dust control products will get the job done.