Friday, May 27, 2011

What is it? Driveway? Wal-Mart Parking Lot? Or Air Field?

Time to bring you up-to-date on our driveway rehab project.  I thought it was to "repair" our driveway, which had ruts, potholes - and a pond or two in it.  Though, it looks like a Wal-Mart parking lot right now.  We are so close to the airport, I hope that we don't have planes landing here - oh, wait.  We don't have lights out there, so maybe we're OK.

This is what the driveway looked like before we started... and it's been this way - maybe not quite as bad last year, but close - for a number of years.

Every year we have to warn people to not fall into the holes when they get out of their cars.  And we really don't want to go to jail if people drown in the ponds.

This is a pond.  I know.  It looks like snow.  The snow was just before I took these photos.  Think of it. When we DO have snow - like several inches, navigating our driveway by foot is an interesting event.  Trying to keep people from mudding in their ATVs is something else.  One year we had a guy come through our yard on a snowmobile!

Which brings up another issue:  Why is it that, just because we don't have a fence around our yard, people think that they can walk, hunt, fly kites - or snowmobile - through our yard?  The snowmobile guy ran over my little flower garden out front.  Just an annoyance I think about often when I see people doing these things.

Anyway, back to the driveway.

Phil and I had a little "meeting of the minds" about the design of the new "driveway" yesterday.  Turns out, in his mind, he was building a "parking lot" for our cars.  In my mind, we were supposed to be building a "turn-around" for vehicles, which would have a spot in the middle dedicated to be my "tree island."  Turns out there is no "plan," no "drawing," no "design" for what we're having built out there.  It is HUGE... but I'll show you pictures of that in a minute.

Of note, the first thing that was constructed - the very first day (this is about the 3rd day of construction) - was a "path" to our front door.

Having a "sidewalk" to our front door was something that has been on my list for a long time.  I am thinking now that this was installed probably intending it to be a distraction to me so that maybe I wouldn't notice what was going on in the driveway.  However, I also wanted to have the stairs moved to the front door, which is around the corner a bit from this view, so that people wouldn't have to walk by our bedroom window to get to the front door.  But, I think (in my mind, mind you) that we have come to a compromise on the "path" (Phil's mind - was to put gravel down in a different color from the driveway).  MY "sidewalk" will be flagstone.  I am hoping that maybe we can still move the stairs to the other side of the front porch area.

The first thing the guys had to do for the driveway was to remove the "sod." It was actually just weeds, crab grass - anything that would grow in river terrace (BAD) soil. 

Then they heaped most of that into a big pile that is supposed to be my "tree island," I think.

It was yesterday (meeting of the minds day) that I realized that "tree island" was awfully small compared to the grand scope of our "driveway" / "parking lot".  I hope this photo of the "overview" of our "parking lot" will give you an idea of what we've got.

The photo above is the boundary of the "parking lot".  Add this photo to the one above it and you'll get an idea of how big it is.  Look at it from the perspective of how big the cars look by comparison.  Phil's car hauler is 24-feet long.

Anyway, today the culvert is being emptied of dirt and ground squirrel homes.  I have this great video that I am hoping you'll be able to see when I try to insert it here.  Shows the construction guys pounding the culvert pipe to get everything out of it.  There is no sound.  I didn't want you to hear the ground squirrels screaming.

Then, maybe if our yard floods again this year,  will the water go into someone else's yard down the street?  But if it floods that much, the commons area will also be flooded - so where will the water go if the river is already out of its banks?  

"They" say that even though snow pack is 223% of normal this year (last year when it flooded it was 80% of normal), we had rapid heating of air temp over a short period of time last year, so snow melt was faster last year than it is this year.  The river is out of its banks now, but still 1-1/2 feet below "flood" stage.  That will be another post down the road if anything happens!

Back from the rabbit trail... Today the guys are also spreading recycled asphalt pavement -- which we got free from the airport -- all over what they graded.  I hope it doesn't come with runway lights!


1 comment:

  1. Quite the project! Your driveway/parking lot is bigger than most peoples' property :}