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How to build a low water crossing #7241071 07/31/18 08:52 PM
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I need to build a low water crossing on a wet weather creek. It has easy slopes on both sides. About 36 total feet in length. I've been told to just place 50lb. bags of QUIKRETE in the bag, to make the crossing and I've been told to use cinder blocks laid side by side for the crossing. Any help will be greatly appreciated. My mule goes through no problem, but it gets really muddy and I don't want to try it with my tractor. The tractor is what I need the crossing for.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241078 07/31/18 08:59 PM
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Numerous cross ties?

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241082 07/31/18 09:04 PM
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I was thinking about that. I think I would need about 32 to make the crossing. I wonder how much water it takes to make one float.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241105 07/31/18 09:25 PM
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Ive used several different methods.
A couple loads of 6" - 8" rock spread across.
2 layers of sackcrete bags, drive 3 to 4 foot lengths of 3/8 rebar through bags into ground on side where water comes from.
If there is a city nearby check to see if they have concrete chunks from road or sidewalk replacement/ repair.
Sometimes they give that stuff away, you'd have to place them with your tractor.
Asphalt millings from state or county road work, needs to be at least 10" thick then compacted.
If there is a concrete batch plant nearby let them use the area as a clean out / dump site.

Railroad ties float easier than you'd think considering their weight. They'll have to be anchored somehow if much water at all comes through.

There was a member that had track machine wood pads used to cross pavement & to work in muddy areas for sale in classifieds not long ago.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241107 07/31/18 09:27 PM
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what is the subgrade like? can it support a vehicle now? ifr it does you could lay down filter fabric. run your sacrete 2 high across the creek about 10" apart. then fill with 3x5 crushed limestone opr other similar material. will support quite a bit and water will run thru it.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241113 07/31/18 09:34 PM
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Some pictures would help. Without pics most of us are just guessing on what may or may not work.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241168 07/31/18 10:13 PM
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I will not be back there until this weekend and I will take some photos then. Thank you for all the suggestions.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241170 07/31/18 10:14 PM
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I have a similar situation at my place, was thinking of going the culvert with compacted rock and then soil to cover but thinking that would be overkill for the area and would require too much fill due to the gentle slopes. Thinking some quickrete bags with re-bar though might be a good trick. My F250 goes through it just fine but there is a definite pothole effect in the middle and I want something less "deep" in the middle so I can drive a tractor with implements through there.

My only concern is the area is actually a kind of natural spring that gets more wet in wet times and essentially dried up in the heat we just had. I don't want to contaminate the water source so would quickrete bags leech into the water and make it too alkaline (lime) to be drinkable with a filter if desperate times came upon us (SHTF type situation)?

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241201 07/31/18 10:31 PM
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Out in San Saba I saw a guy that used a 18 wheeler flat bed trailer and removed the wheels. Drug it over the gap and used it as a bridge. Might be worth exploring if you want to go over it.

Last edited by rexmitchell; 08/01/18 02:28 AM.
Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241304 08/01/18 12:14 AM
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This has been my experience. Anything you put there is like a water gap on a fence line, eventually you will get a rain that will either wash it down stream or tear it up so bad that it is unfixable.

The best you can do is on the upstream side, you want a gentle slope so that the force of water doesn't hit it like a wall. On the backside, you need something so that water falling on the backside doesn't wash out a hole. A 50 pound sack of Sacrete will wash down stream. I lost a 15 foot culvert that was under a layer of dirt and gravel. The hole it laid in was still there, but the culvert was gone.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7241405 08/01/18 02:13 AM
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I live pretty close. If you ever need some help just let me know.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: krmitchell] #7241414 08/01/18 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: rexmitchell
Out in San Saba I say a guy that used a 18 wheeler flat bed trailer and removed the wheels. Drug it over the gap and used it as a bridge. Might be worth exploring if you want to go over it.

I've seen the same.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: ChrisB] #7241480 08/01/18 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted By: ChrisB
Originally Posted By: rexmitchell
Out in San Saba I say a guy that used a 18 wheeler flat bed trailer and removed the wheels. Drug it over the gap and used it as a bridge. Might be worth exploring if you want to go over it.

I've seen the same.

X2. Seen them and they do work well. We had a crossing that a 5' pipe in it for years, then it washed out. So we added another 5' pipe and now had two of them. They washed out. So we had a guy that was removing some 6"+ thick 4' and 5' wide sidewalks. He was needing a place to haul them too so we took them. He delivered for free to the ranch and dumped them at the creek crossing. We had a backhoe at the ranch and took 3 guys a couple of days to lay them in place to look like a slab. They worked perfect for a creek crossing about the same size like you have. Even put some up the banks on each side for better traction and less erosion. Then filled in the flow sides and ditches on both sides with the riprap pieces of the smaller busted concrete.



Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: CassCounty] #7241638 08/01/18 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: CassCounty
I live pretty close. If you ever need some help just let me know.

PM sent, thank you.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7242133 08/01/18 07:58 PM
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Why don't you put in some CMP's or RCP's and make an elevated crossing?

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: snake oil] #7242170 08/01/18 08:20 PM
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railroad ties with 2 36" rebar driven thru each.....

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: snake oil] #7242178 08/01/18 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: snake oil
Why don't you put in some CMP's or RCP's and make an elevated crossing?

I'm considering all of the options that I may have, but trying to do it the lowest cost possible that will get the job done.


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7242300 08/01/18 10:39 PM
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What ever you do make it 10 times stronger than you think you need. Flowing flood water does not forgive.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7242481 08/02/18 01:29 AM
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For a low water crossing that will stay, dig the area you plan to drive 8"-10" below grade. Now rock it. Bring the rock back up level with the creek bed. Now when the water comes up it will flow over your rock without impeding the flow or washing. You will have rock bottom to cross on and it will stay put. Moving water has tremendous power. If it is pushing against whatever you put down, it will most likely move it.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 08/02/18 01:50 AM.

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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7243808 08/03/18 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mr. T.
Originally Posted By: snake oil
Why don't you put in some CMP's or RCP's and make an elevated crossing?

I'm considering all of the options that I may have, but trying to do it the lowest cost possible that will get the job done.


I went the rock route after my dozer operator's helper buried a skidsteer in my low water crossing. A full load of rock was 450$. I took the tractor with front end loader and slowly shook out a load at a time and drove the tractor back and forth over it. It's flooded 3 times since then and no more problems and it's easier getting across when the water is up since you know there's a solid bottom. Periodically I go back and add some of the reserve pile but I haven't lost any rock to floods at all.


Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7244945 08/04/18 12:58 PM
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What ever you do it with your worst case scenario in mind, I've seen solid concrete crossings go down the creek. Moving fluids create allot of energy!


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Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: HWY_MAN] #7244973 08/04/18 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: HWY_MAN
What ever you do it with your worst case scenario in mind, I've seen solid concrete crossings go down the creek. Moving fluids create allot of energy!

Yes- but. It all depends on the sinuosity of the channel, the depth before it breaches, the fetch area, the bedload and the degree of slope. My creek crossing is fairly sinuous, doesn’t hold much before it floods out in the pasture, and is shallow dip. So the velocity never reaches much speed- even during flood stage.


Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7245517 08/04/18 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mr. T.
I was thinking about that. I think I would need about 32 to make the crossing. I wonder how much water it takes to make one float.


Not much. It is hard to build anything that will stay. We have and all have hard rock added but have to be repaired every time the creek runs hard. The best way we have found is to dig out about a foot or two and put in large rocks and then fill with large crushed rock. When the creek flows fast it will wash some of the small stuff but the big rocks underneath will stay and we can just dump a load is gravel in it and be done.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: Mr. T.] #7245684 08/05/18 03:10 AM
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If you could post pictures, some of us may be able to give you better info Mr. T.

Re: How to build a low water crossing [Re: HWY_MAN] #7245763 08/05/18 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: HWY_MAN
What ever you do it with your worst case scenario in mind, I've seen solid concrete crossings go down the creek. Moving fluids create allot of energy!


The county bridge outside our gate washed away 10 years ago. They built it way better as a couple massive floods haven't destroyed it again.

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