Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Driveway Widening Project is Complete

The Missouri Department of Transportation completed replacing the old rotten and too narrow culvert for our driveway and it has made the entry much more usable and most importantly safe. Before it was so narrow you had to swing out into the other lane to enter when heading north and it was really a challenge for larger trucks or when towing a trailer.

We started this process when a friend suggested we contact MoDOT because our culvert was collapsing and so we did and the entire experience with them has been nothing less than impressive. A local representative came out and took measurements and sent a recommendation to the regional office, a highway engineer came out from that office to verify and help us complete the permit application and within a week we had the permit. We then contacted the local office again to schedule it and within a week it was done as you can see below.

These guys were very friendly, serious about safety and when I mentioned how good their equipment looked one of the workers said that they have had serious budget cuts so they have to really take care of their stuff...and besides he said, "we take pride in our work". As a tax payer I sure don't know how you could ask more than that.

You can see we really needed new culvert, this old culvert was too short and completely rotten.
Our driveway entrance ended up about 6 feet wider which makes a huge difference when entering or exiting the drive.

They will come back next week and cut a bevel in the ends of the culvert.
Their vehicles were spotless inside and out (of course I had to check them out...I cant get enough of heavy equipment) and it only took them about an hour and a half to complete the entire job. Someday when I have some extra money I want to get a small dump truck...I mean, every guy needs a dump truck.

So this long planned project is also complete. We are starting to feel like we have made significant progress on the old homestead this year and we get a real sense of accomplishment as each project gets checked off. We have always lived in houses where you had to think of resale value and we knew we would be leaving at some point, and often within a few years so retiring to a place we never plan on moving from has changed a lot of our perspective. We do things to please us and make our place more usable and suitable for us and we just don't care if anyone else would do it the same way or likes what we do (though we try not to do anything that would cause issues with neighbors etc.). We also know we have the rest of our lives to get things done so we are way more relaxed about time lines.
Speaking of on-going projects, we are still extending our fence line to enclose the new pasture that is on the land we bought from a neighbor earlier this year and our hired hand Travis and I set these gate posts yesterday. They were sunk 2.5 feet deep and then set in concrete and there will be an 8 foot gate in the middle to give access to the neighbors pasture where we keep steers on his pasture. The next step will be to put up the H brace and wire cross brace and then string barbed wire up to this point from below the hill in this picture.

We will then sink T-posts all the way to the back wood line in this picture, place three corner posts and braces, then put in a gate to the pasture behind the trees in the back and another gate to our existing pasture in the old fence line. We are leaving the old fence and will use this new pasture as part of our rotational grazing program. Once all this is complete, we will fence off the pole barn shop and maintenance/trailer storage area and do some cross fencing in the main pasture. We are also building a small cabin, deck, and dock at the main pond which will require some fencing so we are not going to be done fencing for awhile but we take our time and Travis is a hard worker who make it possible to get these things done even with my injuries. 


  1. Thats really improved the driveway

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