Road grading consists of using a motor grader to restore the driving surface and drainage attributes to roads. The operator will remove washboards, potholes and other irregularities by cutting the surface of the road or filling them with material moved back and forth across the road with the road grader.
Motorists should exercise extreme caution when driving in the area of a grading operation. Be patient, stay behind the grader and do not cross over the dirt window that may be present. Operators will move out of the way only when it is safe to do so.
Effectiveness of road grading is dependent on a number of things, including:
- Amount of moisture present in the road base,
- Current weather conditions, and
- Speed of the traffic using the road.
Boulder County Road Maintenance schedules grading based on the volume of traffic:
- Roads with high traffic volumes are graded every 7 to 10 days as conditions permit,
- Roads with lower traffic volumes are graded every 3 to 4 weeks as conditions permit, and
- Low usage roads are graded seasonally as conditions permit.
- The gravel road has potholes in it but the grader only fills the holes and they return very quickly.
- Answer – On heavily traveled roads, potholes may reappear more quickly due to traffic volume. Gravel roads with potholes usually have been treated with dust control materials. The dust control creates a hard-packed surface, which keeps dust from forming; if the grader breaks this crust, the dust will reappear. Therefore, the grader will fill the holes rather than break up the surface of the roadway in order to maintain dust control.
- The grader leaves a windrow in the road and won’t pull over to let me pass.
- Answer – Gravel windrows are created during the grading process and you should not try to cross over, or your vehicle could be damaged. The grader operator is constantly watching the mirrors and is aware of your presence. The operator will pull over and let you pass when it is safe to do so.