Dirt and Gravel Roads Program, Greene County Conservation District, Greene County Government, Pennsylvania

Dirt and Gravel Roads Program, Greene County Conservation District
Although many people perceive of dirt and gravel roads as a nuisance — relics of slower-paced time in our history just waiting to be paved — the facts show these roads are important links in Pennsylvania's overall transportation network.





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Dirt and Gravel Roads Program
Lisa Snider, Conservation District Manager

Contact Person: vacancy, Dirt & Gravel Roads Coordinator / Watershed Specialist


Ben Franklin Building, Suite 204
22 West High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5278 / Fax: 724-852-5341
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday—Friday


Although many people perceive of dirt and gravel roads as a nuisance — relics of slower-paced time in our history just waiting to be paved — the facts show these roads are important links in Pennsylvania's overall transportation network. Covering more than 27,000 miles throughout the commonwealth, dirt and gravel roads provide vital access for Pennsylvania's major industries — agriculture, mining, forestry, and tourism - while weaving the fabric of rural community life for over 3.6 million residents. Paved roads and highways carry high maintenance costs. Local municipalities and state agencies — with jurisdiction over more than 90% of the state's dirt and gravel roads — can ill afford to pave dirt roads and then adequately maintain them. Therefore, there are programs with guidelines to assist with road repairs and pollution problems in environmentally safe ways.


About our Dirt and Gravel Roads Program:

Some may know and some may not know that the Greene County Conservation District has a program available for local municipalities to assist with dirt and gravel road maintenance. Although the program only considers work that benefits stream water quality, it is still a beneficial program for the municipality. Consider where most problems occur on dirt and gravel roads, generally near streams, steep grades and areas where culverts are needed or need to be maintained. These areas will more than likely qualify for funding under the program since most of the time they drain to a local stream. If you live on a dirt or gravel road or frequently travel one, take note of some conditions that might be eligible for funding in your travels, and let your local municipality know about the problem so that it might be fixed without using funds provided by local taxes. Areas like:

  • Ruts or pot holes caused by moisture problems caused by improper drainage, crowning or lack of aggregate;
  • Runoff outfalls that are causing severe erosion;
  • Scoured ditches caused by high velocities of water that may be caused by the lack of culverts for the slope of the road;
  • Blocked, damaged or irregularly aligned culverts;
  • Roads that are below the elevation of the stream that is flowing nearby;
  • Flooded roads caused by restricted flow or improper pipe size;
  • Proximity of stream to the road
The Dirt and Gravel Maintenance Program was created in 1997 by the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission and began providing funding for road projects that prevent sediment pollution that is a result of dirt and gravel roads. The program stresses the use of site-specific, long-term solutions to prevent pollution, not “band-aid” fixes with minimal administration and local control. Each project is awarded funding through the local county conservation district. The Greene County Conservation District administers the funding for each project located in Greene County. In order for a township to be eligible for funding, at least one township supervisor must have undergone environmentally sensitive road maintenance training within the past 5 years.

Interest is growing in the Dirt and Gravel Roads Program as more municipalities have taken advantage of this program. The primary conditions for qualification here are that the work site must be on dirt and gravel roads, and the site must be negatively impacting a waterway.

The 2012 grant several projects in several municipalities within Greene County. All projects are initially ranked by the Quality Assurance Board members and approved for funding by the Conservation District Board of Directors.

The 2011 grant round for the Dirt and Gravel Roads Program funded four projects in three municipalities. All projects were ranked by the QA board members and approved for funding by the Conservation District Board of Directors.

It is good to see our local municipalities taking advantage of the benefits of the Dirt and Gravel Roads Program.


Dirt and Gravel Roads ESM Training:

On March 21-22, the Conservation District hosted a training session for municipalities on Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance of Dirt and Gravel Roads. The program was conducted by the Penn State University Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies, funded by the PA State Conservation Commission and the PA Bureau of Forestry. Training sessions are held all over the state and are required to be attended by at least one municipal representative every five years in order to apply for funding from the Conservation District to repair dirt and gravel roads. The training session was attended by about fifty representatives from municipalities, agencies, and Conservation District staff.


Roads Pollution Prevention:

Pennsylvania's Dirt and Gravel Road Pollution Prevention Program is a water pollution abatement program that offers local municipalities special funding and technical support, to repair, manage and maintain their dirt and gravel roads in environmentally safe ways. This program seeks to improve local water quality by reducing sediment loss from local dirt and gravel roads. Local municipalities may apply for funds for road projects and are encouraged to adopt methods for managing dirt and gravel roads that reduce erosion. The program is administered through county Conservation Districts and local Quality Assurance Boards.

Interest continues to grow in this program as more municipalities have taken advantage of the program. The primary conditions for qualification into the program are that the work site must be on a dirt and gravel road, and the site must be negatively impacting a waterway.


Important Information and Documents for Municipalities:


Dirt and Gravel Road Quality Assurance Board: (Updated 9/9/2014)
  • J. Robert Rice — Board Chairman, Greene County Conservation District
  • Eric Davis — Wildlife Conservation Officer, Fish & Boat Commission
  • Suzy Funka-Petery — Supervisory District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Services
  • Lisa Snider — District Manager, Greene County Conservation District
  • Bill Wetzel — Associate Director, Greene County Conservation District Board
  • vacancy (non-voting) — Dirt & Gravel Roads Coordinator, Greene County Conservation District


Greene County Conservation District

Ben Franklin Building (Suite 204), 22 West High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370 — 724-852-5278 / Fax: 724-852-5341

County of Greene, Pennsylvania

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