ROADSIDE EROSION CAUSES AND FACTORS: MINNESOTA SURVEY ANALYSIS

A roadside erosion survey was conducted along all state, county, and township roads in Minnesota. The locations and estimated volumes of roadside erosion, cross-sectional road designs, roadway ownership, type and causes of erosion, and history of the road (time since construction disturbance) were noted. The total estimated soil loss was 116,203,336 cu ft at 17,902 sites located along 115,570 miles of roadway. The cross-sectional design that resulted in the most soil loss was the cut-fill design. The fill design had the lowest soil-loss volume. Erosion occurred most often along at-grade roads and least often along fill roads. Volumes and occurrences were slightly more along township than along county roads and much less along state roads. Ditch bottoms were the most common location of erosion on roadsides and water-related erosion was the major type. Although erosion occurred more often along older roads, eroded sites were larger along newer roads. The larger sites were generally caused by (a) inadequate design in areas with rough terrain or poor soils or near waterways and (b) lack of administrative direction and emphasis on establishment of cover and control of unauthorized activities, including farming the right-of-way and use of roadsides as borrow areas or for recreation. Erosion was often associated with drainage from adjacent areas, steep slopes, inadequate design, and lack of administrative direction and emphasis. Corrective measures were recommended, and many counties fully implemented such measures. However, some sites remain uncorrected and others have increased. Lack of funds is the main reason for the absence of corrective measures, particularly on township roads. More construction of roads with a fill cross-sectional design and less of cut-fill roads, especially in rough terrain, should reduce the potential for future erosion. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 47-54
  • Monograph Title: WETLANDS, FLOODPLAINS, EROSION, AND STORM WATER PUMPING
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00389553
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309036690
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1984 12:00AM