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bubbler 04-25-2011 06:48 AM

Walkway over water main
My driveway is on the side of my house, I have a 10-15' stretch of "lawn" that runs along the front of my house between the driveway and an asphalt walkway (which runs from my front door to the road).

This stretch is the main way to enter my house, so the lawn is completely worn away, just a dirt and mud, literally not a blade of grass or even a weed.

What I'd like to do is put in some sort of a basic walkway between the driveway and front walk... Mostly to cut down on the mud people track in, but also give the grass a chance to grow and a place to shovel in winter.

The trouble is that the water main runs directly under that space so I'd be crossing it perpendicularly. Here in Mass our lines are at least 4' deep, so I'm not terribly worried about hitting it, more about having to tear up a walkway should the line need repair--it's original to the house, 60+ years, and we do have low-ish pressure already, so I can imagine it being needed within 10 years. The sewer is on the other side of the house and we have no other buried services.

Any recommendations for what to use for the walk? It doesn't need to be too fancy, I'd just like it to be level and not a trip hazard, but also either be cheap or easy to repair in case it needs to come up in the relatively near future.


oh'mike 04-25-2011 07:27 AM

This sounds like a natural spot for a brick paver path---The look good ,too.

DrHicks 04-25-2011 07:32 AM

What Mike said.

Also though, if the water main was ever needing to be dug up, you can cut through a sidewalk. Or you could replace the whole thing. The length you mentioned is not going to be terribly expensive.

Don't let potential "what ifs" keep you from doing a job that needs to be done.

hyunelan2 04-25-2011 07:38 AM

Paver stones sounded ideal to me as well. If you like concrete though, you might be able to center a "square" of sidewalk over the main, so if it ever needs maintenance there is only one square of concrete to remove and replace. That might actually be less work than removing the paver stones and resetting them.

I have been looking at the Quikrete Walkmaker stamps to use regular concrete (dyed, if you like) to make a walkway. They look pretty simple to use, but I haven't tried them yet.

bubbler 04-25-2011 08:49 AM

I'm planning to live with the existing asphalt walk because it's in good shape, but I wouldn't want to add any more of that stuff, and I don't like the look of bare cement walks.

My sister had a contractor put one of those cement patterned walkways (like the Walkmaster) put in, it looks great, but the thing is slick as grease whenever it's wet, if I did that I'd want to texture the surface and that might ruin the effect... i also don't like the idea of the gaps between each brick mold, looks like it would be tough to shovel... with real brick hopefully I can get them in tight against one another.

So I'm thinking brick will be best, it will match the front steps which are brick topped with some sort of stone slab.

If I have water main repair I'll just deal with it, even worse case--having to reset the entire thing--probably wouldn't be so terrible since it's so short.

user1007 04-27-2011 07:48 PM

Might look into rubber pavers. They are surprisingly attractive and hard to tell from concrete or brick pavers. Stand up to the snowblower a bit better too. You might get a tax credit if you use the recycled ones.

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