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WillK 03-31-2011 10:07 PM

120' long concrete driveway
I really don't think I'm even considering DIY on this one, but I did want to try to understand some of the process. I'm going to be having about 120' of driveway or thereabouts replaced from the street, alongside the house to the garage in the back.

So once the whole thing is removed and forms are set and whatever all else goes into preparing for the arrival of the cement truck, does the cement truck back up the driveway over the dirt and unload the cement starting from the garage and work its way towards the street? Or can it be pumped all the way from the street?

Just want to understand the process some so I can consider whether anything over the driveway might be an issue. We have our cable tv feed hanging over the driveway, and from the back of the house the electrical comes in over the driveway over the garage to join into the PoCo's line half way between poles.

jklingel 03-31-2011 10:14 PM

Will: It's best to ask the driver all this. j

vsheetz 03-31-2011 10:31 PM

Pump it from the street.

WillK 04-01-2011 09:42 AM

I'm hoping we can line up the financing so I don't have to worry about doing any of this myself, I've seen my dad do garage slabs where he did all the grading and digging and setting of forms and just ordered the truck to come in and pour the cement, but this is too big for the time I have available.

I'd think pumping would be preferable, part of the project is replacing 58' of sewer pipe under the driveway. I've had 3 plumbers and 3 concrete/masonry contractors out to quote the plumbing and driveway, and I haven't gotten into this particular question, but I've got different answers on how each contractor would approach the project.

The driveway guy that's seemed the most knowledgeable mentioned that the time when he'd be able to do the driveway after the plumbing would depend how the trench was backfilled, I think he said if it was backfilled with pea gravel he'd be able to start right away, but most often they'll backfill with the dirt they removed and in that case he'd need to wait 3 or 4 months.

So I'm gathering that 10 tons of cement truck over disturbed ground on top of plastic pipe might mean pumping is a good option.

One of the plumbers wants to run the new pipe under the front yard, but it's got to go under the end of the driveway to tie into the city sewer anyway...

Let me sum up my questions: Would it be best for the plumbing work to be backfilled with pea gravel or some sort of crushed rock, and would that be something that would enable pouring the driveway sooner and be worth whatever expense might be involved?

I'm leaning towards not going with the sewer pipe under the yard, their quote is double the other quote I've gotten (3rd guy hasn't sent his quote yet, and I wasn't impressed with their expertise either)

jomama45 04-01-2011 09:58 AM

The best material to use for backfill under the driveway would be 1" fractured stone or, better yet, slurry. Slurry is merely lean concrete (usually a "1 bag mix" or less) that is self consolidating, doesn't allow water to pool inside of it, and is easily excavated in the future. Obviously, it's not going to be cheap, especially if the pipe runs down the length of the drive.

I wouldn't suggest putting the spoils (excavate soil) back into the trench unless it's extremely sandy/gravel type material, and you're willing to wait for it to settle.

As for getting the concrete up the drive, a good gravel base should have very little problem supporting the truck. If it's too soft, that should be a sign that it's not adequate for the new slab. If it's extremely wet, that's a different story, as it's bound to be softer than when dry, but generally, the harder the base, the better. If it were me pouring the drive, I'd use a power buggy to bring the concrete up the drive long before a pump. The financial logistics are just much cheaper.

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