Public support is critical to preserving the county's remaining gravel roads

Our gravel roads are vulnerable. The Resolution that created the Rural Roads Program can be changed or weakened at any time. Sixty percent of adjoining landowners can petition for removal of a road from the Rural Roads Program, Four roads, or sections of them, have been removed and have been tar and chipped (paved).

Preserving and Telling Gravel Road Stories

If they are to be preserved, our gravel roads must be known and loved by the citizens of the county. Friends of Rural Roads volunteers are researching the histories of Frederick County's rural roads, and co-sponsoring events on the roads. After all, gravel roads are an integral part of what makes Frederick County so special.

Improved Gravel Road Maintenance is Necessary for Preservation

Frustration with quality of maintenance appears to be the main reason for landowner concerns about the Rural Roads Program.

In 2009, a section of Poffenberger Road was reconstructed using Pennsylvania's dirt and gravel road reconstruction methods. The project included: improving culverts; diverting run-off to vegetated areas instead of directly to the Catoctin Creek; adding grade breaks to slow down traffic. The new road surface is called Driving Surface Aggregate, a hard limestone mixture of different sized stone, applied wet, and then compacted with a roller. This surface is durable yet porous, does not have the toxic run-off that asphalt mixtures contain, and reduces maintenance. Yet, none of the ambiance of a gravel road has been compromised. The trial run on Poffenberger Road shows great potential for helping to preserve other gravel roads.