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Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Roads

Why is the Dirt and Gravel Road Program so Important in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has more than 17,000 miles of dirt and gravel roads, which must be maintained to protect nearby streams from runoff and sediment from unpaved roads. By raising road elevations, reshaping banks, installing drainage pipes and planting natural buffers, Pennsylvania’ waterways and their inhabitants are shielded from the damaging effects of pollution.

Project Showcase

View two Dirt & Gravel Road projects with drone photography.  The Clarion Conservation District narrates the phases of construction and details ESM practices used to reduce sediment loading to receiving streams and Kahle Lake (Neely Rd).

Metz Road, Richland Township

Metz Road, Richland Township

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Neeley Road, Salem Township

Neeley Road, Salem Township

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How Does the Program Work?

Dirt & Gravel Road Program eligible applicants include any state or local public entity that owns and maintains public roads.  The majority of applicants are townships, but other entities such as boroughs, cities, counties, PA Game Commission, PennDOT, PA Fish & Boat Commission, and others are eligible to apply.  Successful applicants will enter into a contract with the Clarion Conservation District to complete project work.  All public entities must have an ESM certified employee as the on site project coordinator.  

For technical assistance contact Alicia Ramsey, DGLVR Technician.  814-393-6139 (office), 814-221-4094 (cell)  or

How do you apply?
Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Project Application
How will your project rank?
Project Ranking Criteria
Find out if your entity is eligible:
ESM Eligibilty
What are the policies?
DGR/LVR Policy
Traffic Count Policy for Low Volume Road Projects


Funding is distributed to counties by the State Conservation Commission (§ 9106 of the Motor Vehicle Code) and is based on identified pollution sites.  The SCC provides administration and project guidance to Conservation Districts and reports annually to the PA Legislature on program status.  

Clarion County’s Dirt and Gravel Road program provides funding to townships and eligible applicants to eliminate stream pollution caused by dust and sediment from unpaved roads. 

Better Roads, Cleaner Streams

Technical assistance is provided to districts and townships by Penn State’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads.

CCATO provides Clarion County township officials with education, communication and representation. Their goal is to support their township officials so they can help their municipalities be successful, resourceful and productive communities to live in.


Driving Surface Aggregate (DSA) is an aggregate mixture of crushed stone designed specifically as a surface-wearing course for unpaved roads.   While larger stones provide the road’s structural support, DSA is a well-balanced mixture, including fines, which holds the road together and produces a dense, tightly paced road surface.  Proper maintenance is required to re-establish the proper mixture.


Natural stone headwalls and endwalls are built to support the roadway at pipes to prevent erosion around pipe installations. The properly constructed headwalls will significantly improve the flow capacity of the pipe. 


Underdrains collect subsurface water before it appears on the road surface or in the road ditch.  By intercepting this water underdrains can help dry out road base, ditches, and banks that would otherwise be wet from emerging springs and seeps.  Underdrains also prevent subsurface water from mixing with sediment-laden surface runoff during storm events. 

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