This story has been a long time coming! In spring of this year, our major ranch project was to put in a driveway. We have deeded easement access from the county road to our southwest corner, but we needed to add on from there to reach our home site.

Living in a rural county, when you need major construction work hired out you should expect waiting… and waiting. We got a break in that we only had to wait 1 ½ weeks.

And then we found out that we might need a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Of course we did need one… which meant a two week waiting period. But at least the permit was free. In all it was three and one-half weeks before we could start actual work. This gave Tom and a neighbor extra time to stake out a nice year-round driveway route. The folks at the DNR are very nice and interested in helping people accomplish construction projects such as ours without needlessly damaging their land and woodlands, in the process creating erosion problems.

Word-of-mouth led us to a one-man excavation company for the dirt work, which we were exceedingly pleased with. His efficiency and respect for the environment is outstanding. Not to mention his ability to operate the arm on his 20-ton excavator with the delicate precision of a sculptor! If you are in Ferry or Okanogan Counties and need dirt work hired out, ask us for his contact information, we are only too glad to recommend him!

This driveway was no small undertaking, believe you me! Being approximately ½ mile of new road grade it traverses up the side of a steep 60% hillside, involves an amazing nearly-flat switchback corner built on 22 feet of fill, another corner on 15 feet of fill, as much as 6 feet of cut in a few places, an elevation increase of nearly 200 feet, the removal of numerous large conifer trees, huge boulders, and tons of shrubs. Toms’ engineering and decades of dirt construction experience really came in handy! The timber will be put to good use as lumber, fence posts, porch posts, and firewood. It was accomplished with the least possible disturbance to the land; what was adversely impacted will recover in a couple years with the spread and transplanting of native plants already on the property.

Here is the driveway project in pictures…

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