Road Maintenance

Gravel Roads & Pricing

Washington County has an established policies on gravel road maintenance.

It costs between $600,000 and $800,000 per mile to properly grade and pave a new road, depending upon the lay of the land and the number of drainage structures. Paving is an expensive alternative when a well traveled gravel road can be maintained for $ 2,000 per year.

Department of Transportation Criteria

The criteria set by the Iowa DOT for paving new roads include the traffic count, nearest parallel paved route, the functional classification, and the percentage of truck traffic.

Due to the high cost of paving roads and the relatively low amount of money available for new construction it is very difficult to pave new roads. You can see all of our future construction plans on the 5 Year Road Plan.

Gating Dirt Roads

You cannot gate off a dirt road unless it has been downgraded to a Class 'C' (local access only) road. Our policy on downgrading a road describes this process.

Upgrading Dirt Roads

Washington County has an established policy to follow for upgrading dirt roads to gravel roads. In short, the following is required:
  • Have a petition signed by all adjacent landowners
  • Donate necessary right-of-way to 50 feet on each side of the road along the entire length of road upgraded
  • Pay for all costs to regrade and bring the road up to gravel road standards
  • Pay for 1000 ton per mile of rock to be placed the first time on the road

After these requirements have been met, Washington County will take over maintenance of the gravel road.