April 20, 2020


Online - Course

Contact Hours



Maintaining a gravel road properly requires a clear understand of the need for three basic elements; a crowned driving surface; a shoulder area that slopes directly away from the edge of the driving surface; and a ditch to carry the drainage away from the roadway.  Operators and managers should possess knowledge about good base gravel and gravel driving surface material.  This 4-week on-line class, the learner will develop a better understanding of the materials, techniques, and equipment needed for maintaining gravel roads. Participants will learn gravel road design fundamentals starting with construction to reshaping as well as recognizing the necessity of proper drainage.

Join instructor, Walt Catlett for this lively online class and discussion forum that will change the way you think about gravel road maintenance and construction.  Over a 4-week period, you will have the chance to learn about the best practices for not only maintaining gravel roads but learn the key elements in constructing a gravel road.  You will learn organizational tips for selecting the best aggregates for your gravel roads and selecting the best approaches for addressing drainage.  By the end of the 4 weeks, you will have sharpened your skills about gravel road maintenance and construction.

Each week, a new module will be released, including a recorded lecture, quiz, discussion forum and homework assignment. You will have 7 days to review the lecture and complete the weekly assignments. The instructor will be available by email and phone for questions and comments during the class and will be interacting with students through the weekly discussion forum. The 4-week class will take approximately 6-8 hours to complete over the 4-week period.


Module 1: Construction

  1. Gravel Road Cross Section
    1. Crown
    2. Shoulder
    3. Ditch
  2. Design
    1. Green Book
    2. ROW
    3. Utility
    4. Bridges/Culverts
    5. Erosion and Sediment Control
  3. Construction
    1. Work Zone Traffic Control
    2. Roadway Preparation
    3. Base Aggregate
    4. Compact Base
    5. Driving Surface
    6. Placement of Materials
    7. Match Existing Conditions

Module 2: Maintenance

  1. Preventive Maintenance
    1. Shaping Principles
    2. Speed
    3. Moldboard Angle/Pitch
    4. Motor Grader Stability
    5. Windrows
    6. Recovering and Spreading on Roadway
    7. Pulling Shoulders
    8. Mowing
  2. Corrective Maintenance
    1. Rehabilitation
    2. Reshaping Surface
    3. Reshaping Shoulder
    4. Reshaping Cross Section

Module 3: Gravel

  1. Gradation
    1. Surface Gravel
    2. Base Materials
  2. Crushing
  3. Recycled Asphalt
  4. Testing Aggregates
    1. Plasticity
    2. Gradation
    3. Hardness
    4. Soundness
  5. Sampling
    1. ASTM/AASHTO Standards
    2. Experienced Sampler
    3. Poor Sampling Techniques
  6. Process for Obtaining Good Gravel
    1. Establish Specifications
    2. Communicate with Suppliers
    3. Handling Gravel
    4. Pit/Quarry Operations
    5. Loading from Stockpiles

Module 4: Drainage

  1. Basic Cross Section
    1. Crown
    2. Shoulder
    3. Ditch
  2. Roadway Drainage
    1. Roadside
    2. Pumping of Fines
    3. Differential Heaving
    4. Frost Heave
    5. Potholes
  3. Surface Drainage
    1. Dewatering
    2. Drainage
    3. Cross Slopes
    4. Grading of Subgrade
    5. Daylighting vs Bathtub construction
    6. Ditches
    7. Culverts
  4. Subsurface Drainage
    1. Subdrain
    2. Underdrain


Walter C. Catlett

Mr. Catlett is a registered engineer responsible for technical training of precast concrete products across the United States. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.  His training focus remains on educating engineers, contractors/installers and inspectors on proper installation practices that provide strategic opportunities for public agencies. He remains an active member of the Arkansas Transportation Research Advisory Council, Virginia LTAP Advisory Board and a facilitator for several Local Technical Assistance Programs.  Mr. Catlett retired from the military in January of 2018 after completing 30 years of combined service in the United States Marine Corps and U.S. Army Reserve.

Who Should Attend

Any supervisor or operator who maintains or constructs gravel roads should take this class.

Registration and Payment

The following registration fees cover the session, all course materials and meals:

Local Government: $100.00
State/Federal: $150.00
Private Industry: $250.00

Click here for UVA TTA's general registration information, cancellation policy, and refund policy. UVA TTA accepts the following credit cards: American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover. Credit card information cannot be taken over the phone. Alternatively, after registering you can print out a voucher to send in with your payment. After you have completed the transaction you will receive an automatically generated email confirming registration and payment if applicable. Final confirmation and instructions will be sent out during the week prior to the class date.

Don't have access to a computer?
to get a paper registration form (PDF). Print it out, complete it, and email, mail or FAX it to our office following the instructions on the form. Include your check or government purchase order with your registration form. Please note that emailed or faxed-in registration forms will be considered as a "provisional booking" until payment is received. For more information, call our office at (434) 982-2897, fax at (434) 982-2856 or email uva-tta@virginia.edu