August 03, 2020  —  August 30, 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.

Modules will be released on Mondays on a weekly basis beginning with a 30-minute live zoom session from 5:00pm to 5:30pm.  Independent online work will include a recorded lecture, quiz, 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 as needed. 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 brings over 25 years of experience in urban drainage and stormwater management.  As a member of the American Concrete Pipe Association, he has designed, specified, manufactured and installed both flexible and rigid pipe systems. He provides education and technical assistance on proper installation of storm drainage products to contractors, consultants, local agencies and state DOTs.  He serves on Virginia’s Local Transportation Assistance Program (LTAP) Advisory Board. He also serves on the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s Research Advisory Council. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA.  Mr. Catlett served in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army Reserves for a combined 30 years.

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:

Tribes: Free
Local Government: $50.00
State/Federal: $85.00
Private Industry: $200.00

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