CONVEYOR BELT DIVERSION ON WHITE OAK ROAD
Laurel Mountain Borough, PA
A borough resident took a tour of watersheds the same day that a conveyor belt diversion was being installed just up the road from her White Oak Rd. residence. She was mighty surprised when the tour included the work being done in Laurel Mountain Borough.
She reported that a group of about ten LMB persons gathered with the watershed tour group to learn what was being done.
She also reported something I had already heard: that there was controversy about the conveyor belt installation, including that it “was a change that ruins the ambiance of the community.”
She loaned me a handout paper on conveyor belt diversions, which she received on the tour. The following information comes from that paper.
Conveyor Belt Diversions work well for “off right of way” water issues; on sloping sections of low-traffic roads having evidence of water velocity damage to the surface, and on roads receiving insufficient surface maintenance (thereby losing their proper crown or cross-slope).
They are useful for low-traffic roads and access roads (eg. driveways and farm lanes). Multiple Conveyor Belt Diversions may be used to prevent the buildup of erosive volume and velocity. Spacing between the diversions is determined by the road’s grade, the stability of the road surface material, available outlets, and the amount of water entering the road drainage system.
Conveyor Belt Diversions reduce erosion caused by flowing water caught in wheel tracks/ruts formed by motor vehicles. They divert concentrated water drainage from the road surface, while still allowing vehicles to pass. The belt, which gives way under tire pressure, springs back to its original position with the release of the tire pressure. When installed, it forces water off the road surface (similar to waterbars or grade-breaks); will not deform or crush under heavy hauling; has a long life expectancy, and requires low maintenance.
The conveyor belt is a recycled product—used belts may be available at local quarry or mine, and typically measure twenty six to thirty inches wide. They have a low—or even no—cost. It is a half inch thick, fifteen inches wide, and can be cut to the needed length.
It is bolted to treated lumber, and buried in the road. Large rocks should be placed at the end of the diversion to slow water and disperse flow.
The Conveyor Belt Diversion was installed at no cost to LMB.
Further information on Conveyor Belt Diversions is available on the following websites: