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 Dirt and Gravel Road Program

The Dirt and Gravel Road program arose from
the need to better maintain Pennsylvania’s unpaved roads in order to reduce stream pollution from dust and sediment. The program was created by the State Conservation Commission (SCC) and became law (Pennsylvania Code Title 75, Section 9106) in 1997.  The SCC’s goal was to create a program that is simple to manage, controlled locally, offers dedicated funding and requires the use of environmentally sound practices and materials.

Local municipalities and townships are the end beneficiaries of the Dirt and Gravel Road program. They nominate roads they would like to see improved to the Conservation District for project funding and if funded, complete or contract out the project work. To be eligible to apply for funding, an official from the municipality who either works on the roads or supervises road work, must attend a free 2-day training session on environmentally sensitive maintenance (ESM) for unpaved roads.  This training explains basic environmental principles, and introduces new techniques and ideas in unpaved road maintenance.

Dirt and Gravel Road Program in Perry County

Perry County has participated in the Dirt and Gravel Road program since 1998. Projects that have been successfully completed include: Centre Road in Juniata Township (1998), Numer Road in Juniata Township (1999), Robinson Road in Juniata Township (1999), Fairground Road in Oliver Township (1999), Gable Road in Juniata Township (1999), Dix Hill Road in Centre Township (2002), Miller’s Gap Road in Rye Township (2002), Turkey Path in Miller Township (2004), and Moose Road in Jackson Township (2006). Dimsville Road in Greenwood Township (2007), and Frog Hollow Road in Juniata Township (2008). Improvements included grading, turn-outs, cross pipes, geo-textile fabric, stone and driving surface aggregate.

This year, the Conservation District has been allocated about $40,000 for the current project round, and is accepting road nominations. The Dirt and Gravel Road Quality Assurance Board (QAB) will visit and rank the nominated roads using a ranking sheet that is available from the Conservation District office. The QAB consists of a voting representative from each of the following: the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Conservation District. Roads will be ranked on factors that include the impact on nearby streams/wetlands, community use, the number of persons who attended ESM training, and the condition of the road surface, banks, outlets and ditches. The township where the selected road is located will be notified, and the specifics of the project will be planned.

Interested townships are required to have at least one road official that has attended Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance training in the last five years. This person MUST be directly involved with the actual road work.

Road Before Photo
Road After Photo

Townships can choose to complete the work themselves or contract it out. Either way, townships will be reimbursed 80% of the costs. Material costs will be reimbursed at 80% as well.

For more information visit the Center for Dirt & Gravel Road Studies at the following web address:
For more informaiton on the Perry County Dirt and Gravel Road Program, contact Neil Imes at or call 717-582-5119.
Paving Process Photo