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The driveway at my dad’s house is quite old and has these fairly deep, rounded “wheel channels” running down the length of the (very steep) driveway. Of course, the track width on my car doesn’t exactly match up with these channels, which creates issues. For one, it’s very easy to pull in such that much of the tire is unsupported, “floating” above the channel bottom with most of the load on the sidewall. Second, if you do manage to pull in so that the tire is resting on the bottom of the channel, then the car sits very low so then you inevitably scrape the underside when you pull out.

I am wondering whether there is a reasonable DIY or lower cost solution to this problem. One idea I had was to get some 2x4s (or another object?) and lay them in the channels to see if that could bring them mostly flush with the surrounding concrete. Another idea was to fill the channels in with concrete myself, but I have no idea what size project that would be or if it would work out well. I could see about getting a contractor to work on it too, but not sure what the price tag might be be.

Any ideas?

Here is a photo of the driveway, with arrows pointing at the channels (sorry for very poor Street View quality):

enter image description here

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  • What is the size of these channels? were they meant for metal grill inserts?
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:24
  • @SolarMike they are about the width of my tires, so perhaps 8-10 inches wide, but rounded. I have no idea whether they were meant for grill inserts—if they were, these have not been around in anyone’s memory (the house is from the 1800s)
    – djrapp
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:29
  • 8 to 10" wide - what about depth? So get some grills made.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:31
  • @SolarMike I would estimate 3-6 inches deep. Is there a name for the kind of grill I want made? Not sure exactly how these grills work—there is no “lip” inside the trench, so I’m not sure how the grill would be made to sit properly level inside the trench without tilting one way or the other
    – djrapp
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:34
  • FYI, these are usually called "ruts". Have these ruts gotten deeper over time? Do they match up with the width of your dad's car or one he previously had? It doesn't seem that they'd serve any intentional purpose, but maybe a better picture will tell if they were intentional or not.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 17, 2022 at 12:36

2 Answers 2

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I'd probably just mix up some fairly stiff mortar and trowel it in there, after cleaning the surface well. Have it "damp but not wet" when applying the mortar. Should be a half-day to one-day project, but ideally you don't drive on it and do keep it damp for multiple days afterwards. You might want to texture the surface a bit for better traction.

When and if that fails I'd consider something involving more effort and expense, but that day might never come. There are some likely issues with adhesion since it's probably somewhat oil-contaminated, but thorough surface cleaning should help with that.

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I would get a local shop to make metal grills such that two long sides have the surface grill welded on top.

Then sufficient supporting plates on the bottom edge, these could also be used for fixing bolts or pins.

A bit of research may lead you to the track of a delivery cart and that may match the distance between your two tracks - another dimension that you lack.

Your suggestion of using 2*4 will mean 4 bits for each - may be cheaper than a grill...

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  • Good idea, thanks! You think this is better than trying to fill in the trenches with concrete?
    – djrapp
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:43
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    So, if you want to fill with concrete, I would drill and put bits of rebar in there so that will key the new to the old. But if water gets in and it freezes it will soon lift and break...
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:45
  • I would be cautious of metal on that slope between oregon and Washington we have a metal bridge and when that is wet it is really dangerous.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 17, 2022 at 15:41

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