We’ve already discussed how timber mats are great when it comes to transporting heavy construction equipment across wetlands – but how about when there’s a ditch that presents a significant obstacle that at first appears too problematic for even mats to handle?

The obvious solution here is to construct some kind of crossing. That being said, one that is temporary is surely preferable and more cost effective. To keep things environmentally friendly, a solution the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends is the utilization of pole fords; these are pipes placed together that are made either of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). On the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ report, you can view the design here at the bottom of page 3.

How It Works

A geotextile cloth should be placed at the bottom of the ditch, with the pipes placed over the cloth until they reach regular ground level. Once that’s done, the crew can then place the timber mats over the piping – creating both traction and stability.

These temporary crossing are extremely easy to construct and of course, can be taken apart and utilized once again during future projects. For more information regarding the benefits of constructing pole fords (along with other types of temporary crossings), check out the Wisconsin DNR’s Directory of Available Structures.