Title:
Road protection system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A road protection system for protecting a road from water overflow erosion. The road protection system includes a protective sheet that is positionable from a first ditch over a roadway to a second ditch, a first end member attached to a first end of the protective sheet, a second end member attached to the protective sheet opposite of the first end member, a first loop member and a second loop member attached to first end member for receiving an elongate spike, and a plurality of spikes extendable within the protective sheet into a ground surface. The loop members are secured to the ditch having the highest water level with a pair of elongate spikes thereby serving as an initial anchor for the protective sheet. Once water from the first ditch begins to flow over the roadway, the weight of the water upon the protective sheet assists in retaining the protective sheet in a non-movable position.



Inventors:
Christensen, Keith M. (Elbow Lake, MN, US)
Application Number:
09/999819
Publication Date:
05/01/2003
Filing Date:
10/31/2001
Assignee:
CHRISTENSEN KEITH M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01C3/06; (IPC1-7): E02D17/20
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SINGH, SUNIL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael S. Neustel (2534 South University Drive, Suite No. 4, Fargo, ND, 58103, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A road protection system for protecting a roadway from water overflow from a first ditch to a second ditch, comprising: a protective sheet having an upper surface, a lower surface, a first end, a second end, a first side, a second side, a first portion, a second portion and a middle portion between said first portion and said second portion; a first end member attached to said first end of said protective sheet; and a plurality of spike members extendable through said protective sheet for securing said first portion within a first ditch, said second portion within a second ditch and said middle portion upon a roadway.

2. The road protection system of claim 1, including at least one loop member attached to said first end member and an elongate spike, wherein said at least one loop member receives said elongate spike for anchoring said protective sheet within a first ditch.

3. The road protection system of claim 1, including a plurality of grommets within said protective sheet for receiving said plurality of spike members.

4. The road protection system of claim 3, wherein said plurality of grommets are positioned adjacent said first side and said second side in a distally spaced manner.

5. The road protection system of claim 2, wherein said elongate spike is at least nine inches in length.

6. The road protection system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of spike members are at least three inches in length.

7. The road protection system of claim 4, wherein said plurality of grommets are equally distant spaced.

8. The road protection system of claim 1, including a second end member attached to said second end of said protective member opposite of said first end member.

9. The road protection system of claim 1, wherein said protective sheet has a length sufficient to extend from a first ditch over a roadway to a second ditch.

10. The road protection system of claim 1, wherein said protective sheet is comprised of a water impermeable material.

11. A method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow from a first ditch to a second ditch, said method comprising the steps of: (a) providing a protective sheet having an upper surface, a lower surface, a first end, a second end, a first side, a second side, a first portion, a second portion and a middle portion between said first portion and said second portion; (b) providing a plurality of spike members; (c) determining an overflow location along said roadway where water overflow is likely to occur; (d) positioning said first end of said protective sheet within said first ditch adjacent said overflow location so that said first portion is positioned upon said first ditch; (e) positioning said middle portion of said protective sheet upon said roadway; (f) positioning said second portion of said protective sheet within said second ditch so that said second portion is positioned within said second ditch; and (g) securing said plurality of spike members within said protective sheet for securing said protective sheet to a ground surface.

12. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 1 1, wherein said steps (e) positioning said middle portion and (f) positioning said second portion are comprised of unrolling said protective sheet from a storage roll structure.

13. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 11, including the step of inserting at least one anchor spike into said first end of said protective sheet.

14. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 13, wherein protective sheet includes a first end member attached to said first end and at least one loop member attached to said first end member, wherein said at least one loop member receives said at least one anchor spike.

15. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 11, wherein said protective sheet is comprised of an impermeable material.

16. A method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow from a first ditch to a second ditch, said method comprising the steps of: (a) providing a protective sheet having an upper surface, a lower surface, a first end, a second end, a first side, a second side, a first portion, a second portion, a middle portion between said first portion and said second portion, and a plurality of grommets within said protective sheet adjacent said first side and said second side; (b) providing a plurality of spike members; (c) determining an overflow location along said roadway where water overflow is likely to occur; (d) positioning said first end of said protective sheet within said first ditch adjacent said overflow location so that said first portion is positioned upon said first ditch; (e) positioning said middle portion of said protective sheet upon said roadway; (f) positioning said second portion of said protective sheet within said second ditch so that said second portion is positioned within said second ditch; and (g) securing said plurality of spike members within said plurality of grommets for securing said protective sheet to a ground surface.

17. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 16, wherein said steps (e) positioning said middle portion and (f) positioning said second portion are comprised of unrolling said protective sheet from a storage roll structure.

18. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 16, including the step of inserting at least one anchor spike into said first end of said protective sheet.

19. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 18, wherein protective sheet includes a first end member attached to said first end and at least one loop member attached to said first end member, wherein said at least one loop member receives said at least one anchor spike.

20. The method of installing a protective sheet upon a roadway susceptible to receiving water overflow of claim 16, wherein said protective sheet is comprised of an impermeable material.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable to this application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable to this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to road protection devices and more specifically it relates to a road protection system for effectively protecting a road from water overflow erosion.

[0005] When water levels within bodies of water adjacent to a road rise, the lower portions of the roadway are susceptible to water overflow. The water overflow over the surface of the roadway often times significantly damages the roadway by eroding the surface and foundation of the roadway, particularly with gravel roads. Significant repairs are typically required prior to allowing motorists to utilize the roadway after water overflow damage is incurred. Hence, there is a need for a system for protecting a roadway from water overflow damage.

[0006] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0007] Water erosion road protection devices have been in use for years. The most common type of road protection device is comprised of concrete members comprised of various shapes that are placed on opposing sides of the roadway to prevent erosion of the side portions of the roadway by waves. However, when the water level of an adjacent body of water rises above the surface of the roadway, the water overflow can cause significant damage to the middle portion of the roadway which typically results in erosion of the complete roadway despite the usage of concrete members and the like. Another method is the usage of large rock positioned within the side portions of the roadway, but this method also has the same disadvantages of the concrete members.

[0008] Examples of patented devices which may be related to the present invention include U.S. Pat. No. 3,722,222 to Rinkel; U.S. Pat. No. 4,610,568 to Koerner; U.S. Pat. No. 5,249,893 to Romanek; U.S. Pat. No. 5,786,281 to Prunty; U.S. Pat. No. 5,257,878 to Peterson; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,773 to Nicoll.

[0009] While these devices may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they are not as suitable for protecting a road from water overflow erosion. Conventional erosion control devices and systems are not easily assembled nor do they adequately protect a road from water flow erosion.

[0010] In these respects, the road protection system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of protecting a road from water overflow erosion.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of roadway protection devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new road protection system construction wherein the same can be utilized for protecting a road from water overflow erosion.

[0012] The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new road protection system that has many of the advantages of the roadway protection devices mentioned heretofore and many novel features that result in a new road protection system which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art roadway protection devices, either alone or in any combination thereof.

[0013] To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a protective sheet that is positionable from a first ditch over a roadway to a second ditch, a first end member attached to a first end of the protective sheet, a second end member attached to the protective sheet opposite of the first end member, a first loop member and a second loop member attached to first end member for receiving an elongate spike, and a plurality of spikes extendable within the protective sheet into a ground surface. The loop members are secured to the ditch having the highest water level with a pair of elongate spikes thereby serving as an initial anchor for the protective sheet. Once water from the first ditch begins to flow over the roadway, the weight of the water upon the protective sheet assists in retaining the protective sheet in a non-movable position.

[0014] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and that will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

[0015] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0016] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a road protection system that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices.

[0017] A second object is to provide a road protection system for protecting a road from water overflow erosion.

[0018] Another object is to provide a road protection system that significant reduces erosion of the roadway due to water overflow.

[0019] Another object is to provide a road protection system that may be easily and efficiently assembled upon a roadway.

[0020] An additional object is to provide a road protection system that does not require heavy moving equipment to install upon a roadway.

[0021] A further object is to provide a road protection system that is relatively inexpensive in cost compared to the cost of rebuilding the roadway.

[0022] Another object is to provide a road protection system that may be utilized upon various sizes, types and shapes of roadways.

[0023] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention.

[0024] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

[0026] FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of the present invention positioned over a roadway.

[0027] FIG. 2 is an upper perspective view of the present invention as initially positioned within a side ditch of the roadway.

[0028] FIG. 3 is an end view of the present invention as initially positioned within a side ditch of the roadway.

[0029] FIG. 4 is an end view of the present invention as the protective sheet is applied over the roadway.

[0030] FIG. 5 is an end view of the present invention positioned about a roadway.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0031] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a road protection system 10, which comprises a protective sheet 20 that is positionable from a first ditch 14 over a roadway 12 to a second ditch 16, a first end member 30 attached to a first end of the protective sheet 20, a second end member 40 attached to the protective sheet 20 opposite of the first end member 30, a first loop member 50 and a second loop member 52 attached to first end member 30 for receiving an elongate spike, and a plurality of spikes 60 extendable within the protective sheet 20 into a ground surface. The loop members are secured to the ditch having the highest water level with a pair of elongate spikes 60 thereby serving as an initial anchor for the protective sheet 20. Once water from the first ditch 14 begins to flow over the roadway 12, the weight of the water upon the protective sheet 20 assists in retaining the protective sheet 20 in a non-movable position.

[0032] As shown in FIGS. 1 through 5 of the drawings, the protective sheet 20 is comprised of a relatively flat structure and may have various shapes not illustrated within the figures. The protective sheet 20 may have various widths and more than one protective sheet 20 may be utilized to construct a protective barrier over a roadway 12. The protective sheet 20 may be comprised of various types of materials such as but not limited plastic. However, the protective sheet 20 is preferably constructed of a water impermeable material with a low surface resistance to the flow of water. The protective sheet 20 may be stored within various structures such as but not limited to roll form as shown in FIGS. 2 through 4 of the drawings.

[0033] The protective sheet 20 has a first end and a second end positioned within a first ditch 14 and a second ditch 16 of the roadway 12 respectively. The protective sheet 20 is comprised of a first portion 22 positioned within the first ditch 14, a second portion 24 positioned within the second ditch 16, and a middle portion 26 positioned upon the upper surface of the roadway 12 as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.

[0034] As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, a first end member 30 and a second end member 40 are attached to the opposing ends of the protective sheet 20. The end members 30, 40 may be comprised of various materials and structures as can be appreciated. The end members 30, 40 are attached along the opposing ends of the protective sheet 20 by any known type of attaching means.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, a plurality of loop members 50, 52 are attached to the first end member 30 and/or to the first end of the protective sheet 20. The loop members 50, 52 are each formed to receive an elongate spike (not shown) for anchoring the first end of the protective sheet 20 within the first ditch 14 of the roadway 12. The elongate spike is preferably sufficient in length to serve as an effective anchor within various types of wet soil during the initial overflow of water about the protective sheet 20.

[0036] As shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings, a plurality of grommets 28 are preferably positioned within the opposing sides for receiving a corresponding plurality of spikes 60. The grommets 28 may be comprised of various sizes and of various types of materials. The grommets 28 may be positioned at various distally spaced distances along the protective sheet 20. In addition, grommets 28 may be inserted within the interior portions of the protective sheet 20.

[0037] In use, the user first locates the portion of the roadway 12 that will eventually receive water overflow typically comprised of a “low spot.” The user then positions the first end member 30 within the first ditch 14 wherein the water level is rising and wherein the water will eventually flow from and over the roadway 12. The user then secures elongated spikes 60 into the plurality of loop members 50, 52 to serve as an anchor for the protective sheet 20. The user then rolls the protective sheet 20 from the first ditch 14 onto the upper surface of the roadway 12 as shown in FIGS. 2 through 4 of the drawings. The user then continues with the unrolling of the protective sheet 20 until the second end member 40 is properly positioned on the second ditch 16 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 of the drawings. If the protective sheet 20 is not contained within a roll form, the user would perform the necessary actions to properly position the protective sheet 20 upon the roadway 12 such as but not limited to unfolding the protective sheet 20. Once the protective sheet 20 is properly positioned upon the roadway 12, the user then inserts a plurality of spikes 60 into the protective sheet 20 to prevent movement of the protective sheet 20 from the flow of water over thereof. If desired, the user may secured additional protective sheets 20 adjacent to the initial protective sheet 20 utilizing a similar method of installation. Once the water level within the first ditch 14 rises above the upper surface of the roadway 12, the water begins to flow over the upper surface of the protective sheet 20 over the roadway 12 and into the second ditch 16 as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The water is thereby unable to significantly erode the roadway 12. When the water levels return to their normal levels and the water overflow has terminated, the user simply removes the spikes 60 from the protective sheet 20 and rolls the protective sheet 20 into a roll for later use if required.

[0038] As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

[0039] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed to be within the expertise of those skilled in the art, and all equivalent structural variations and relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0040] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.