Got a Steep Walk Down to Your Shoreline? You Need a Switchback!
Many people live on steep shorelines. They might have a giant set of steps that go down to the lake, but they still can’t drive or roll anything down to the lake. Some of our customers have golf carts or other wheeled contraptions they want to take down there.
Some companies might simply pour a concrete road straight down to the lake. Unfortunately, that’s neither safe nor smart, and on most lakes would be illegal.
We solve this problem by installing switchbacks.
What’s a switchback?
When we first heard the term we thought, “That has something to do with mountains, right?” Indeed it does: You’ll often find switchbacks on mountain roads. You can’t drive straight up a slope as they do on all those old cartoons. Instead, real cars have to climb the mountain in a series of Z shapes. They need the Z shape to descend the mountain safely, too.
A road that travelled straight up and down would need to be named “Darwin Lane,” “Widowmaker Way,” or “Bob’s Last Run.” On your attempted descent you would just skid, even if you rode the brakes. Unless your golf cart was built for James Bond so that it could double as a submarine, you would be in trouble.
Fortunately, pathways to the water aren’t too hard to build. We go left, right, and left again, slightly banking it like a racetrack. We then pour concrete curbing on either side, which functions as safety rails. We then fill your switchback road with crushed, packed rock. We also hydro-seed the area around the switchback with native grasses, because we will have cut into the hillside.
These are surprisingly fun to build, and our customers love the safety and the little adventure up and down.
Do pathways and walkways require switchbacks?
It depends on how steep your shore is and how good your knees are. If you’re walking your way down to the lakeshore hauling all your stuff, like your ice chest, your beach bag, fishing gear, and so on, then you might want the extra stability of a switchback-style pathway. However, many customers do fine with a set of stairs. It depends on how your property is set up. When we come out to evaluate your shoreline we’ll talk with you about your needs and we’ll have a look at what the slope down to your shoreline looks like. We’ll be able to give you options.
By foot or motorized vehicle, one way or another we’ll get you lake access, and we’ll do it in the safest, most convenient way we can.