Merge Lane and Postal Service Restoration

  Outcrop Acres is accessed from a road where traffic wizzes by at 45mph. Sometimes a snowplow or a texting driver goes a little wide and clips off our mailbox, eliminating the steady stream of physical deliveries of contributions and requests for payment. Such was the case in January 2013 when a truck missed the normal 12' wide margins of the road and collided head-on with our four gallon sized mailbox atop a 4x4 post. Who knew the postal service would only wait 30 days before erasing us from the national route. My response - a merge lane from the driveway to the road, moving the mailbox post well away from texting drivers.

  Here are the pieces I salvaged after finding them strewn about 200 feet away from the original location. The mailbox must have been thrown free from the post during the initial impact. No sign of the post. Here the mailbox shell along with the mangled door await repair. The back of the box lays bent in the foreground. The black plywood to the left is the base with three of the four post screws skewed from the impact. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image The back is held in place by this crimped edge that goes over a flange on the back of the mailbox shell. Here, I pry up the edge to refit it on the flange. Then I closed the edge with plyers.

  Staging the portable base on the F250. The post came from my in-law's house in Savannah, GA. Don't know why we have it, but we do. So it gets recycled. Here, I bolt the post to the center of a heavy, heavy oak pallet, originally used to bring the slate for the patio. By allowing the post to pivot on the pallet, I can adjust the angle according to the slope of the ditch the pallet will live in. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image In its temporary position. Its kind of high (about 5' 6"). Here you see the guy wires that give fore/aft as well as lateral stability. You can also see where I dug out around the existing drainage culvert. What you can't see is how the culvert is all bent up, necessitating the use of the cutting torch to cut off the all-bent-up part. That way the coupler can connect the new 12' section. After the new culvert is in, I will fill with dirt, cover with gravel, and sink a new mailbox post to the left of this Postal Tower.

  Had to get this little yellow generator so I could have some electropower at the road. Had to cut off the bent up, mangled pipe. Here I had beaten it back to round pretty well, but it still needed some slicing to get the to get it square enough to mate up with the new one. By the way, its 15" culvert. See the collar about to go on to the left? Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image I didn't hvae too many of the concentric corrugations on the old pipe after shaping it some. But the coupler still went on. Had to use a open end wrench to turn those nuts and every turn required some pretty heavy wrenching

  This is where the EF-3 mines the precious dirt for filling in around the culvert. I needed two loads in the Dump Truck, but I also needed the EF-3 at the road and these places are about 2000 feet apart. At about 250 ft/minute, that takes the EF seven and a half minutes or 14 minutes round trip just to get to the road. So I filled one truckload, dumped it at the road and filled another before taking the 1/8 hour EF trip to the road. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the second load getting ready to go in while the EF smooths and compacts the first two loads.

  The mailbox removed from its temporary perch. The hole is dug for the new blue post (blue??). I haven't backfilled the post or mounted the mailbox platform on the post yet. So blue is cause all my black spray cans clogged up and blue was the darkest I had. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Complete. Backfilled, leveled, mounted. I hope it will stay out of the way of mailbox smashing drivers while still being easy to access by the mail people and us.

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