What is the Dirt, Gravel, and Low-Volume Road (DGLVR) Program?
The Dirt, Gravel, and Low-Volume Road (DGLVR) Program provides funds for public paved and unpaved roads that impact water quality. For a road to qualify for this grant program, its drainage must reach a stream, lake, wetland, or other water body. Two types of funding are available depending on the road surface:
Dirt and Gravel Road (DGR) grants are for roads with unpaved surfaces.
Low-Volume Road (LVR) grants are for paved or sealed roads (including tar and chip sealed) with average daily traffic of 500 vehicles or less.
The projects funded by this program use Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) practices to reduce road erosion and improve water quality.
Rainstorms can wash out roadside ditches, road surfaces, and stream pipes, causing erosion that is expensive to fix. The gravel and sediment that washes from our roads to our streams also harm fish and other aquatic life by smothering their habitat. However, improving road drainage can fix this erosion. Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) techniques spread out and slow down stormwater so roads don’t wash out. This is a win for everyone – it saves time and money on long-term road maintenance, keeps excess sediment out of streams, and provides a safer, smoother road. Please see the PSU Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies for more information on this program.
Applying for DGLVR Funds
For a public road-owning entity to apply for a DGR or LVR grant, the person in charge of road work planning and project implementation must be ESM certified. To become ESM certified, you must attend a two-day Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) training at least every 5 years. All staff, officials, and contractors involved in the DGLVR program are also encouraged to attend ESM training.
Eligible entities work with the Conservation District to submit an application for grant funding. The simple application must describe how runoff and erosion problems will be alleviated on the road in question and include a cost estimate for the proposed project.
A Quality Assurance Board (QAB) organized by the Conservation District ranks all applications received each year based on these criteria, and available funding is awarded to the highest-ranking projects. HCCD regularly receives more grant requests that can be funded each year and is dedicated to equal access and fair distribution of funds. For more information, read our location program policies here.
Grants are typically awarded in summer or fall, and construction of funded projects take place the following year. Grant funds are disbursed upon completion of both project construction and final paperwork.
We are currently accepting applications for 2020 DGLVR grants until June 30, 2021.
If you are interested in pursuing a DGR or LVR grant, please contact our Dirt and Gravel Roads Technician. Please also visit our instructions page for eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply. See links in red on the right side of this page to access the required forms and for more information about funded projects.