Driveways and Driveway Bridges

If you’re a homeowner in Alameda, Berkley, Oakland, El Cerrito, and Piedmont, CA.

Older Driveways Lack Reinforcement

Most older driveways lack any rebar, and as a consequence shift and move over time due to soil movement below and drainage issues. For new driveways we remove some to the existing soil and install base material which we compact that will settle less and also drain better. Then we install ½” rebar at 12” spacing to provide a substantial reinforcing grid to prevent cracking and minimize settlement and movement.

Skilled Finishers Make a Big Difference

Experienced finishers are crucial, as the timing of the finishing has to factor in the temperature, concrete mixture etc. And the number of finishers is also key. We would rather pay for a few extra men than have them get to rushed trying to do too much.

Stamped Concrete and Colored Concrete Can Provide Multiple Looks

A variety of finishes can be created using textures mats. Color or multiple colors can be added as well to create a special look. Sometime we will start with a base color, and we add a second powdered color during the stamping to create a multicolored appearance, often highlighting the surface particularly with stone textures.

A Unique Appearance

You can create your own signature driveway. Here we used cobblestone texture mats, and covered the small side wall with a slate stone to compliment it.

Brick Borders

Once common look is plain concrete with a brick border, which can highlight other brick details on the property, especially brick stairs and landings.

Driveway Drainage is an Important Consideration

Downspouts adjacent to the house next to the driveway are often routed under the driveway to their exit point. When driveways slope towards the garage a channel drain is usually installed to keep water out of the building.

What Is a Driveway Bridge?

On downslope properties in the hills the driveway will often function as bridge as well, since it spans between the street and the house over a sloping hill. Older driveway bridges often do not meet modern engineering standards and require significant rebuilding. In the Oakland hills, as a consequence of the Oakland hills fire, codes now require driveways to be able to handle the weight of a firetruck, requiring much heavier construction.

Drilled Piers Are Often Required

Because they are installed on a slope, new foundations for driveway bridges often require reinforced concrete piers as part of the construction. Heavy equipment is used to drill deep holes for the concrete.

Heavy Engineered Timbers Are Often Used for Framing

In order to support the heavy load requirements, engineered heavy timbers are often used to support the new concrete driveway.

There Was Only One Way In and Out

On this driveway bridge project the clients daughter was in a wheelchair and her only way in was through the garage. We created a temporary ramp for her and then framed the new driveway under it.

As Usual, Waterproofing is Crucial

Once the plywood is installed on top of the framing, a bituthene waterproofing membrane is installed, along with waterproofing and flashing at the sidewalls and a channel drain at the garage to provide integrated drainage for the work.

The Finished Product

This driveway bridge was completed with stamped concrete and wood railings as the finished product.

Driveways with Retaining Walls

For this sloped driveway we installed new reinforced concrete retaining walls on either side, with stucco on the walls and a brick accent. The stamped finish on tie driveway combined red and black and semi-gloss sealer for a more dramatic look.

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