Driveway Transition

When a driveway is too steep as it intersects with the roadway, it can cause property damage by allowing the bottom of vehicles’ bumpers to scrape on the asphalt. Further, there can be scratch marks in the driveway where the bumpers of trucks have failed to clear the surface when trying to enter the property, shortening the lifespan of the driveway. This modest modification at the transition can eliminate those issues.

Besides puddling, which can be unsightly, the biggest issue is bumper strikes against the pavement which in extreme cases can prevent a vehicle from entering the property.

In the above image one can see how the bumper hits the pavement, something one wouldn’t expect during normal construction when the driveway itself is sloped as recommended.

With a modest height elevation increase at the property line of just 4 inches, and transitions on both sides, the bumper misses the pavement by a good margin.

When creating a transition, one must not create a bump in the roadway, and so must create a smooth transition of at least 7 feet in length along the curb on both sides. This will allow traffic to move over the transition without noticing a change in elevation.

The steps in shaping the transition include:

1) Remove dip in front of driveway with ‘level’ area that is no more than noted into roadway (see red shaded area below).

2) Start slope up driveway with ‘Feather Area’ into road of no more than noted.

3) Extend new slope at least 7 feet up the driveway. This may vary especially if the driveway isn’t perpendicular to the roadway.

4) Ends of new asphalt projecting into road will be feathered. Feathering will begin 18″ before edge of driveway and carry another 72″ beyond edge of driveway to ensure smooth transition.

For reference, level is noted in red tone. This indicates just how little elevation change there is of the roadway, and a baseline for keeping water from puddling on the driveway especially after the transition is added.


It is important to make this transition a permanent part of the driveway and road. This means removing existing material so that the new pavement is around 3 inches thick or as recommended, and not a sliver of material as shown in the diagrams. If creating a more permanent solution with concrete, make sure the slab is at least 6 inches deep by 8 inches wide and install two #3 rebars 2″ from the bottom of the slab. This would create a nice transition that asphalt could then transition to.

Note that in this example, we’ve raised the driveway just 4 inches at the property line, enough to do the trick.

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