CEU/PDHs for gravel roads

The Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program’s (LTAP) first distance-learning course — Gravel Road Maintenance and Design — is open and taking registrations. Modeled on a classroom course taught annually for many years, the curriculum helps supervisory personnel, operators, and township officials better understand materials, techniques, equipment, and new techniques.

Designed to facilitate success, the online course lets you take the quizzes and final test as often as necessary until you understand the material. They may repeat a lesson or parts of a lesson and then test themselves again. Test questions change with each attempt.

Ten lessons must be completed within three months. Each consists of a narrated presentation, video clips, reading assignments, a quiz, and time to reflect on what’s been learned to develop an action plan: how your department can apply what you’ve just learned.

The 10 lessons cover:

  • The properly shaped gravel road
  • Distresses in gravel roads
  • Drainage
  • Adding gravel
  • What is good gravel
  • Turning a poor gravel road into a good one
  • Shaping the roadway
  • Dust control
  • Equipment innovations
  • Summary and conclusion

All reading assignments are online, so no additional books or materials need to be purchased.

The curriculum is a collaboration of face-to-face workshop instructor John Okeson of Becker County; former instructor Rick West of Otter Tail County; and South Dakota LTAP’s Ken Skorseth, Gravel Road Maintenance: Meeting the Challenge DVD instructor. Online materials include curriculum from the workshop, the DVD, and FHWA’s “Gravel Road Maintenance and Design Manual.”

Launched in April 2012, the course currently has 41 students. Half are Minnesotans; the rest come from other states, Canada, and Botswana, Africa. To date, 18 people have graduated.

“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in an online course like this,” says Jim Gilles of Kanabec County, Minn. “I’d like to see more classes incorporated into web classes, as it is harder to get away from the job to attend classes.”

Cost and credit

  • Students will earn 1.0 required Roads Scholar credit and may also register for 1 Continuing Education Credit (CEU).
  • Cost: $45, or $55 to register for the CEU.
  • To the best of our knowledge, this course meets the continuing education requirements for 12.5 PDHs.
  • Students who have previously taken the classroom version of the LTAP Gravel Road Maintenance and Design workshop may earn an additional credit by taking the online version.For more information or to register, go to www.mnltap.umn.edu/training/topic/maintenance/gravel/online.html.


This course is offered by the Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). Minnesota LTAP is sponsored by theMinnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This course is subsidized through funding from LRRB and FHWA. Facilitated by the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education.

  • More than half of U.S. roads are not paved. If you need help designing, building, and/or maintaining such a road, consider this new online course. Its based in part on the Gravel Roads Maintenance and Design Manual, written by South Dakota LTAPs Ken Skorseth and one of FHWAs most frequently requested publications.

    Credit: Minn. Local Road Research Board

    More than half of U.S. roads are not paved. If you need help designing, building, and/or maintaining such a road, consider this new online course. It’s based in part on the “Gravel Roads Maintenance and Design Manual,” written by South Dakota LTAP’s Ken Skorseth and one of FHWA’s most frequently requested publications.