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Question DetailsAsked on 12/27/2015

dirt to fill in 1 acre ---12 inches deep.

flood plain ---1 acre to be filled in 12 inches deep

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1 Answer


There are 43,560 SF per acre, so that would be 43560 cubic feet, or 1613 cubic yards in-place - taking probably about 1800-1900 delivered cubic yards to allow for compaction/settlement and still get 1 foot thickness. Depending on the type of fill you want, could run typically around 5-12/CY depending on local availability and on whether a contractor is doing an excavation he needs to get rid of common fill from - sometimes you can get it for free, though you have to check what he is carrying BEFORE he dumps so you don't get construction/demolition or land clearing debris or petroleum contaminated waste from a leaky fuel tank job. A lot of fly-by-night demolition and excavation contractors are more than willing to dump their junk on you. Do NOT put out a "clean fill wanted" sign - they are attracted to those like moths to a light - you want a reliable contractor coming from either an established fill borrow pit/quarry, or from a construction site that YOU have looked at to see you are not getting trash, mud, etc.

This assumes large trucks will be able (both with respect physical maneuvering clearance and suitable ground conditions so they don't sink in) to drive right to it to dump. If you want to grass or sod it (should wait a year at least for it to settle if not compacted, then regrade before topsoiling), that can commonly run more in the $10-30/CY range for the topsoil depending on locale - a 3 inch laid-down layer would run about 400cy of delivered topsoil.

Grading the topsoil out level probably about another $500-750, and compaction and dozing during placement (to minimize future differential settlement) probably about another $1/CY on the 1800-1900 cy of common fill.

One thing though - you said floodplain - so likely another $5,000-50,000 for a civil engineering firm to do section 401 (Clean Water) and 404 (Discharge of FIll in Navigable waters or Wetlands) permitting to fill in a floodplain depending on conditions - and assuming you are allowed to do so at all. Your project, because it is small, might quality for a NWP 39 (Nationwide Permit), which is a simpler process - but the Corps of Engineers and a number of water quality and wildlife management ageancies (both state, local, and federal) will have to review it before approval.

At the other extreme, if an area with endangered species or deemed a migratory wildfowl habitat permitting can run into the hundreds of thousands to millions, if allowed at all - so you definitely need to have a professional full-service civil engineering firm check out the status BEFORE you think about doing any filling, because the penalties for filling without a permit WILL bankrupt you and result in loss of your property to liens filed to pay the penalties, not to mention possible jail time. There are also almost certainly local Planning and Zoning procedures you need to go through for that large an area being filled.

This will likely also change the type of fill materials required, at least along the stream bank and possibly for the entire area if it will still be in the floodplain (likely if only filling 1 foot deep) from common fill to erosion protection material - so crushed coarse stone or boulders topped with a thin layer of common fill to support the topsoil and grass. This erosion control stone commonly runs from $15-25/CY for cobble sized (small stream not subject to significant flood velocities) all the way up to $100-250/CY or more for boulders (for rushing waters) depending on the stream velocity it has to be designed for and local availability.

So - you are talking a ballpark $10,000 plus job at a minimum unless you can find an Excavation contractor who needs to get rid of suitable fill from another jobsite - PLUS permitting costs.

BTW - Angies List does not include civil engineering firms - google for civil firms doing site development palnning and permitting. Some might cross-list in AL under Structural Engineer, to check if the ones you google have any AL reviews. If this is part of a larger project, your architect can refer you to some - and if planning on building a structure on it of course that portion, will have to be built with structural fill rather than common fill.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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