Access Roads

road crew building an access road
Road crew building an access road.

Access roads to well sites connect a site to a main road.  Access roads usually have a barrier gate at the head end to control access to the well after hours.  In some cases, the access roads are short when a well has a clear sightline and short distance to the main road.  Access roads have to be wide enough to allow large trucks to come and go from the well to the road.

Controlling after-hours access to a well site using a safety gate is a good idea.

For fracking wells an access road needs to be wide enough for two tractor-trailers to pass each other going in opposite directions. Single lane roads can have an occasional wide spot for pull-offs or short areas for trucks to pass by each other. A single lane road requires less timber cutting and provides minimum disturbance to the land owner’s property however the advantage of double lane roads on the property is the faster turnaround time for the driller and perhaps increased property value for the owner if they want to develop the property when the well is capped.  Some access roads are paved but most are created as dirt roads.  A good system of safety gates and gate openers can control access on a one path access road.

Safety Gates are important for property owners who want to protect their investment while a drilling operation is on site.  Keeping unauthorized personnel from a wellhead is important for safety reasons, insurance reasons, and property value.

The decision to construct a single lane or double lane access road should be laid out clearly when the contract presented to a landowner is presented.  Most drilling companies prefer the double lane access road for the speed that trucks can use when coming in and going out.