1 = borrow pit n 1.
1923 Brownsville Herald (TX) 25 Feb 6/3, In regard to control of seepage from canals, the bar ditches (borrow pits) which parallel the canals on either side should be at least six feet below the general level of the land. 1982 Smithsonian Letters TX, Bar ditch—These are long narrow ponds alongside a roadway constructed across a lowland area. Fill for the roadway was “borrowed” (excavated) from the right-of-way and thus caused the pond. Our supposition is that bar is a contraction of borrow.
2 = borrow pit n 2. chiefly NM, OK, TXSee Map
1930 Quanah Tribune–Chief (TX) 20 June 1/5, The drainage of the city is being studied and with the proper depth of the bar ditches the commissioner thinks that in many places where the water has stood that this condition will be alleviated. 1935 Olney Enterprise (TX) 10 May /5 (newspaperarchive.com), The bar-ditches of the 100-foot right-of-way are graded at an angle that will permit a car to leave the pavement, enter the bar-pit and return to the pavement without overturning. 1950 AmSp 25.165 CO, The ditch by the side of an upgraded road is called ‘bar pit,’ ‘borrow pit,’ ‘barrow pit,’ ‘bar ditch,’ ‘borrow ditch,’ ‘barrow ditch,’ ‘grader ditch,’ and ‘gutter.’ . . The word pit is much more frequent than ditch or gutter. 1963 AmSp 38.157 TX, Several [students] pointed out that a bar ditch is a ditch that runs parallel to a roadway and bars cattle or sheep from the roadway. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. N24, A ditch along the side of a graded road) 31 Infs, chiefly OK, TX, Bar ditch; (Qu. N44, In a town, the strip of grass and trees between the sidewalk and the curb) Inf OK20, Bar ditch—that’s what the old men who mow it for me call it. 1971 Wood Vocab. Change 53, In Oklahoma . . the first preference is for bar ditch. 1973 Allen LAUM 1.272 Upper MW (as of c1950), Several infs. have the variant bar pit or bar ditch. 1978 Daily Times (Farmington NM) 28 Apr sec A 18/8, The owner . . must install a culvert, at least twelve (12) inches in diameter, under said private driveway or private road in line with the present bar ditch alongside the County road in such a manner that drainage will not be inhibited. 1994 Roswell Daily Rec. (NM) 22 Feb 1/a/5, The vehicle went off the left shoulder and down a bar ditch parallel to the road. 2012 Odessa Amer. (TX) 11 July sec B 5/4, Carrasco . . veered into the north bar ditch, over-corrected, and rolled over into the south bar ditch.