Note: This entry was previously barrow ditch.
borrow ditch n [Cf borrow pit n. (The chronology of attestations makes connection with EDD barrow ditch “A small ditch” unlikely.) ] Cf bar ditch n 2
1 A borrow pit n 1 paralleling a linear structure such as an embankment or levee.
1881 CA State Engineer Rept. for 1880 2-3.63, Outside of all levees a berme at least 10 feet in width is to be left between the foot of the levee slope and the top edge of the borrow ditch. . . No borrow ditch shall be over 300 feet in length, there being left a ramp of earth in place 30 feet wide at each 300 foot interval. 1894 U.S. War Dept. Annual Rept. 2.2.1061, The dike is on the seaward side and the borrow ditch on the landward side of the causeway which forms the berm. 1949 Council Bluffs Nonpareil (IA) 22 May 13/5, The levee will vary in width from 100 to 170 feet. Along the river side will be a 100 foot wide berm, or shelf. The borrow ditch will be 400 feet wide. 1997 Facts (Clute TX) 27 July sec 2 24/2, Suggs conceived the idea of using the borrow ditch along the flood protection levee built by the Corps of Engineers in 1929.
2 also barrow ditch, burrow ~: = borrow pit n 2. chiefly west of Missip R
1917 Maurice Times (IA) 6 Sept /3 (newspaperarchive.com), Elevating graders are adapted especially to building up embankments with material excavated from shallow borrow ditches along each side of the road. 1933 Lubbock Morning Avalanche (TX) 28 Oct 1/7, A hit-run driver, whom officers believe unloaded 9 half-gallon jars of whisky in a borrow ditch, was sought last night by state highway patrolman. . . Highway officers . . found the liquor in the south barrow ditch. 1937 Big Spring Daily Herald (TX) 18 July 1/2, Atwood had driven almost into the burrow ditch on the opposite of the road when the impact occurred. 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 Owens Look to River 73 nTX, Jed went down through the borrow ditch. 1966–69 DARE (Qu. N24, A ditch along the side of a graded road) Infs TN36, UT15, Barrow ditch; AR51, Borrow ditch, pit [FW: [bɑr] or [ˈbɑrə], depending on context]; CO16, OK18, Borrow ditch; OK52, Some newspapers say bar ditch or barrow, but that’s wrong; it’s borrow—where they borrow dirt to make the road; TN34, [ˈbɑrə] ditch. 1973 Greeley Tribune & Greeley Republican (CO) 22 June 1/2, A passenger . . was apparently saved when he was thrown from the car before it rolled into the borrow ditch. 2005 Portales News–Tribune (NM) 24 Dec 4/2, Anzaldua overcorrected twice, which caused him to slide off the south side of the road into a small burrow ditch. 2005 Sun. Herald–Zeitung (New Braunfels TX) 13 Nov sec D 2/9, Scope of the work to include the re-construction of the roadway with a rural borrow ditch section for 1935 feet and an urban curb and gutter section for 3849 feet. 2012 Odessa Amer. (TX) 29 Dec sec D 6/3, The truck and the Cadillac . . collided in the east barrow ditch.