How to improve the drainage of this grass driveway


I've got a long grass side-yard which doubles as a driveway for both my residence and the ally behind my house. After a few heavy rainstorms here in Southeastern North Carolina (read: business as usual), the end of the driveway has lost all of its grass due to standing water and vehicle traffic.

Fast forward a year and the driveway has turned into a sand pit, with no hope of improving on its own. Currently I shovel the sand back into the pit from the street about every other month.
Driveway Pit
As far as improving it, I do not have any easy place to run a pipe to drain it. I've considered adding gravel to the end of the driveway, but I'm not sure how to make that look "classy". I've seen various gravel/grass retaining systems, but I'm not sure how effective it would be if I can't solve the excess. drainage.

I can't see how I could incorporate a drain either, as everything slopes to the end of the drive. Here are some illustrations of the slopes I have to deal with. The X's mark low points.

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Another consideration is extending the mulch bed to the rear of the house, with bushes and flowers, to provide some natural absorption capacity for runoff coming from the house-side. I've also considered adding some kind of "lip" to the end of the driveway in order to encourage the sand to stay in the pit, but I don't think that would do anything in the long run.

Given this layout, what sort of drainage options are available? Keep in mind I likely would not be allowed to pave anything (Historic District).

Best Answer

If it's heavily driven on, it's likely extremely compacted, which only increases the water run-off and retention (since it can't properly drain anywhere).

can you use gravel? A gravel driveway would likely be the easiest solution.

Barring that, you could look at using a grid 'pavement' system:

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It lets you plant grass without the turf having to take the brunt of the vehicle weight, so it remains porous.