Stabilizing an Athletic Field

Dec. 20, 2011

The slope adjacent to the athletic fields at Saint Mark Catholic School in Huntersville, NC, had been experiencing severe surface erosion and shallow surface failures. In 2010, engineers decided to pursue a solution that involved driven soil anchors and a turf reinforcement mat for veneer stability.

The plan for repair of the athletic field slope consisted of installation of slope reinforcement and erosion control measures. After all existing vegetation and unsuitable soil had been stripped, the slope was regraded to a 2:1 slope. A 12-inch berm was also constructed at the top of the slope, and catch basins with slope drains were used to help divert site runoff from eroding the repaired slope. Surface and slope reinforcement materials were then installed to prevent further surface erosion and surficial slope failures.

Fortrac 3D from Huesker was chosen for the turf reinforcement because of its high tensile strength at low elongations. Fortrac 3D’s three-dimensional construction and high tenacity differentiate it from other turf reinforcement mats. Unlike other products that elongate as much as 65%, Fortrac 3D has a maximum elongation of 12%, which helps keep soil in place. A special polymeric coating provides protection against ultraviolet degradation and mechanical damage.

Uretek ICR performed the slope preparation and repair. The Platipus driven-anchor system was used with the turf reinforcement mat. After the slope
surface has been prepared and seeded, Fortrac 3D was anchored at the top of the slope and then simply unrolled down the face of the slope. Platipus soil anchors were then installed, eliminating the need to pin the Fortrac 3D.The project was completed in the spring of 2010, and Saint Mark Catholic School was able to continue using the field without fear of continued slope failures. Several weeks after completion of the project, the slope was fully vegetated.