Bartlett Boulevard Embankment Stabilization

April 1, 2020

Bartlett Boulevard is a heavily traveled roadway that cuts through the Memphis suburb of Bartlett, TN. Two rotational slope failures occurred near the surface of an embankment slope adjacent to the road. These failures required a 2.5H:1V slope repair. The City of Bartlett Engineering Department sought a low impact, vegetated solution to stabilize the steep roadway slope for shallow plane slope failure rein­forcement.

Propex’s Engineering Services team worked with the City’s Engineering Department to model and design two different scenarios – saturated and unsaturated slope conditions. Based on these analyses, it was determined that ARMORMAX® Engineered Earth Armoring system was the best solution to stabilize the slope and increase the factor of safety. ARMORMAX is composed of High Performance Turf Reinforcement Mats (HPTRMs) and Engineered Earth Anchors™ (EEA) that work together to lock soil in place and protect against hydraulic stresses. The system provides permanent erosion control for up to 75 years, outlasting other slope reinforcement methods and yielding significant cost savings.

The HTPRM component of ARMORMAX® is engineered with patented X3® Fiber technology that is designed to promote rapid root generation and native vegetation. The HTPRM is also designed to withstand both hydraulic and non-hydraulic stresses such as mowing and maintenance equipment. This feature made it easy for the City to maintain the slope after installation and vegetation.

Another benefit of using ARMORMAX is that is has a smaller carbon footprint that traditional hard armoring solutions. From cradle to grave, the HPTRM component of ARORMAX has a carbon footprint of 2.7 kgCO2e per 1m2 of material. Comparatively, concrete-based alternatives for erosion control are up to 10 times higher, and rock riprap is more than 20 times higher.  

The ARMORMAX system was installed on Bartlett Boulevard in 2013, and the embankment continues to be free from erosion control and slope instability today. The factor of safety was increased and the slope is also fully vegetated, offering a more aesthetically pleasing roadway for the City.  

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Infrastructure Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the Roads & Bridges' Editorial Team.

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