Private Racetrack Road Shoulder Stabilization Using GEOWEB® Geocells and GEOBLOCK® Grass Pavers

June 25, 2021
Finished racetrack with GEOWEB & GEOBLOCK Grass Pavements installed on the road shoulders.
Finished racetrack with GEOWEB & GEOBLOCK Grass Pavements installed on the road shoulders.

In 2013, Club Motorsports began the construction of a unique private racetrack at the southern edge of the New Hampshire White Mountains. They designed the track with the idea in mind of a ”country club” for car enthusiasts. The design featured a 2.5-mile road course on 100+ wooded acres and boasted breathtaking views of the mountain range to the north. The beauty in the design was only outweighed by the impossible landscape it would cover. It would take over four years, blasting nearly 200,000 cubic yards of ledge, and moving over a million cubic yards of material to complete.

The challenge of this project was incorporating 250 feet of elevation change into 15 individual track turns. The design of each turn was to have its own unique beauty, which added to the complexity of the project. Racing curbs flowed into grassed shoulders and large grassed drainage swales. The grass swales, along with the major elevation difference, and an average track width of 50 feet, would mean a simple rain event would cause a tremendous amount of watershed. The stormwater runoff would devastate the site, but the unique elevation change and aesthetics of the grass shoulders all added to the lure and mystique of the track. It was clear that creative erosion control was going to be the answer.

Since the road shoulders would require working with compacted soils, a new challenge arose. The shoulders had to be compacted so cars had the ability to skid off the track without creating large ruts, which would cause a safety issue for other cars. The challenge is that trying to establish vegetation in compacted soils is very difficult. We did multiple soil tests to see what would be needed to build up the soil health. We added quick-acting lime, quick-starting fertilizers, and a slow-release organic fertilizer. This combination was very successful, but we anticipated some trouble areas needing special attention. Sections of the shoulder with concentrated stormwater runoff were of particular concern. In those areas, we added the GEOWEB® Geocell Cellular Confinement System to structurally confine the topsoil and allow the vegetation to establish.

1: Vegetated road shoulder Using the GEOWEB Geocells & GEOBLOCK Porous Pavers.
Vegetated road shoulder Using the GEOWEB Geocells & GEOBLOCK Porous Pavers.

Lastly, the concrete racing curbs were installed, and a slot-drain system was placed strategically along the track in areas that see a lot of stormwater runoff. In some areas where the racing curb was installed, either the GEOBLOCK® Rigid Grass Pavers or the GEOWEB Geocells were installed along the backside. These were used to allow for vegetation and the ability to support the weight of a run-away car.

The private race track was completed in 2017 and has been busy with car clubs and enthusiasts cruising around ever since. “In my opinion, the track is a destination place. Absolutely beautiful with turns, hills, and breathtaking views. It was a pleasure working with the entire team on this project, and I was honored for the opportunity to be involved.” Mike Everhart, EJ Prescott, Inc.

 

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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