Tickville Gulch Turf Reinforcement Mats - Case Study


Courtesy of Nilex

The Vmax SC250 Turf Reinforcement Mat provides a revegetation option able to withstand FEMA-set high flow rates

A drainage canal serving several farms and registered as a U.S. Waterway needed to be redirected to accommodate new development. Federal regulations and soft soils throughout the project area required special considerations for the channel lining and material anchoring.


Potato fields are great for growing potatoes, but their soft soils are tricky for almost everything else. With Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) involvement in this lengthy waterway realignment and project work scheduled for the early days of spring thaw, it was important to find a soil stabilization product that’s easy to work with but can be securely anchored against projected flood levels.


The SC250 Turf Reinforcement Mat was a natural choice for this project, based on the need to permanently stabilize the slopes, first through anchoring, and additionally through revegetation. The mats have a thin profile, require minimal on-site laydown space, and can be easily installed with small crews. The mats are UV-stabilized with a straw and coconut mix that will support revegetation in the area’s soil type. A key additional detail for the install were the EA400 earth anchors which are able to withstand high flows. The anchors and mats form a “system” solution to the project challenges that other staple-based applications can’t match.


Over 3,500 square-yards of mat were installed in the redesigned channel, which was approximately 40 ft wide and 801 ft long. FEMA worked with the project team to set specific flow rates relative to their storm level predictions. Based on these calculations, the earth anchors were placed at a rate of one per square-yard.

The ground was in various states of thaw along the channel, so the crew of 11 installers used a combination of pneumatic jackhammer, track hoe and drive rods to complete the installation within one week. Nilex was involved in both the design and installation phases.


The realigned channel meets FEMA guidelines for flow rate and will revegetate easily based on the three-dimensional grid inherent in the mats.

The product expertise and collaborative approach Nilex embraces helped the project team realize a cost-effective timely solution to help in the area’s redevelopment from its humble beginnings as a potato field.

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