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  1. #1
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    Armoring using pavers?

    Has anyone done this? The trails I work on are in Northwest Florida. There is no natural rock, lots of sand and lots of mud!

    There are a few creek crossings that get extremely muddy leading up to small bridges. I have access to pavers and gravel for the job, but wanted to get opinions and or see examples of similar work.

  2. #2
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    ... and if we just ...

    Pavers are a great way to armor part or all of a trail, specially if it takes a lot of effort to build a section. At Markham we are starting to do this as well, since we have few people helping out. We also have a high traffic trail system with lots of riders and wear is huge. Pavers will prevent this wear and tear.
    Berms are great to use pavers on, specially in our climate when wood (even PT) rots the moment it is installed.. Well almost..

    We are in the planning stages of a huge rebuilding project that will require 5 dump-truck loads of DOT fill. This fill is used underneath the highways and turns to concrete once it dries out and compacted properly with a plate compactor. We will be using pavers on that project as well. The DOT fill is the best material we have been using for the past 8 months and with the rains we have had down here, it has held up the best, specially in combination with pavers.
    I don't have pics but will take some this week and post them up for you if you like.
    Now some peeps will get their feathers ruffled when you want to use pavers, but all you have to ask them if they build trails as well....Betcha they don't, so ignore them..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  3. #3
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    Oscar,

    You always have good answers to my quesitons!

    I would really like to see some pictures of the pavers being used if you can get them. Are you leaving them partially exposed or covering them with a thing layer of dirt?

  4. #4
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    LOL.. The pavers we use have diamond shaped holes in them we fill in with dirt.
    I'll post some pics this week so you can see what we have done here. Remember what works for us may not apply to your trail but may give you a better idea how to make it work for you.


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    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OscarW View Post
    LOL.. The pavers we use have diamond shaped holes in them we fill in with dirt.
    I'll post some pics this week so you can see what we have done here. Remember what works for us may not apply to your trail but may give you a better idea how to make it work for you.


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    I was thinking maybe something like this. i'm assuming this is what you're talking about to.


  6. #6
    AZ
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    I have used pavers similar to these, they work well for approaches and departure areas adjacent to streams, rivers and generally swampy areas.
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    Last edited by AZ; 10-09-2012 at 09:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SoWal_MTBer View Post
    I was thinking maybe something like this. i'm assuming this is what you're talking about to.

    That is exactly what we use! They hold dirt and pack in solid.
    I tried to stop to take pics, but the skeeters are sooo bad right now, I couldn't stop at all..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  8. #8
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    Is there a name for that type of paver? Looks like a great solution for a sandy section of trail that we need to armor. TIA.

    Matt

  9. #9
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    found it: turf blocks

  10. #10
    gran jefe
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    they are used here as well. i would not try to put a layer of dirt on top.

  11. #11
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    We sweep loose sand in the holes to help keep them stable and so far the pavers have stayed in place wherever we have used them. Don't try to cover them as the surface will become slippery with loose material on top..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  12. #12
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    A good example of the use of Turf Blocks is the Pomenade trail in Seattle, WA (search it). The turf blocks are perfect for the sandy ares in FL. Their unusual shape and configuration make it easier to develop curves and od shapes. They hold up nicely and allow for water saturation, while stabilizing sand when it dry. They are becoming more and more popular at trails around the state.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tflounder View Post
    A good example of the use of Turf Blocks is the Pomenade trail in Seattle, WA (search it).
    I think you meant, "Colonnade" if you're talking about the City of Seattle/EMBA project under the freeway.

    Yep...I worked on a couple of lines out there, including a jump line that used pavers extensively. The area was very challenging to work in, with extremely dry, fine soils. Pavers were a good solution for high-traffic sections (i.e., jump run-ins); but did have some drawbacks.

    First, they were really difficult to move/reposition if they needed adjustment. We were constantly fiddling with lip configurations, and pulling pavers up and digging them back in was a pain.

    Second, you had to be very careful about where the edges ended up. Gaps in between the pavers and/or edges that pop up are serious hazards.

    Third, because of the soil composition (lots of clay) the pavers can become pretty slick, especially immediately following first rain after a dry period (which you may not believe we get in Seattle).

    Finally, if it's not already obvious, pavers are hard. A lot harder than falling on dirt, most of the time.

    FWIW, it's a tactic we stole from the moto trail builders. They use them a lot for armoring steep berms in WA.

  14. #14
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    See if you can find some broken up concrete sidewalk. You can usually get it for free and if you lay it upside down it has a decent resemblance to natural stone.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    I think you meant, "Colonnade" if you're talking about the City of Seattle/EMBA project under the freeway.
    Yes - my bad. The Promenade is what we built at QW in SFL. A short trail that cascades over several sand hills. We used regular rectangular pavers for that trail (remnants of previous park construction). I prefer the turf blocks over pavers because the pavers do not drain as well as the turf blocks and they do cause erosion issue where the water runs off. Both work extremely well in sand. The busted concrete is another great solution. I built a short trail out of some chunks that were found under some vegetation. You have to be able to make sense out of random shapes. If the state owns the property you may have to pass that by your land manager first. If I recall, there is a dump close to that area?? Could be a good resource for diffrenet materials.

    The Promenade
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/p...type=3&theater
    Last edited by tflounder; 10-22-2012 at 09:25 AM.

  16. #16
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    I have worked with various products in past years.

    When I was in Ohio, we used some natural stone (dolomite, a type of limestone) and bricks that were scattered about the property to armor some small seasonal intermittent stream crossings. predominant soil type there was heavy clay. what was needed there was a material that would allow water to flow over (we would dig out the channel both before and after the crossing to encourage flow and avoid pooling). The clay soil would then harden up really nice for the other half of the year and hold the stones/pavers in place.

    At my local trails in TX, we are on university property and the university got us a bunch of busted up concrete to use. After sorting out the pieces with and without rebar, we used the pieces sans rebar to armor some spots. We have had intermittent success with it. In places where we wanted to hold the sandy soil in place on a steep grade, the concrete has been mostly useless. The pieces shift too easily. In spots where we've used it to stabilize seasonally wet areas, it's worked pretty well. The soil there tends to have more clay content which doesn't allow so much shifting.

    I would love to have access to some turf blocks, but we don't have access to enough money to buy any. We have some spots that would benefit from them. And besides, we have enough to contend with now with a tree thinning operation occurring around the trails. The drought killed a TON of trees last year and the forestry department has been thinning out all the dead trees to reduce fire risk. This woodlot is in the middle of town and there was a small fire there last summer that made everyone jumpy. The workers have been doing a poor job of clearing those trees off the trail. They're getting some spots, but we have to follow through and deal with the rest of it.

  17. #17
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    couple thoughts

    Pavers are a great option if you're in a situation where you need to import materials (aka an otherwise not rocky area). Bringing in regular stone and pitching is another option of course but no matter what folks say about wanting "tech", people will go around rough rocky tread if the adjacent areas are smooth. You'll be surprised how many will prefer mud to dry rock. When using traditional armoring techniques, you often bring in as much stone to anchor the tread as you put in the ground.

    That is the beauty of pavers - they are not threatening. Folks will stay on them in otherwise not rocky terrain.

    A couple pointers...

    Install them flush! Don't just set them on the surface. They do not have enough body to be self-stable. Need to use the surroundings to lock them in.

    If installing them where you have storm flows, be sure to protect the downstream edge from head cutting just like you would with any armoring.

    Go wide. For any armoring, always a good idea to go 1.5 to 2-times the width of your active tread. Aka, one row of pavers is probably not going to be a good solution.

    Pavers can flow. Does not have to be straight. We've used pavers to armor berm surfaces where there are wicked freeze-thaw issues along an otherwise solid trail.

    Good luck!

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