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Evaluation of Effectiveness and Cost-Benefits of Woolen Roadside Reclamation Products

Started: February, 2014 Ended: December, 2016 Project ID #4W4813 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

This research project developed three types of products for study: woolen erosion control blankets (ECBs), wool incorporated into wood fiber compost at a 40:1 ratio (compost to wool, by weight), and wool incorporated into silt fence. The project compared the wool products’ performance to roadside reclamation products commonly used for revegetating cut slopes: straw/coconut (coir) ECB, wood fiber compost and woven plastic silt fence. The two best performing treatments (i.e. greatest seeded grass establishment) were the rolled wool/straw ECBs. The 100% wool ECB and 50% wool/50% straw ECB had the greatest mean seeded grass canopy cover after two years. Both of these wool ECBs had more seeded grass canopy cover than the standard 70% straw/30% coir ECB demonstrating their potential as a commercially viable product for roadside revegetation applications. Laboratory tests of the wool/straw ECB demonstrated it was comparable to the specifications of a short-term (Type II B or C) standard ECB used along MDT roadways. Future product development of the wool/straw ECB should focus on improving the shear strength at high flows so it meets all required Type III specifications. Additional findings are described in the final report.

Objective

The objective of the project is to evaluate wool products that can be used for roadside reclamation projects by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and other transportation agencies.

Abstract

The objective of the project is to evaluate wool products that can be used for roadside reclamation projects by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and other transportation agencies. The project seeks to develop and test potential wool products that can be easily produced as complementary or replacement products to existing standard best management practices (BMPs). The project will laboratory test selected promising wool reclamation products to assure they meet specifications for MDT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) deployment. Field tests of the woolen products will evaluate their effectiveness compared to standard practices. The project will also conduct a cost benefit analyses of successful lab and field tested wool products and develop an implementation plan for the top performing wool products.

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Related Information

Part of: Road Ecology

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