Fort Bliss is in El Paso, Texas, and is known for its arid climate. The growth of vegetation in this area is very difficult and can be very costly. Over the years, landscape designers have created new alternatives for vegetating landscapes. The U.S military's expansion of the Fort Bliss military base created new challenges for these designers. New construction of military housing, as well as infrastructure to sustain the growth of the base, has caused enormous areas of land to need to be landscaped.
They found the most cost-effective and pleasant alternative to the problem of vegetation was covering large areas with different kinds of crushed rock from the mountainous regions surrounding them. The landscape designers realized the crushed rock would be insufficient for low maintenance and any form of long-lasting sustainability for counteracting unexpected weeds.
TenCate Mirafi 160N is a nonwoven geotextile chosen for use under the crushed rock.
The landscaping team's biggest challenge was preventing vegetative growth through the rocks. For many years, the basic product used for this application was a thin sheet of impenetrable polyethylene liner. The liner worked well in preventing vegetation from growing through the rock but during the rainy season, the sheets would collect water.
On some occasions, the water and gravity would make the rocks move downhill which would cause a maintenance issue. The landscaping designers realized they needed a product that would be thick enough and strong enough to prevent vegetative growth but not lead to maintenance issues as in the past. Everyone chose to use Mirafiｮ 160N which offers a moderate weight of 5 oz/sy minimum, non woven, permeable geosynthetic.
The construction of the landscape was relatively easy. The landscape area and subgrade were leveled. Mirafiｮ 160N was placed on the subgrade with a 2-inch overlap at adjoining panels of the geosynthetic. The crushed rock was spread across the Mirafi 160N in a 3-inch moderately compacted lift.
The project has been an enormous success with millions of square yards of Mirafiｮ 160N installed over the last 10 years. The landscape architects/designers in El Paso, Texas have continued to use Mirafiｮ 160N nonwoven geotextile at Fort Bliss and the surrounding El Paso metropolitan areas for use as a permeable vegetation inhibitor.